The venerable Grumman LLV mail truck is soon getting its AARP membership card, so the USPS wants to replace it with something a little newer and fancier. You know what that means? Cheap surplus. So what are you going to do with that mail truck you should totally buy?
Over 163,000 LLVs will soon be retired, and many (presumably) will be available for public consumption. Of course, these trucks aren't exactly modern since they're based off the first-generation Chevrolet S10, which dates back to 1982.
They also shared its engine, the infamous 2.5-liter Iron Duke inline-4 which was later replaced with a 2.2 four-pot. Neither are what you'd call, uh, powerful and the three-speed automatic probably doesn't do it any favors in the speed department.
Production began in 1987 and ended in 1994, so even the newest ones are legally able to get a Bud Light at the local pub. But just because they're old, doesn't make them bad. The fact that they've been in service for this damn long is a testament to their remarkable toughness, and I think there's still some life in them.
So in tribute to the LLV, lets figure out the best things to do with the one you're going to buy.
Maybe because I'm a four year old, this was the first thing that sprung to mind. I can't imagine it'd be fast, but the LLV is RWD and is made of aluminum, exactly like a Jaguar F-Type, so maybe it could work.
I'm sure you could bribe the officials at LeMons or ChumpCar to let you run one, or even better would be to create a Spec LLV racing series. Could you imagine how fun that'd be? Spec LLV could merge with Spec Panther to create the ultimate decommissioned government vehicle race series. I'd watch it over F1.
Ok, so even if you don't want to race your LLV, it still could be useful at the track. You won't be able to tow your race car, but you could keep all the spare parts in the back, making it an excellent support vehicle.
The back of an LLV isn't huge, but neither are most Manhattan apartment and yet tons of people live in them. Plus, your new apartment will be smaller and cheaper than most mobile homes and RVs, so it's got that going for it.
Who needs A/C, heat, or a bathroom?
Just add a desk and an LTE hotspot and voila! You've got yourself a mobile office. Get a generator and it's pretty much the same thing as the office you're used to, except it can go pretty much anywhere in the world.
Want to work at the beach today? Of course you do.
You'd be the coolest guy at the trails if you hauled your dirt bike there in a mail truck. There's plenty of room and payload capacity for a small motorcycle and a passenger, and it'd be a hell of a lot easier to drive than a truck with a trailer.
Why waste all your money on an overpriced Nissan Taxi Of Tomorrow, when you could have a Grumman
right now whenever the Government starts selling the surplus?
Just cut some holes in the back for windows (or not), add some seats, paint it yellow and you've got a cab. Sure a modern cab will be more fuel efficient, but are they fuel efficient enough to beat the low price of entry for an LLV?
Food trucks are all the rage in major metropolitan areas, but they all suffer the same problem: they're pretty big. The one thing you don't want in a city is a big vehicle, so your old mail truck will be perfect.
It'd be tight for cooking in the back, but it'd be so worth all the additional customers you could access thanks to your small size. Or, if you're worried about the space, just make it a refrigerated and/or heated delivery truck.
So there's seven amazing ideas, but I'm sure there's many more I'm not clever enough to think of. So what say you, commentariat? What are you going to do with your mail trucks?