The Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan never had much to recommend it to enthusiasts. Sure, the first-gen version at least had its wild “Dustbuster” design — shared with the Chevrolet Lumina APV and the Pontiac Trans Sport — and a cameo in the movie “Get Shorty,” but the milquetoast follow-up model that arrived for 1997 was unexciting in the extreme. There was, however, a brief attempt to make a sporty Silhouette under the OSV (“Oldsmobile Special Vehicles”) umbrella. A handful actually were built, but this example, for sale at a dealership in British Columbia, Canada, and surfaced by Hagerty, is the only one we’ve ever seen.
The Silhouette OSV made its debut as a concept alongside an Intrigue OSV sedan and an Alero OSV coupe at the 1999 SEMA show. The idea was to gauge public reaction to a high-performance sub-brand for Oldsmobile, this as the division’s fortunes were rapidly sinking. (The brand would be axed in 2004.)
The cars were painted candy-apple red — another trio was dark metallic green — and you can see shadow graphics of the Oldsmobile rocket logo in the minivan’s flanks. All three cars got custom lower-body skirts, Brembo brakes and Recaro seats (six in the minivan). For the Alero and Intrigue, additional performance came in the form of a supercharger for the 2.4-liter four (Alero) and 3.5-liter V6 (Intrigue) engines. The Silhouette’s 3.4-liter V6, however, was treated only to revised induction and exhaust, which is said to have bumped output to 210 horsepower from the stock 185.
It’s not known how this Silhouette ended up in British Columbia, but despite its provenance, it’s no trailer queen, having racked up approximately 114,000 miles. The asking price is $8,588 (presumably, Canadian) or just $6,700 greenbacks. For that, you get not only the reddest and the rarest minivan in the school pick-up lline, but (an admittedly obscure) piece of history as well.