The Diesel Truck of your Dreams is in a Florida Junkyard

Your enthusiast fanboy dream truck is here, and at the right price to boot. It’s 4 wheel drive with a manual transmission, mated to a diesel engine. The short bed and standard cab mean it’s perfect for maneuverability when you’re out muddin’, or simply trying to get to your cabin. It’s already fitted with big tires and some auxiliary gauges. The caveat: To row your own while rolling coal, you’ll have to extract it from a junkyard and find out why it went there in the first place.

This 1988 Chevy traveled more than 250,000 miles before being scrapped. Written on the windshield: “Runs and drives. Drove it in. Good motor.” There’s no crash damage, structural rust, or other obvious problems indicating why it was scrapped in the first place. Notice anything weird about the gauges? “Unleaded fuel only.” And on the bottom left, an automatic transmission gear indicator. There’s a column shifter in the foreground.
But it’s a manual trans for sure, complete with aftermarket shift handle at what seems to me an uncomfortable angle. The transfer case selector looks like it belongs there, so this was probably always a four-by truck, but the manual trans may have been a swap. I didn’t try the transfer case lever, but the transmission shifter felt, well, connected to something.
I’m not sure what to make of the gauges. The hasty installation doesn’t necessarily mean anything other than the owner wasn’t very picky about appearances. But we already knew that from looking at the truck. This was likely added during the engine swap instead of working to get the instrument cluster gauges operating with the diesel engine.
Aside from the chunk missing off the edge of the seat, the interior looks otherwise pretty decent and, well, it’s all there. Two-tone paint indicates perhaps a higher-end truck, which jives with what’s usually a pretty hefty premium for the diesel engine option. Scrapes and bends on the body suggest this truck definitely spent some time on trails.
Badges on the B-pillars indicate a Scottsdale edition. I suspect the intent is more to evoke an image of rural Arizona ranching rather than hoity-toity classic car auctions.
The engine bay is slightly picked-over, but looks mostly complete. The zip-tied wiring looms and muffler adapter used between sections of radiator hose are further evidence of the engine swap.
I didn’t actually ask the price of this piece of American trucking perfection, but since it’s in a junkyard, I’d expect it’s three digits long. Find it at LKQ of Daytona Beach before it heads to the crusher.
Photos Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Alan Cesar

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  1. stigshift Avatar

    So it's not just me that thinks junkyard trips are better than amusement parks. Good to know.

  2. racer139 Avatar

    That is not the truck of anyone's dreams.. I'll tell you what the problems likely are. Even though it drove into the yard, at the mileage indicated its probably gonna need head gaskets for the second time in its life, they just are not worth doing. The gauges reading like that with the ignition off probably indicate some sort of electrical issue with the cluster. Add that to the other electrical issues these pigs have. Pmd, fuse panel….. I'll say it again THIS IS NOT THE TRUCK OF YOUR DREAMS. I can list more.

  3. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    I like this truck. I don't want this truck. What I like about this truck is that it makes me feel better about the condition of my own '88 GMT400.

  4. racer139 Avatar

    If it where gas it would be a much better start.

  5. mallthus Avatar

    So. Much. Wrong.
    Let's just start with the notion that if you're going to swap in a diesel, the DD boat anchor probably isn't ever your best choice. It's one of those engines that was perfectly/mostly adequate where it was the factory option, but it's not ever the subject of schoolboy fantasy.

  6. neight428 Avatar

    This thing makes the rusty Nissan diesel powered Scout II that my dad once bought look like a wise investment of oil burning enthusiasm.

  7. NotJustDucky Avatar

    That's the stuff of nightmares, not dreams.