Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Brian asks: Eric, I read your article on the off-grid car and it made me think what would be the best car to have in the case of a total breakdown? EMP is probably a far-off fear, but infrastructure collapse is much more possible and even happening as we see it. I’m thinking of an early-80’s Volkswagen Rabbit truck with its 1.6l diesel engine. No electronics, wrench/screwdriver/hammer simplicity, and will run on any kind of oil. I figure one of those cubical 275g plastic containers with the cheapest fuel oil and a hand pump, and something like the Rabbit truck will go for a couple years. The only downside is that other people might be thinking the same thing. I can’t find one of these 50-year-old cars for less than $4,000. But if I could just keep it under cover until the SHTF, perhaps I could think of it the way I think of my long-term food storage; good to have if you need it
My reply: Anything powered by a mechanically injected diesel engine will run so long as you have fuel. You don’t even need electricity (starter battery, alternator) to get it running, if you have a hill – which can be used to roll-start it. My ancient diesel-powered tractor is one such. It will burn practically any oil and it needs practically nothing else. Vehicles like the Rabbit truck you mention are similar. The problem – as you also mention – is finding one someone’s willing to sell and then paying for it. If you can find one for $4,000 . . . buy it.
That is a great price for one of these thing as they are only going to increase in value. And that’s because the value of a vehicle that will run almost-no-matter-what priceless!
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