Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist: Los Angeles
This "Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist" virtual road trip across the U.S. started in March 2020, with a report on one of former President Bill Clinton's communications rigs—a diesel-powered, 1994 Ford E-350—being offered for sale near Denver, Colorado. The vehicle's uniqueness and the fact that it was sold privately through Craigslist are the things that kicked off our ongoing search for similar diesel deals from coast to coast.
Although pickup trucks with Cummins, Duramax, and Power Stroke engines are plentiful almost everywhere, they are not the primary focus of our series. Uncommon, unique, or even quirky diesel vehicles, equipment, parts, etc., are what we look for first. But there certainly are plenty of instances where the late-model pickups we're all familiar with take the bigger portion of the spotlight.
For this installment of the Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist, we decided to virtually explore Los Angeles, California, where, to our surprise, the search for "diesel" resulted in 498 vehicles (one of the highest totals since the series began).
Not surprisingly, however, L.A. definitely is a haven for luxury-brand diesel vehicles. Several old and newer Mercedes-Benz sedans as well as SUVs, BMW's popular X5 and 335d, Audi, and Volkswagen's vehicles all are available through private parties. The rigs we selected for this report are projects, trucks that may need a little of this or that, which we think are different and definitely cool enough to consider buying.
As always, we want to know details if you follow up on one of these examples. Be sure to let us know about good diesel deals that you come across on Craigslist, too. Send info and a link to: email@example.com.
You will have to read the ad and follow along closely, as the deal for this overlanding setup has a lot of moving pieces (figuratively). However, at the crux of the sale are a 62,000-mile, diesel-motivated, four-wheel-drive chassis (similar to the silver rig in this photo) and the super-cool, custom, low-profile, removable A-Liner Expedition camper that sits on a subframe/tray that's mounted to the truck. According to the seller, the truck itself is rare, as it has a five-speed manual transmission. However, a clutch concern (possible throwout bearing) prevents shifting the gearbox into third, fourth, or fifth gears. Check out the listing for a full rundown. A $22,000 package, this definitely is one of the more unique overlanding setups we have seen.
There's no diesel in this truck (which actually is a dually) yet. But, for $7,000 or best offer, we think it's a perfect rust-free candidate for a restoration project that includes installing an oil burner under the hood.
"Fun" is the first thing that comes to mind with vehicles like this little 4x4. It's powered by a Volkswagen 2.8L M-TDI engine (with ARP head studs, a Giles mechanical fuel pump, K03/04 hybrid turbocharger, upgraded pistons, new injectors and two intercoolers) and features a mishmash of Toyota components that include a manual transmission, axles, steering box, and four-wheel disc brakes. The big plus with a converted project like this is that there are "no smog issues," according to the seller, and the registration is current. On- and off-road/rockcrawling adventures await whoever gives up $11,000 for this rig.
When Craigslist ads begin with or include comments such as "need it gone," and "make me an offer," it is human nature for car guys to take second, third, and even fourth looks at description information and photos, trying to find the problems in a deal that seems too good to be true. This rig checks all the boxes for a potential great score. It has a 1991 5.9L Cummins engine and 47RE automatic transmission, new upholstery, wiring, wheels and tires, Super Duty axles, air conditioning, heated seats, and more.
Yes, this definitely is a restoration project, but it has a clean title, and the seller says it was running when taken apart in 2005 (for body work). Why is a rig like this a great deal? Because, with its 5.9L 12-valve Cummins turbodiesel engine, four-wheel drive (including an NP transfer case), and Dana 60 front axle, this "Carryall," as it was called in its heyday, has Power Wagon qualities with a coveted diesel powerplant. Buy it for $19,500 now, before it's rebuilt and priced higher.