The 2nd generation of the Jeep Wrangler was known as the “TJ” and it was built from 1997 through 2006. This is probably the best year you can get for a car, if you ask the luddites around the DT HQ — it is new enough to have safety features like seat belts and ABS, […]
We posted a Land Rover Series III the other day that was really just a collection of parts. Commenter Mountainwoodie got it right when he suggested the seller’s spouse had probably said: ”You better get that pile of junk out of the garage or I’m taking the kids and going to my mothers!” At least it was cheap. Anyway, this next Series III Land Mover is assembled and is probably worth the bump up in price. Find this 1981 Land Rover Series III 109 Diesel offered for $15,000 in Blue Island, IL via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
I was talking a friend the other day who is a truck guy, and he asked me my advice on a diesel pickup truck. I’m not one to go around spouting off random opinions…oh wait…that is exactly what DT is, so I AM someone to go around spouting random opinions, so here goes; don’t buy a newish diesel pickup with one of them fancy twin-turbo common rail diesel V8s mated to a 8-speed auto and instead always insist on a classic diesel inline-6 single turbo and a manual gearbox like this next Cummins ISB 5.9 powered beasty. Find this 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel offered for $18,400 in Yuma, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Mercedes-Benz spent serious effort in promoting their diesel engines back in the 1980s and 1990s, in fact it is hard to know from searching craigslist that you could get a W123 Benz with a gasoline engine in the USA back in the day. Regardless, the OM-series oil burners were good for basic transportation, but not much of an upgrade for power/speed on most vehicles..however, if you want an upgrade in reliability and fuel economy, it does the trick. This next feature is the cheap and dirty version of the nice Chevrobenz Truck swap we featured the other day. Find this 1990ish Chevrolet S-10 Blazer offered for $2500 in Ford Washington, MD via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car is offered at a price that is typically reserved for wrecked or rusted cars…and it appears to be neither. The seller admits that the driver’s seat needs fixin, and the window handle (yes…this means it has manual windows – score!) is broken…but then admits that part of the reason the price is so low is because it won’t turn off when you turn the ignition/key off. You need to dump the clutch and hold your foot on the brake — and I know a thing-or-two about this problem because I had a W123 with the same vacuum related issue that causes the mechanical fuel shut-off valve to stop working. It won’t stop you from getting the car home and it could be as simple as replacing a few dried vacuum hoses…but with new tires/brakes/rotors/steering column/starter…this thing had its value in maintenance in recent times. Seems like a great first car for a kid or 17th car for CFlo. Find this 1981 Mercedes-Benz 240D offered for $2000 in Napa County, CA via craigslist.
What’s not to love in this next car? It is a rare 2-door SUV from the 80s with a turbo diesel engine, rust, crust, and a toilet paper holder mounted on the side. Or is that a towel rack? Or a wet-suit drying rack for a surfer, perhaps? I’m gonna stick with the TP holder as my final answer, Regis. Find this 1986 Isuzu Trooper DXL 4WD Turbo Diesel 2-Door offered for $6,500 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
Sometimes you find a car that must be a good deal because it is offered at a fraction of the cost of the parts to build it, nevermind the builder/seller’s time involved. This next truck is one of the millions of the third generation C/K trucks built by Chevy over a 19 year production lifespan (1972-1991)…but it has a diesel title and a built 402 ci big block under the hood — not a bad combo for California if I say so myself. Find this 1982 Chevrolet C20 Scottsdale offered for $8999 in West Hills of the SF Valley, CA via craigslist.
The basic designation “300” has been used by Mercedes-Benz over the years in a number of vehicles including some humble sedans (like the W115) all the way up to their W198 Gullwing equipped super sports car 300SL…so it might be confusing to people when they see a 300D compared to a 300SD, but make no mistake, this next car is part of the high-end W116 S-Class and should be given proper reverence and distance. Reverence because it is a sweet piece of machinery and distance because you might otherwise get a bad case of the black lung from the diesel exhaust. Find this 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD W116 offered for $6000 in Los Angeles Valley, CA via craigslist. Tip from Mike D.
A diesel powered GMC Caballero is a stupefyingly eccentric vehicle…but captivating in a way that is difficult to describe. However, the photos in this next advertisement — and I hate to be the guy that criticizes the artistic integrity of a random stranger’s cell-phone photos for a car advert, but I am today — are just as equally baffling. Ignore the fact that the photos were taken at a Jiffy Lube, we don’t need to talk about that, but there is not a single photo of the entire subject vehicle and the best shot is in portrait mode of 2/3s of the Caballero. I guess I know what a Caballero (GMC’s version of the El Camino) looks like, but the lengths the photographer goes to avoid a single aesthetically pleasing shot of this oddball is downright staggering. Find this 1983 GMC Caballero Diesel offered for $12,000 in Wichita, KS via craigslist. Tip from Jeff.
Living in southern California has its pluses and minuses as car lover. One of the positives is that cars do not rust away. The big negative is the smog rules making imported vehicles nearly impossible to legally drive. So this Japanese import with a clean California title is a unicorn. Find this 1986 Mazda Bongo Brawny offered for $14,500 in Santa Barbara, CA via Craigslist.