With a new postal truck rolling out, here’s how to get yourself a Grumman LLV
Earlier this week (Feb 23,2021) the United States Postal Service awarded a contract to the Oshkosh Corporation to replace the USPS’s aging fleet of Grumman LLV mail trucks, in service since 1987. To speed things up, earlier last year, the USPS awarded Mercedes a contract to replace up to 10 percent of existing Grumman LLVs.
That means the USPS is beginning the slow process of scraping and junking its fleet of Grumman LLVs. So, how do you get yourself one of these Long Life Vehicles for yourself? I’ve got bad news and good news.
The Bad news
The truth you probably don’t want to hear is the USPS will probably send most of those 140,000 Grumman LLVs to the junkyard where they’ll be crushed and recycled for scrape metal.
I reached out to the USPS for an official statement on the fate of these LLVs and, according to PR Rep Kim Frum,
“We are developing a plan to dispose of the LLVs. There are no other details available at this time.”
Read into that statement as much or as little as you want.
The Grumman LLV has one optimized purpose, to deliver mail and not to serve as a passenger car.
In their current, run-down form, LLVs are dangerous and unfit in modern traffic for the average commuter. Equipped with the infamous Iron Duke four-cylinder and a three-speed automatic, these 33-year-old mail trucks probably put down 60 HP to the wheels brand new. Today, who knows how fast they are.
Before mail deliverers can even drive these, they need to be certified and pass a behind-the-wheel test. Sure, it only takes an afternoon, but this is no ordinary truck. It’s right-hand drive, has limited visibility, and is inherently slow.
Equipment-wise, they have no airbags, no air conditioning, and zero creature comforts besides a fan.
Mail carriers have gone on record saying while around town driving was bearable, driving an LLV on the highway shouldn’t even be legal.
“The sluggish acceleration, deafening noise and harsh vibration were all bad enough, but knowing the body of that vehicle would crush like a soda can in an accident is what made it such a frightening experience.“
The cherry on the **** cake is they are increasingly catching on fire. It’s seriously an upward trend. Last year alone, 24 Grumman LLVs burned to a crisp.
Logically, in its 33 year history, surely the USPS would’ve auctioned a handful, but when was the last time you saw a decommissioned Grumman LLV driving around?
The Good news
It’s not entirely impossible to get a Grumman LLV USPS postal truck. There are a few isolated cases in my research of these Grumman LLVs making their way to the public.
Your best and most legal bet to source one of these USPS Mail Trucks is Government auctions. The most popular sites include Govdeals.com and Govplanet.com. You can also monitor auctions on your state, county, and city level, just to be sure.
There’s this lone listing back in 2013 of a 1991 Grumman LLV Mail Truck making its way to the public. With 230,000 web hits, it seems to be the most famous internet auction of one. So it has happened before.
Another source to find one of these is Grumman LLVs are ones sold to Universities and colleges to deliver on-campus mail. You’d have to do your research, phoning or e-mail large universities asking what kind of delivery vehicles they have and what happens to them when they’re retired.
Corvette engine aficionado David Stacy infamously sourced his Grumman LLV from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. That LLV made the internet rounds for having a Corvette engine swapped in.
You also might try your luck sourcing one from a film studio. Film studios routinely have Grumman LLVs as prop vehicles for movies, commercials etc. UK based electric conversion company, Classic and Electric Vehicles sourced a brand new one to be used as a prop for a potential EV conversion back in 2019.
You can also join a dedicated Grumman delivery vehicle enthusiast group either on a forum or even on Facebook. Here’s one for Metro, Grumman, & Vintage Step Vans.
In the discussions there’s a good chance a Grumman LLV will pop up for sale or someone might have a lead.
Another source you’ll have a good chance finding a Grumman LLV mail truck is by word of mouth and some pavement pounding.
USPS Postal Service vehicles aren’t supposed to stop for more than 10 minutes at any one time if they’re on the clock.
If you’re driving around and you keep seeing a Grumann LLV postal truck parked, there’s a good chance it’s not in service and made its way into the public. Now’s your chance to write a friendly note and contact information on a piece of paper, leave it on the LLV, and hope for the best.
If you’re in good speaking terms with your mail carrier, offer him a cold drink and ask him if they have leads on these broken down Grumman LLVs. They very well might have some insider info of an errant Grumman LLV that slipped through the cracks and was spotted at a junkyard used by the USPS somewhere.
Finally, members of the USPS maintenance division surely know where most of these Grummans end up. If you really want one, it’s up to you to contact someone in said division and let your desire to buy one be known. They’ll probably tell you to get lost but someone might be kind and tip you off to a Grumman LLV lurking around.
If you really want a USPS Grumman LLV, if you’re resourceful enough, you’ll make it happen.
Any other potential leads for one you might know? Let me know in the comments.