Can I buy a mail jeep?
July 19, 2014 7:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm not talking about the old mail jeeps, I'm talking about the Grumman LLV.

I've looked around and it looks like they never come up for auction.

I haven't even been able to find a secondary market for them.

I have resources enough to flatbed one to my shop if I can acquire one - so it could be in any shape and in (almost) any location.

I would like to be able to get two. One I'd like to restore to stock and use it as a show vehicle in that state (the engine and trans will take a lot more research, but I can get specs on them).

Second I'd like to turn into a gonzo hotrod. Not Ed Roth style, but still over the top with whatever I can do with that engine and drive train.
posted by BenevolentActor to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The first comment (from a mailman) on this Grumman-related post on Jalopnik might indicate why there's no secondary market - he says they're made without VINs and are therefore unregisterable, and that the USPS basically fixes them enough to keep them on the road until they're dead, at which point I'd presume they're scrapped.

Not sure if they have motor shops at post offices or farm repairs out, but you might possibly be able to check the truth of those statements w/a manager at the local USPS office?

As a fellow lover of weirdo cars, I feel your pain.
posted by sluggo at 7:57 PM on July 19, 2014

This one has a VIN and sold for $3525 at auction last year
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:27 PM on July 19, 2014

They do come up for auction (with VINs). Also they are used in Canada by Canada Post and their isn't any no VIN jiggery-pokery here. So basically you'd want to scour government auctions at all levels and jump on any that come up. IIRC the power train is standard Chevy so easy service
posted by Mitheral at 8:33 PM on July 19, 2014

And this one sold on eBay last month for 10 grand

For this kind of thing you need to check ebay, craigslist, autotrader, at least daily until you get lucky
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:37 PM on July 19, 2014

Just another data point to go with the comments from the Jalopnik article; I have mail carrier friends and they complain about those all the time, they are *not* good vehicles.
posted by thewalledcity at 8:55 AM on July 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Check the auction sites and eBay in the near future. My boyfriend is a mail carrier, and says they are going to be replacing the LLVs with vans for those who mainly have walking routes and not curbside delivery. At least they are in northern climates like ours, as the Jalponik comment said, they are awful in snow. Boyfriend also said you would have to paint it to make it legal to drive, not in official colors.
posted by weathergal at 10:19 AM on July 20, 2014

Thanks all.

I have no illusions about them being well engineered, comfortable, or even barely drivable - this project doesn't involve driving them much.

It looks like getting ahold of one would cost $3500+ (at a minimum, $10k at max), plus transport costs. At this point it's probably easier and cheaper to fab a replica, rather than restore an original.
posted by BenevolentActor at 7:19 PM on July 20, 2014

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