I’ve bought some rough cars over the years — many of them that needed help getting home, but I’ve always been keen on getting a good title and a set of matching keys. This next car comes with neither of those things…or if it does have keys, you need a new ignition switch. It is not likely that this car is stolen, but I don’t believe that “out of the DMV system” is really a thing in California (although it might be a thing in the wild state of Nevada)…but the sketchiness factor to asking price is…ummm…not bad. Just watch your back when heading to a remote desert meet-up spot with $1400 in cash. Find this 1976 Mercedes-Benz 300D offered for $1400 in Pahrump, NV via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from FuelTruck who writes: F-350 retro car carrier. For the person who wants an unbreakable workhorse to move his racecar(s), or just make a couple of extra bucks on the side hauling other people’s projects out of garages, barns, cow pastures, etc. And you’ll be able to haul plenty of stuff with the 7.3 liter International turbo diesel with a manual gearbox. Find this 1993 Ford F-350 offered for $12,500 in Bluffton, SC via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from FuelTruck who writes: The seller doesn’t include much info on his engine, but these 7.3 liter Powerstrokes are legendary for their reliability. Typically this truck would be selling for another 10k (at least) on a dealer’s lot. Buy and drive, or flip for a healthy profit. Find this 2001 Ford Excursion XLT offered for $8,500 in Concord, CA via craigslist.
There are a few thoughts when it comes to armoring or protecting valuable assets — one is to lower the visibility of said asset, and the other is to armor it up. If an old dirty van filled with cash is the equivalent of a camouflaged sniper, then this bulletproof ATM is the Maginot Line. However, if you covered up the ATM signs, you could probably use this 6.0 PowerStroke diesel equipped beast as a sweet weekend/camping vehicle, and double as a zombie apocalypses survival vehicle too. Find this 2007 Ford E350 Van offered for $22,995 in Corona, CA via craigslist.
This next car came in as a tip from BP who reminded me that Hemmings had gotten into the auction business a few years ago to compete with all the online auctioning that is springing up around web. Hemmings had been a big name in classic cars for longer than most people can remember, but it wasn’t until 2019 that they launched an auction service…and truth be sold, I almost never go look at it unless someone sends me the link. But a site that is flush with car sellers and light on buyers is a recipe for a good deal (and the opposite of certain other sites where people seem to think the local currency is Brazilian Reals) and I think this next thing might go for a reasonable amount of money. Find this 1997 Ford F350 XLT Crew Cab with Power Stroke diesel bidding for $2000 reserve-not-met with 6 days to go on Hemmings.com.
This next car is an interesting piece of technology — it came from the factory with a M57Y twin-turbo diesel engine that pushed 265 horsepower and 425 ft-lbs of torque through a SCR system and who knowns what kind of diesel particulate filter. The result was a clean diesel that pulled like a truck, but todays example has had all of that backpressure increasing stuff removed and pushes over 300 horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of coal rolling black death into the air. Find this 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d offered for $6600 in Rutland, VT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
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, […]
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!
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.
There is no hallowed ground in the world of automotive swaps, but there are some swaps that make you say “why?”. And this next one is a real head scratcher — not that putting an OM617 Mercedes diesel into a small pickup would make for a bad vehicle…it is just strange. It’s not like you are going to increase your towing capacity or beat the torque from a Magnum V8…but that flapper valve tipped exhaust stack certainly has some style. Find this 1989 Dodge Dakota diesel swap offered for $2000 in Cazenovia, NY via craigslist.