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  • Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist: Charlotte

Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist: Charlotte

What’s going in the Carolinas?

Apr 17, 2020
Check Out More Craigslist Deals Here!
Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist: Boston
Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist: New York
Buy It Now! 1994 Ford E-350 From a Past President's Motorcade Is For Sale
As our passage across the U.S. via Craigslist continues, we're making an abrupt about-face out of New England and making a beeline for the south, specifically the Charlotte, North Carolina, area. The northeastern cities of New York and Boston kicked off our series on finding the best (U.S.-based) diesel deals that are posted on Craigslist. The series itself was actually spawned by an ad on Craigslist for a gas-powered, four-wheel-drive 1994 Ford E-3T0 that once rolled in former President Bill Clinton's motorcade.
One of the things that draws diesel enthusiasts to Craigslist is the wide variety of trucks, cars, engines, tools and other mechanical apparatus that's found in its pages. It's very cool stuff, and, thanks to bartering, negotiating, and trying to make the best deal possible, it usually can be had for a song. Our ongoing project involves checking Craigslist for other major U.S. cities, and using only "Diesel" as a search criterion to find five good deals.
In all of our "Best Diesel Deals" articles, it's important to understand that we're not just highlighting pickup trucks, as they make up the lion's share of diesel vehicles for sale (on Craigslist) in all areas. While our stories of course will include the late-model pickups we're all familiar with, it's uncommon, unique or even quirky diesel vehicles, equipment, parts, etc., that we're giving some deserved shine.
Charlotte's draw is interesting. Yes, there are plenty of pickups, Class 8 tractors, nice TDI-powered sedans, etc. This time, we dialed up the area's diesel listings that are tied to dealerships, the local "Happy Jack" kind of stores that typically move units purchased at wholesale auctions, or as consignment pieces. This certainly doesn't mean private sellers are not out there. We assure you, they are. The switch was just made for variety and to see how the other side plays the game. One puzzling thing is that in the later pages of our search results, gas-powered cars and trucks start to make their way into the mix of a category that's supposed to be diesel-only. It's something we didn't encounter with New York and Boston.
As always at this point, we admit that our selections might be somewhat subjective, but the finds are pretty cool nonetheless. So, read on and see what Charlotte and its neighboring areas have to offer. And, let us know if you move on one of these deals. Also, let us know about cool diesel deals that you come across on Craigslist. Send info and a link to: dieselpower@motortrend.com
1991 and 1997 International "Short Busses"
Our first find is actually plural (two vehicles that we're counting as one). We found two "short buses" offered by separate sellers.
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The white 1991 International—located in Denton, North Carolina—has 74,000 miles on its original 7.3L IDI diesel engine and Allison automatic transmission. According to the seller, it runs and drives great, and he only wants $4,450 for it.
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Bus Number Two is a 1997 model in Monroe, apparently by way of Atlanta, Georgia, where it served in that city's school system. With only 47,000 miles, and visually (per photos) in really good shape, this 27-foot-long people mover can be yours for $4,500, which the seller says is "firm."
Now, our reason for including them is simple. While short busses are the longtime butt of bad jokes, in today's era of camping, glamping, overlanding, etc., they're also a perfect platform for cool RV conversions (both rigs are also equipped with lifts). Buy one, blow out the interior, and redress it to your wants, needs and liking. After that, enjoy life in the great outdoors—for relatively little money.
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2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
We like this Silverado because it looks sharp, and it packs a highly coveted "low-miles" 6.6L Duramax LB7 engine under the hood. Now, when we say the mileage is minimal, what we mean is that by having only 145,000 miles, this rig's driveline should still be pretty solid (provided it's well maintained).
It also has LT-trim amenities—leather seats, power windows and locks, etc.—which definitely raise its stock as a solid candidate for an all-around truck. The price ($16,800) is something we would try and make better if we were trying to get it. Hey, this is Craigslist, the place where deals are made.
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1990 Land Rover Defender 110
Charlotte's Vintage Motors listed this diesel deal that's definitely at the higher end of the (well, our) price spectrum. For nearly $40,000 (and they say the actual $39,900.00 is non-negotiable), you can own a diesel-powered (200 TDI) Land Rover. "So what," you ask? Well, high price aside, the rig is kind of interesting, and it definitely is nicely appointed. It makes us think about "vehicles we would want to have during an apocalypse." We bet there's probably a lot to be said about "fully loaded and comfortable" to compliment "capable," when you're under that type of duress.
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2005 Ford F-250
We picked this one because it's just plain cool. A crew-cab, longbed four-wheel-drive F-250, with most of the modifications that diesel fans like, already done. Cummins swap? Check. BorgWarner S363 turbocharger? Got it. Sumped fuel tank? It's there. Torque converter? Yes. And so on. We see this ride more as a diamond in the rough than a basket case, and we think it could be worth heading to Fallston, North Carolina, for a closer look and discussion with the owner. As a matter of fact, the seller encourages it, as there is a lot going on with this rig, no price is indicated and the listing isn't as detailed as it could (or should, in our opinion) be.
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1987 E-One Cylone IV Fire Engine
We think this decommissioned fire apparatus is a good candidate for apocalyptic purposes or basic cool factor. It is diesel-powered through and through, with an International DT-Series I-6 engine and Allison automatic transmission headlining the drivetrain. For all intents and purpose, this 13,278-mile truck is still a functional firefighter, and at $8,900 (and whatever additional cost for replacing missing hoses/nozzles, etc.) it's a good deal for use at a small factory/manufacturing plant, race track, or other operation that has or can use an in-house fire brigade. Looking at it from another perspective, there's also a lot of potential for a unique vehicle that can be developed on this platform, by someone with a creative mind and lots of fabrication talent.

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