Cabover Craze: Scouring Craigslist for Your Dream Truck!

Cabover Craze: Scouring Craigslist for Your Dream Truck!

Want to feel like a trucker from the golden age of trucking? Look no further than the cabover craze! Finding a classic cabover on Craigslist can be the start of a thrilling adventure of restoration and customization. But with so many options out there, how can you find the right one?

The Cabover Craze: What Is It And Why Should You Care?

A cabover truck, often referred to as a COE (cab-over-engine), is a truck design in which the cab sits directly above the engine. This design has been around since the 1920s but became popular in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to its ability to maximize cargo space while staying within length limits on highways.

So why join the cabover craze? For starters, the unique design is a head-turner. You’ll definitely get noticed driving down the highway in a classic cabover. And if you’re looking for a project, restoring a cabover can be a rewarding challenge.

Where To Look For Cabovers: Craigslist

When it comes to finding cabover trucks for sale, Craigslist is a great place to start. With its massive online community, Craigslist is the perfect platform to find potential sellers and buyers. And with some patience and perseverance, chances are you’ll find your dream cabover out there.

But the key to finding the right cabover on Craigslist is to know exactly what you’re looking for. Start by setting your budget and deciding on the make and model of cabover you want. Then, begin your search with some strategic keywords.

Here are some helpful keyword combinations for finding cabovers on Craigslist:

  • “Cabover truck”
  • “COE truck”
  • “Cabover project”
  • “Vintage cabover”
  • “Antique cabover”

How To Evaluate A Cabover: The Checklist

Once you’ve found a potential cabover on Craigslist, it’s time to evaluate whether it’s the right truck for you. Here’s a checklist to follow to help you determine the condition of the cabover:

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  • Frame and body: Check for any signs of rust or damage.
  • Paint and finish: Look for any chipping or fading paint or any signs of repaint.
  • Tires and wheels: Are the tires in good condition? Are the wheels sturdy and not bent?


  • Seats and upholstery: Are the seats in good condition? Is the upholstery intact?
  • Dashboard and controls: Are all controls functioning? Is the dashboard intact?


  • Engine: Look for any signs of leaks, damage, or abnormal sounds.
  • Transmission: Check for smooth shifting.
  • Suspension: Check for any signs of wear and tear.


  • Title: Make sure the title is clear and matches the vehicle.
  • Registration: Make sure all registration fees are up-to-date.
  • Service records: Check for any service records that can give you insight into the history of the truck.

Tips For Negotiating The Purchase

Once you’ve determined that the cabover is the right truck for you, it’s time to negotiate the purchase. Here are some tips to help you get the best deal:

  • Do your research: Know the value of the truck before you start negotiating.
  • Be confident: Show the seller that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re serious about buying.
  • Point out flaws: Use any flaws or damages you found during the evaluation as bargaining chips.

The Restoration Process: What To Expect

Restoring a cabover can be a long and costly process, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. Here are the basic steps you should expect to take during the restoration process:

  1. Evaluate the truck: Before you start restoring, evaluate the condition of the cabover and make a plan for what needs to be repaired or replaced.
  2. Strip down the truck: Remove all of the truck’s elements, including the cab, engine and transmission, and suspension parts.
  3. Repair and replace parts: Repair any damaged parts or replace them with new or refurbished parts.
  4. Welding and sanding: Weld any necessary parts together and then sand down any rough or rusty surfaces for a smooth finish.
  5. Paint and finish: Paint the truck with the color and finish of your choice.
  6. Reassembly: Reinstall all of the truck’s elements, including the engine and transmission, and the suspension parts.
  7. Mechanical check: Finally, perform a mechanical check to ensure everything is in working order.
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The Cost Of Restoring A Cabover

Restoring a cabover can get expensive, but it’s important to keep in mind that the cost can vary depending on the kind of truck you’re restoring and the extent of the restoration work.

Here is a breakdown of the costs you should expect to cover during the restoration process:

  • Purchase price: This can range from a few thousand dollars to well over $50,000 depending on the make, model, and condition.
  • Parts and materials: Depending on the extent of your restoration, you can expect to pay between $5,000 and $50,000.
  • Labor: If you’re bringing in professionals to help with the restoration, expect to pay between $50 and $150 per hour.
  • Transportation: If you’re buying a cabover from a location far from where you live, expect to pay at least $1,000 in transportation fees.

The Joy Of Owning A Cabover

Owning a classic cabover can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s a unique investment that is sure to turn heads on the road. And there’s nothing quite like cruising down the highway in a truck that is both stylish and functional.


So, are you ready to join the cabover craze? With Craigslist as your starting point, finding your dream cabover is just a few clicks away. And once you have it in your possession, the restoration process can be an exciting journey filled with challenges and rewards.

Don’t let the high costs and labor-intensive work deter you from experiencing the joy of owning a classic cabover truck. Remember, it’s not just a truck – it’s a piece of history.

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Table: Cost of Cabover Restoration

Cost Category Lower Estimate Upper Estimate
Purchase Price $2,000 $50,000
Parts and Materials $5,000 $50,000
Labor $50/hour $150/hour
Transportation $1,000 $3,000

2 Lists about Cabovers

Pros of Cabover Trucks

  • Provides maximum cargo space.
  • Easy maneuverability.
  • Can meet length limits on highways.
  • Unique design that turns heads.
  • Perfect for restoration projects.

Cons of Cabover Trucks

  • Limited space in the cab and engine compartment.
  • May be more difficult to find parts for certain makes and models.
  • Generally requires more frequent maintenance.
  • Low ground clearance can be challenging in certain conditions.