Older diesels to look out for include a couple of years worth of the early S10/S15 with an Isuzu diesel, a couple of years of the Ranger and Mazda B series truck with a diesel, the Dodge D50/Mistubishi truck with the Mitsu diesel, Nissan had one also, and maybe Toyota had a couple of years worth. Those are all pre-88 trucks though.good ide
Find a Jeep Liberty Diesel and cut the roof off and enclose the front two seats to make a pickup. Add a custom roll bar/ medium cage. Seems a bit easier than a full engine swap and would be EPA compliant. Maybe build a nice Wood Slat Floor with Stainless Steel Spanners like the old trucks...then maybe even add some matching wood rails like the Old Dodge Power Wagons.
You would have 2WD, 4WD and AllWheelDrive. You would have 5,000# tow rating. You can get 28-30mpg highway...
Find an older Jeep Truck (cherokee style) or Rabbit Truck (if there are any left in good condition) and throw a VW TDI engine/tranny in...
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD...Founder of L.O.S.T.
OME 2.25" Lift w/ Toyo Open Country HTs 235/75/16s
ASFIR Alum Eng/Tranny/Transfercase/Fuel Skids
2002 Air Box Mod...Air Tabs (5) on Roof...(3)each behind rear windows
Partial Grill Block with Custom Air Scoop and 3" Open Catback Exhaust
Lambretta UNO150cc 4 Stroke Scooter
The mahindras are interesting, but not here yet. I think the suggestion of the toyota with the newer JDM turbodiesel transplant is the best one unless you need more towing/hauling then I would get a cummins diesel.
Depends on how much work you want to do. The little 4cyl trucks of the 80s all lack power/comforts and most of them are in rough shape. The ones in good condition bring premium prices.