5 Craigslist cars under $1,000 to buy this month



Car Life

November 22, 2019 08:30 AM

5 Craigslist cars under $1,000 to buy this month

Seriously, who’s got 10 grand to spend on a car? Here are 5 cool runners for triple-digit prices!

Murilee Martin



Pin It




Craigslist Sellers

Buy them all, drive a different car to work every day!

It can be extremely stressful to sell a car on Craigslist—especially if your car has a manual transmission—but searching for your next car can be good fun when you’re bored at work you know the trick of searching for yellow cars only. My esteemed and learned colleague, Jake Lingeman, did a fine public service for Craiglist car shoppers a couple of weeks back, finding five fun cars available from Craigslist sellers for less than ten grand apiece. As a serious cheapskate and veteran of 12 years of writing Project Car Hell episodes, though, I felt that it should be possible to find five interesting cars—running cars, mind you—for less than one grand each. That’s just what I did, so here we go!

Some Craigslist Seller

The original MSRP for this car was $61,070. With inflation, that’s 99.3% depreciation.

1998 BMW 740i

Did you think you’d be seeing a bunch of hantavirus-infested Hyundai Accents and triple-salvage-titled Olds Achievas here? No way! How about a sleek, powerful E38 BMW 7-Series, complete with 282-horsepower V8 engine and an interior made from the skins of an entire herd of Bavarian cattle? This high-tech 1998 BMW 740i has been sitting for a while and needs a tire, but it runs and the body looks straight. Drive a high-tech Autobahn bomber and have money left over for extra spätzle with your next German dinner!

Some Craigslist Seller

Photography tip: keep your shadow off the car.

2002 Jaguar X-Type

That BMW would be pretty quick, but what if you insist on a European luxury sedan with three pedals? Craigslist to the rescue, with this 2002 Jaguar X-Type with the rare (in the United States) 5-speed manual transmission. The price? A mere $800, which is peanuts for a car that we thought was pretty swanky when it was new. Why so cheap for a Jag that looks great inside and out? Well, there’s the small matter of its being flagged by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair at its last smog inspection, meaning a hard-eyed BAR referee will need to take a look. How hard could that be?

Some Craigslist Seller

A rear-wheel-drive classic Nissan for a tiny fraction of the cost of a 280Z.

1975 Datsun B210

Let’s say you want a manual transmission but it must be installed in a vintage machine with some old-fashioned style. We’ve got just the car for you here: this 1975 Datsun B210 coupe, priced at a very reasonable $850. No serious rust, manual transmission, Nissan Sunny good looks, and it’s just begging for you to drop in a readily-available JDM SR20DET engine. You’ll be a hit at the next Japanese Nostalgic Car meetup with this one.

Some Craigslist Seller

We won’t lie, there’s some rust.

1974 Buick Apollo sedan

If you’d prefer a classic Detroit sedan to a classic Japanese coupe, we understand. That’s the reason I’ve found this 1974 Buick Apollo sedan, priced at $750 or best offer. The Apollo was the Buick-badged version of the Chevrolet Nova, and this one even has the sturdy, Nova-grade 250-cubic-inch straight-six engine coupled with the luxurious three-speed automatic transmission. The car came from the Midwest, and so it has plenty of Midwest-style rust… but that rust will scare away the lightweights and perhaps induce the seller to knock a few bucks off the price.

Some Craigslist Seller

Not kidding, the first two owners were named Esther and Dorothy. Esther and Dorothy!

1997 Cadillac DeVille

The sixth-generation Cadillac DeVille came with every luxury feature in the book, plus the futuristic DOHC Northstar V8 engine (after 1995). It’s tough to find a 20-year-old luxury car with a near-perfect interior, but this 1997 DeVille— previously owned by Esther and Dorothy, to give you an idea of how it was cared for— looks just about new inside. Don’t be put off by the overheating problems, because they only happen when it’s over 70°F outside (which means it might not be the non-serviceable Northstar head gasket), but do look at all the new parts!

[data-block-plugin-id=”block_content:506900a1-5fa6-4183-be8c-b72d2291c751″] .crain-block-embeds-code {
border: none;

Recommended for You


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *