Arizona Special Delivery: 1977 Jeep DJ-5F

This isn’t a crazy custom job like the former postal Jeep that we saw back on, oddly enough, April 1st. This 1977 Jeep DJ-5F is a blank slate for the next owner. It’s on Craigslist in Duluth, Minnesota for $2,995. This Jeep is from Phoenix, AZ and the seller says that it’s not rotten, which I’m assuming means no rust!

I still remember growing up on the outskirts of the city, on a gravel road, ahhh… the country life. We knew our mailman (they weren’t “postal carriers” in the 1960s and 1970s) by name and he was more of a friend than just a mailman. We’d see him every day when we were outside playing, something that kids rarely even do anymore. Remember those days? Back when you probably had one rotary-dial phone in the kitchen, before every kid “needed” a $100 a month smart phone like kids seem to absolutely have to have today? This is just a guess, but could that be why they don’t go outside and just goof around anymore? Just a theory…

Then, one day there was a note in the mailbox saying that they were switching to smaller Jeeps in place of the cool vans that they were using, in the name of better MPG and saving money. We all had to move our mailboxes down a few inches because the new Jeeps were much lower than the vans were. You can see that this one is right-hand drive, as most of them were, and you can also see that the interior will need some work. Hopefully desert rats and mice haven’t been in there, but I’m assuming the worst.

The simple dash layout looks nice and clean and being an Arizona vehicle, I’m surprised to not see a cracked steering wheel after 4 decades, but maybe it was parked inside for all those years. The flooring looks fairly tore’d up, as they say.. but since this one supposedly isn’t rotten with rust, the next owner should be able to strip it out and replace the flooring with whatever they want in there. I’d put down a layer of Dynamat first, but that’s just me.

I think there’s an engine under that unbelievable tangle of wires and hoses! WOW! I’m hoping that the famous desert rodents haven’t gotten into things as far as the wiring goes. The seller mentions that it “runs, needs some misc work”, but they don’t elaborate on exactly what work it needs. There’s an AMC straight-six under there, somewhere, and it’s backed up by a 727 TorqueFlite automatic. The air cleaner isn’t original, of course, and I’d sure want to clean things up under that hood. Have any of you owned a former postal vehicle of any kind?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Bill

    High rate of roll-overs in these. I wouldn’t have one around unless it was as a rural work horse.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Most of the incidents concerning these in my neck of the woods were not roll-overs, but flopped onto their sides. Rural route carriers would get too close to culverts/ditches with them and tip them over. The center of gravity with these is really not high enough to roll them over….they just flop onto their side. Unlike my brother’s CJ5, which i rolled in the city….breaking my tailbone. I still hear about that one at holiday dinners :(

    • DAN

      no THEY DID NOT,LOL

  2. LAB3

    A friend is a retired rural carrier and had one of these until last summer. It had a fiberglass body which kept it looking presentable but with about 100k the four banger in it finally let go. Parts are still available out of a junk yard out of Alabama but he passed it along to someone (19 yr old) who was willing to bring a hauler 400 miles to buy it for 500 bucks. Apparently there’s a cult following for these. Who knows, this might be an investment grade vehicle!

  3. Mike Layton

    Back in the late 70’s there was a company in Riverside CA that converted postal CJ5’s back to a more conventional package . Memory serves me right , these were available in left hand operation as well as four wheel drive models .

  4. Don

    My small hometown had electric 3 wheeled carts when I was a kid in the 70s that delivered mail .

  5. Steve

    I had a dj5. Great little truck. Mine had a 4cly. I put nice buckets in it. It was a blast to drive. That tough little truck would go anywhere.

  6. DrinkinGasoline

    On the topic of USPS vehicles…the USPS is getting geared up to retire/replace most of the current delivery vehicles (based on shortened S-10 frames and drive-trains) for a new vehicle. Might be a good time to look at getting one on the cheap.

    USPS Awards $37.4M for Next-Gen Vehicle Prototypes

    http://www.government-fleet.com/list/tag/usps.aspx

    I personally am going to seek one out for use on my land. I’ve never seen one stuck, at least not around here. A foot of snow and i still get my mail :)

    • jackthemailman

      You’d be an absolute fool to buy one of those LLVs. Way over 100000 miles on a Chevy 4 cylinder S-10 and an aluminum body “built” by Grumman. I think I’d rather drive a Yugo.

      • Johnny Mailman B

        We actually add ballast to our fleet in winter snow conditions along with tire chains to aid traction, the LLV is horrible in snow!

    • George

      Most LLV’s have had the engines, transmissions, differentials and even full frames replaced already, so just ask for a look at the service history. I should know, that is my job!

      • jackthemailman

        You obviously never worked on any I drove. I wish you had. To Johnny Mailman B: I asked a Supervisor to go out as “dead weight” for traction — got refused: “Too cold!”

    • Don

      Ur really high octane dude

  7. johnny garofalo

    brought one at a dealers auction years ago for $250.00 drove it to the used car lot , i didnt care the way it handel felt like it was gonna roll over on me right hand drive it sold fast quick flip for $850.00

  8. DrinkinGasoline

    They don’t roll…..they flop. Drive accordingly.

    • jackthemailman

      Back when we still drove ’em (Pre-’88), ours had warnings on the dash “DO NOT EXCEED 45 MPH.”

      • boxdin

        I’ve got a buddy who put a 454 in one of these. He owns a boneyard and got bored. Most unstable vehicle I’ve seen.

  9. Terry J

    What could you possibly do to one of these? Saw this picture the other day. :-) Terry J

    Like 1
    • Don

      Express mail , probly blow the doors off of a UPS van🚐

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I guess the pic explains one of the possibilities….

  10. Trent Poole

    Jim Stuart of Stone Cold Customs found a good use for a Jeep Dj. We helped him with the weather stripping for it. It was a nice build that he displayed at The S.E.M.A. show in Las Vegas.

  11. Graham Line

    The 4-cyl version was nicer to drive — at least as nice as these got. Less weight up high in the nose. At the same general time, USPS had some lightweight vans that were about four feet wide and six feet tall, The DJs felt like a Healey compared to those.

    Perfect for the person with a giant estate and paved paths to get around on . . .

    I’m still looking for the RHD AMC Ambassadors the post office had. Wagons and four-door sedans, generally used by special delivery when that was a thing.

    • Brakeservo

      Why a RHD Ambassador? I thought I was the only American who prefers RHD, in my case cuz I’m deaf on the right side ‘n that way I can hear my passenger! Actually Hollywood director John Huston always ordered his new Rolls Royces in Beverly Hills for exactly the same reason.

  12. boxdin

    The Iron Duke used in these is supposed to be the hot block to build for a great 4 cyl Fiero.

    • M1008

      Hahahaha you said “great 4 cyl Fiero”

  13. healeydays

    Drove one of these during the summers of 77 & 78 as I was able to get a job a summer hire delivering mail. It might have been a Jeep in name, but that was it.

  14. jwinters

    “There’s an AMC straight-six under there, somewhere, and it’s backed up by a 727 TorqueFlite automatic”
    That looks like a 4 cylinder to me…..

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