Buying Cars Off Craigslist Has Enriched My Life

August 9, 2016 - accent chair

Like everyone, we started surfing Craigslist given we wanted to obstacle honeyed deals. Though we was primarily a bit disturbed about assembly randos from a internet, after 7 years of hard-core Craigslisting, we can overtly say, a site has altered my life. Here are some of my best stories of offered things from everyone’s favorite car-buying site.

Craigslist is a good equalizer; everybody from each amicable category or competition wants to save money, and given of that, I’ve met some implausible people and seen some places we never would differently have explored.

I’m not articulate about a “personals” territory of Craigslist. You know, a one filled with bizarro missed tie stories about “the large white lady on 10th travel that pronounced Hola to me today.” That’s not a kind of Craigslist I’m articulate about.


I’m articulate about that unhappy lady who sole me her ex-boyfriend’s motorcycle helmet, that new divorcee perplexing to make some income by interruption out his Cherokee, that millionaire perplexing to get his jack stands out of his outrageous garage when he finished restoring his father’s aged Camaro, and that immature child who’s headed off to college subsequent month and can’t move a car.

Most of these people we substantially would never have differently run into. But we did, and we schooled about their lifestyles, their families, problems they face everyday, cold places they’ve been, and practice they’ve been through.


See what we meant about enriching my life? Here are my 5 favorite Craigslist adventures.

The Moonshine And Mud Bog In Yadkinville, North Carolina

My favorite Craigslist story is a tale of my Jeep J10. It began final summer, as we was pushing from Michigan to a friend’s place in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

I surfed Craigslist during a lorry stop along a way, and came on a J10 pickup, a automobile we had been lusting after for years. And it had an inline-six and a four-speed manual—just what we was looking for!

I got ahold of a owner, and he told me to stop by on my approach home. A few days passed, and we headed towards a guy’s plantation in Yadkinville. But we couldn’t get in hold with anyone. The city was small, so we figured I’d usually expostulate around and ask pointless people if they knew someone offered a Jeep pickup.


I can opposite an aged male sitting on his front porch. He contingency have been 90 years old, usually sitting on his rocking chair bare-chested with outrageous globs of food all over his belly. For whatever reason, we remember those globs.

I asked him about a truck, and he usually started creation noises that sounded rather like English, yet not adequate to tell me what a ruin he was articulate about. we was saved from a ungainly conditions by a teenage boy, who was roving his lawnmower down a street. Apparently, a child was spooky with modifying roving lawnmowers, and they were his categorical modes of travel around town.

In a thick southern accent, a child pronounced he didn’t know about a Jeep truck, yet that he had an aged CJ out behind he’d like to uncover me. So, like any correct man, we followed a finish foreigner into his backyard in a center of nowhere, North Carolina. The child showed me an aged 1960s CJ-5 that had clearly been sitting in his backyard for a decade. Despite a terrible figure of a Jeep, somehow, a child got her using right before my eyes.

I asked about food, and a child led me in my Jeep with his lawnmower to a internal diner, where we asked a waitress about a J10. She told me to demeanour during internal classifieds; we did, and certain enough, there was a male who I’d talked to on a phone, along with his home address.

Eventually, we met a male during his plantation usually outward of Yadkinville. He hadn’t been picking adult his phone given he had been baling grain all night, and was unequivocally sleepy that Sunday morning.

The male sole me a Jeep, and then, before we left, walked down to a shed, grabbed a cosmetic gallon jug of transparent liquid, and handed it to me. “This is untaxed moonlight done by a son of a internal NASCAR legend. Enjoy.” (That’s a moonlight in a design above).

Then a rancher drew a map on a behind of a pouch we had used for a Bill of Sale. After a minute, he drew a star on a map and pronounced “this right here is a sand swamp going on right now. If y’all wanna see a whole county during a sand bog, conduct on down.”

We did (see video shave above), and had a good time articulate to Jeep and lorry owners, and usually unresolved out with a locals during a sand run.

The Four Young Farmers In The Middle Of Nowhere, Michigan

The CJ-2A project—which I’ve created about before—took me to an aged plantation in Michigan, where we met 4 bearded immature farmers out operative their fields. There’s one of them on a right in a design above.

Though they were organisation of few words, they asked me what we did for a living, and told me how they’d never met someone who gets paid to write about cars. We talked about their trucks, their tractors, and their farm, which—based on a board by their house—had been in a family for many, many generations.

The guys were really kind and honest about a Jeep. They told me what they knew, we concluded to a price, they pushed a Willys onto a flatbed, and we headed out.

It was a connection of dual manifold amicable spheres that, had it not been for Craigslist, would differently never have happened. There’s no approach we would have ever left out into Podunk, Nowhere and seen this aged plantation if we hadn’t speckled that aged CJ-2a on Craigslist. And yet it doesn’t seem like a life-altering story, usually removing discernment into a approach these guys live was something I’ll never forget.

The Off-Road Adventure Of A Lifetime In Fenton, Michigan

You can read all about how floating adult my Jeep engine led to a furious alcohol-fueled crazy off-road journey with a garland of guys out in a country.

I gathering out in a dim by some woods, and wound adult during a large stable filled with hulk off-road trucks, and immature guys like me usually slashing a night divided with song grating in a background. It was heaven.

It became even some-more celestial when a organisation took me for an off-road journey on their possess off-road trail.

I’ve still got their numbers, so we should substantially go behind out there and see how Project Swiss Cheese does on those trails.

The Jeep Parts Hoarder Going Through Rough Times

To ready for my Moab trip, we had to squeeze some gangling parts, so we found a internal male offered send cases and axles off Jeep XJs. we went to his place one evening, and what we found was a bit scary.

It was frightful in that it roughly felt like we was looking during a male who was me in 3 years. It was a passed of winter, and frozen outside. And this immature male was dirty from conduct to toe, wearing coveralls and slashing in a little windowless garage warmed by a propane shoot heater.

As a heater blared and shot impassioned abandon into a room, a male motioned us in, and we looked in astonishment during 4 or 5 4.0-liter inline-sixes and tons of AW4 transmissions crowding us in that little garage. This male had left off a low end.

The male wanted $200 for a send box and axles, so we gave it to him. But before we left, he told us about a tough times he was going through, that he didn’t have a job, and usually wanted to get behind on his feet.

He saw me look during his 4.0-liter sitting on a engine stand. “I’ll sell that to we for $150.” we told him we had too many projects already. “$100, and it’s yours!”

$100 for an engine would have been a steal, yet we couldn’t do it. The male installed adult a axles and send box into a truck, and we gathering off, examination him in a counterpart travel by a sleet and shelter into his little lair.

I’ve still got his hit info for when we need some-more parts. Hopefully he’s behind on his feet.

The Jeep Hoarder Trying To Save Precious History

And afterwards there was Ron Hattner, a male who lives really distant off a grid in a residence in a center of a woods in executive Michigan. I’ve visited his skill many times in hunt of Jeep parts, and with each visit, he tells stories about his upbringing in Toledo, his adore for Jeeps, and a story of each automobile on his property.

Sometimes I’ll see him during Jeep events, and I’ll contend hi. He’s a male whose idea in life is to keep Jeeps from a scrapyard, and yet most of his collection is good weathered, Ron sells what he can with wish that eventually some of these vehicles will get behind on (and off) a road.

My First Craigslist Experience In Kansas City

My initial knowledge with offered for cars on Craigslist happened in 2009. we was headed to college that summer, and was anticipating to get a automobile so we could revisit my hermit during James Madison University about an hour away.

We always favourite a Grand Wagoneer (okay, we was obsessed), so we called adult a male on Craigslist who was offered his 1987.

we remember a male vital in a partial of Kansas City I’d never visited. One that, during one point, was an abundant suburban neighborhood, yet had given turn a lower-income area.

The male was really good and down to earth. He was open with us about a Jeep, revelation that a thing had been sitting so long, and that he’s not certain what all is wrong with it.

After ogling over a Jeep, and a fact that it was usually $500, we found a deal-breaker: a outrageous decay hole in a support on possibly side:

Then we saw a motorcycle in a corner, and a young, genuine eyes scarcely bought that from a guy. But we resisted. Somehow.

Still after all these years, we can design a guy’s house, and that Grand Wagoneer with years and years of dirt caked to a paint left an impress I’ll never be absolved of.

And it’s a same approach with a pointless lawnmower-riding child in North Carolina, a 4 immature bearded farmers in Michigan, a pointless beer-drinking off-roaders in farming Michigan, a unhappy Jeep tools hoarder slashing in his little garage in a winter and a Jeep hoarder perplexing to save changed history—they all left impressions on me, and showed me places and lifestyles we had never known.

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