Despite me already having seven cars in various states of disrepair, readers keep sending more Craigslist links to shitboxes! It’s almost as if they want to see me burn. Here are the most recent Craigslist links that these virtual crack dealers have emailed me.
Unsurprisingly, many of these are Jeeps. Also unsurprisingly: many of these are seriously tempting me.
Take this link that someone named “Delmar” (definitely not a real name, as this is the first name of the WWII Jeep’s chief engineer) sent of not one, not two, but three $300 DJ-5 postal carrier Jeeps, plus there’s a $400 1984 CJ-7 also in the mix! That’s four Jeeps for only $1,300, undoubtedly taking home this month’s coveted Most Jeeps Per Dollar trophy.
Granted, they’re all shitboxes. But the two white postal carriers (which actually look fairly original) have titles, the camo one without a title runs and drives (so naturally, a drivetrain swap comes to mind), and the CJ-7—well, I can’t find many redeeming qualities in that thing. Just look at this turd:
Still, I’d gladly snag those three postal carriers for nine-hundo, and turn them into one beautiful, red, white and blue right-hand drive cruiser with two wheel drive, sliding doors and a giant tray for a passenger’s seat. It doesn’t get much cooler than that.
The craziest Craigslist listing was one from a guy named Scott, who wanted me to look at this weird chopped two-door Jeep Cherokee in San Luis Obispo, California. I’ve been calling the owner daily, but he or she still hasn’t answered. I really just want to know what the heck is going on with this Jeep.
If I had to guess, the owner rolled this thing while off-roading, smashing the roof in, and also bending the front of the hood. So, to fix it, maybe the owner just chopped the car at the center of the pillars and replaced the top with a big flat piece of metal? How they got the A-pillars to lean back so far, and whether the windows still function are questions to which I’m dying to learn the answer.
I’d love to see an interior shot. How anyone above the height of about three feet could possibly drive this thing is beyond me.
Then there’s the reader named Keith, who just “gets” me. He sent me two listings for factory turbodiesel, manual Jeep Comanches—or, put another way, automotive perfection (at least, in theory). The blue 1987 one above is a rust bucket; the owner says most of the rust is just on the surface (with a few holes), and that the truck needs a starter and some brake work. Still, at $3,995, that’s a lot of coin, even with the Renault 2.1-liter oil-burner, and even with this incredible interior:
God that interior is gorgeous. The bench seat. The blue trim on the doors, the dash, the steering wheel, and even the shifter surround; it makes me weak.
The same Iowa-based person selling that 1987 diesel Comanche is also parting ways with this 1986 model, whose body looks much better (bust still hole-y), and whose interior features seats out of a later model Cherokee. The thing needs some exhaust and brake work, and the front axle disconnect isn’t quite working, but the good news is—well, there is none. The $6,500 price tag is insane.
I love the concept of diesel engines in off-road vehicles, but the diesels put in Cherokees and Comanches were 100 percent inferior to the torquey 4.0-liter inline-six gas motors. Still, I find these two factory diesel Comanches fascinating.
I had never actually heard about the Ford Centurion Classic until a reader by the name Kirk enlightened me with this Craigslist post last week.
Apparently in the ’80s and ’90s, a Michigan-based coach builder named Centurion used to take Ford pickups, shorten their wheelbases, and graft on the back ends (quarter panels, tailgates and removable roof panels) of Ford Broncos to create essentially four-door Broncos. The vehicles were a way for consumers to buy a Suburban-like vehicle from the Blue Oval before the Expedition or Excursion were “a thing.”
Centurion made two models, the Classic 150 and the Classic 350, the former of which was based on an F-150 platform, and the later of which was based on an F-350.
The one in this Craigslist posting is the Classic 150, outfitted with a 351 Windsor V8, a five-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive. Unfortunately, the thing has some major issues. Somehow, both axles are broken, the truck needs a new fuel tank and pump, and the front floor pans are rotted out. A lot of that you could fix with a junkyard run, and because the truck is from Texas, I bet the frame is fairly solid. Honestly, at $1,900, this isn’t too far from being an awesome project.
With a title, and an engine and transmission that the seller calls “good,” this actually seems like it might be worth picking up.
Sure, the body is in garbage shape (is that tape on the rear quarter panel?!), but I’m sort of into that. And at this price, it may actually be physically impossible for me to resist. That’s just a lot of Jeep per dollar (especially if we’re calculating by weight).
The final Craigslist post I’ve received in the past week is from James, who sent this 2000 Jeep Cherokee with a locked up engine—an issue that the Cleveland-based seller claims he was told is “typical for this year.” (It is very much not typical to lock up a 4.0-liter Jeep engine). Asking price is $700, which—for a Cherokee with rusty rocker panels and a locked engine—is about $700 Minus Current Scrap Value too much.
So there you have it: about a week and a half worth of Craigslist temptations from readers trying to send me even further over the deep end. Some of them nearly succeeded, too, especially Adam’s Grand Wagoneer listing. I’ve got my phone in my hand ready to dial.