Haulin’… Mail: 1971 Jeep DJ Custom

Have you been hankerin’ to get your junk mail even quicker? Well, fret no more, this 1971 Jeep DJ Custom ride will deliver the goods. This cool custom can be found on Craigslist for $4,500 and the seller says that it’s FAST! I don’t doubt that one bit. It’s located in the Isanti, Minnesota area. You’ll be haulin’ more than mail with this thing.

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” And, I mean swift! This sweet little mail box is titled and fully-insured and can be driven every day, but you can see that it should be tidied up a bit to really wow the car show crowds.

I’m not sure if the seller is a recent tech-school photo degree graduate, or maybe they do wedding photos on the side? Or, maybe they operated a camera while filming the old Batman series on TV where everything was at an angle (like most wedding photos are now, apparently that’s a “modern, fresh look”), but showing your vehicle at an angle may not be the best way to show it off. Just an observation.

That being said, most likely unnecessarily, this really is a cool vehicle and the owner/seller has done a lot of custom work here! It’s “sitting on a shortened 99 S10 frame”. Not to mention its “built 10 bolt rear end, traction bars, driveshaft hoop, aluminum floor, and a lot more too much to list.”

With a little work this could really be a cool custom, even more so than it is now in its rugged-but-still-cool state. No third pedal here, this “transmission is a heavy built turbo 350”.  The seats aren’t made for cross-country duty, but they should work around town, or 1/4-mile at a time…

That’s not an AMC engine! This is “a 400 horse small block Chevy 383 stroker engine.” For a vehicle that originally weighed 1,550 pounds soaking wet, that’s a lot of power, to say the least. Have you ever made a crazy custom like this? This seems like a lot of vehicle and a lot of custom fabrication for $4,500, doesn’t it?

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Comments

  1. Chuck Cobb

    little crude, but basic concept pretty cool. Bet it is a scooter. Hinge the doors at the rear, put some rear fender flares on it, and “some” front fenders. Zoom Zoom
    What about ackerman principle in the steering?

  2. RT

    This thing looks like a piece of junk and is not worth even a dollar.

  3. Don

    I think it would look better as a hot rod ,you no nice painted body ,no dings and dents,just can’t really get into the rat rod thing.

  4. DAN

    no RHD
    took the only thing cool about the Dj out………….lol
    hoaky ass job,would not risk life on even a test drive
    some people should not wrench on motor vehicles
    someone gona die!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. boxdin

    A buddy of mine owned a boneyard and put a 454 chevy in one of these w stock frame. The MOST unstable vehicle I have ever seen.

  6. Sam

    Good idea…dicey execution. Do some work and go “Legend” racing. Maybe add a “Zip postman” decal.

  7. That Guy

    I foresee a new Hot Wheels car coming soon. 😀

  8. Wagon master

    Cool custom?!?! This is a perfect example of why inbreeding should be illegal ….

    • Don

      Your going to make his uncle dad mad man🍺

  9. Jeffro

    Wonder what the balls to horsepower ratio is to drive this is?

  10. KevinW

    I used to run a parts cleaner route and one of my stops was a postal service garage. I asked the mechanic about the chassis on these jeeps, and was told they all were on an S10 frame, but had a Monte Carlo rear axle to give it a wider, more stable track.

    • John

      The current LLV made by Grumman is the one built on the Chev S-10 chassis. The Postal Jeeps had a mixture of motors, some were 4 cyl GMs, some were AMC straight 6s, some had Audi 4 cyl motors. All were built on AMC Chassis which were manufactured to Postal Service specs. There were few parts that were interchangeable with civilian Jeep products. All were right hand drive. They were quite unstable vehicles at anything more than 45-50 mph although many were driven well in excess of that speed. The tops were a composite plastic. There was little or no interior, one ultilitarian plastic covered seat and a mail-tray with a flat “dash”. There was originally a requirement that when they were retired and sold to non-Postal types they were sold for parts only and were not to be relicensed for operation on public roadways. However, some were sold to Rural carriers who then resold them to the general public. They were dangerous vehicles to drive.

      • Newtown Jack

        In Bridgeport, CT – the local fleet of these were repainted in pastel colors and sold to the public (ready to drive) – a few were used for pizza delivery.

      • Johnny Mailman B

        Drove one for many years till mine was replaced by the current LLV, John is correct in his post, the audi powered ones were pretty quick. I would extend the front end out past the grill like a T-bucket, maybe hang a moon tank up there….I dig it.

      • Kerri

        I’ve got a ’70 model, it’s all steel construction including the roof, etc, the 3 doors alone on this thing weigh a ton, very solid but very top heavy hence amputation, lol. Mine has a Chevy 153 which was also in the Nova, coupled to a 2 speed auto trans. I believe 1970 was the only year with this configuration, but I may be wrong. I’m in Australia so the RHD is a positive.

    • DAN

      not the dj5’s
      had D44 rear
      amc frames
      amc 4-6 and audi motors

  11. Scott M

    I like the rear wheel of the pickup in the first picture- the Jeep be winkin’, LOL!

  12. Peter

    Where did this weight-spec. come from?

    “For a vehicle that originally weighed 1,550 pounds soaking wet….”

    Since a modern (i.e., 1987-1995) Jeep YJ weights approx. 3,000lbs, even with the mail Jeeps lack of a front drive axle (because they’re actually only 2×4’s) I can’t imagine how they could weigh much less than 3,000 lbs.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

      Ugh, my mistake, Peter! I was in the kilogram world there.. 3,200 pounds!

      • Peter

        Hey, Scotty,

        No problem! (Re: “Ugh, my mistake, Peter! I was in the kilogram world there.. 3,200 pounds!”)

        Actually, your use of the metric system just means that you actually got an education! LOL In public school, in the U.S., the teachers only THREATENED to make us learn the metric system–we dreaded it, for years, but it never came to pass.

        I’m thinking you went to a GOOD public school–possibly even outside the US?

        Wait–I’m a bit overly-harsh on my school: in certain circles, certain individuals sold certain…items…that we measured in grams. So, certain students actually DID learn (part of) the metric system…just not in the classroom.

        Btw–are you the same “Scotty” as “Scotty Gilbert” on BF? Because I’m a longtime fan of that guy!

        Peter

  13. Bob Hess

    Hate to get into this but with the channeled body, beefed up wide suspension in the rear and the double a-arm setup in front, this guy should handle like a sports car. Low center of gravity, lots of rubber on the ground etc. makes the stock mail unit look like a big wheel bicycle. Stock units weren’t far from early Jeeps and they didn’t handle worth a flying flip. I’ve had race cars with suspension not that sophisticated (and still do) and they do just fine, thank you.

  14. Porpet65

    Wow, a driveshaft hoop! Impressive

    • racer99

      Would have been more impressive if it was sized correctly and in the right place. It’s supposed to keep the front of the driveshaft from digging into the ground or coming through the tunnel if the front u-joint comes apart — this one will do neither.

  15. Peter

    Yeah, here’s (a relevant) weight, from Edmunds, on a 1990 Jeep Wrangler, with an inline four cylinder–and I thought all those postal Jeeps had the 258 cu. in. inline six–but I could be wrong about that.

    Anyway, the weight of a four cyl., 1990 Jeep Wranger, is 2936 lbs.
    Link: https://www.edmunds.com/jeep/wrangler/1990/features-specs/

    So I fail to see how this U.S. Mail Jeep could weigh anything close to as little as the claimed 1,550 lbs.

    And I realize the floor is now aluminum, but still, that would not account for a 50% weight reduction.

    And I agree with what Porpet65 said –

    “Wow, a driveshaft hoop! Impressive”

    With a 383 stroker, and an aluminum floor, I think a SCATTERSHIELD would be as high a priority as a driveshaft hoop–higher, actually.

  16. Howard A Member

    Years ago, I knew someone that bought an old postal Jeep, because ” they always wanted a 4 wheel drive Jeep”. I said, “um, did you actually look under the front to make sure it was 4 wheel drive?” You can imagine their shock, when they saw no drive axle up front. They thought all Jeeps were 4 wheel drive. True story. This contraption is great. I love it. You naysayers, for shame. This is what America is all about. At least the America I remember. Putting fire-breathing V8’s in postal Jeeps,,,,beautiful.

  17. Doug Towsley

    Mail trucks can be FUN!.. here is a crappy pix of mine,,I have more in another box, but this is what I can access tonight. So, this one looks interesting, Needs some more work IMHO but if the work was done right there is a lot of money already in performance parts, (if that motor checks out, price what it costs to build a stroker SBC 383)
    So (All about me right?) Here is the story on mine. This picture was when I was selling mine. I owned it for 3 years which was 2 years 6 months longer than I intended.
    But it turned out to be a very useful vehicle. It was still in Postal colors but had some rusty & crusty Cragar SS Mags on it. A lunatic I worked with at a Aerospace manufacturer had it.
    He was looking to sell. I talked him down to $800. I bought it to flip and to get the rear end out of it. My plan was to buy it, swap rear ends and resell but it took me longer than I expected due to having to move (twice) and getting settled and starting my shop. It was a strange mix of Ford and some Mopar parts and some of the gearheads I know puzzled over it as except for the Cragars it was stock from Mail service. I later found 3 more like it but didnt buy them but I did try.
    It was RH drive (Mommy side) Had a Ford Straight 6 and auto trans, The box was a LOT of room and very handy as I hauled a lot of stuff with it. The back door was a wood & metal roll up door like a garage door. First thing I did was picked up some 1970s Van or RV Captains chairs at a swap meet. (We were Groovin’! ) and then a loud stereo, with YES,, 6x9s in speaker boxs in 4 corners. (We liked to play Peter Gunn with the windows rolled down) One of the secretary’s at work.. (We call them Cougars now days) liked me and flirted often.
    She suggested I start a “Service business” and paint “US Male” on the sides. Wink wink….
    So, it DID look kind of shabby though, while still US Postal colors and stripes it had some surface rust at the seams and just looked bad. Being a little OCD I did a quicky paint job using Jobber shop materials. It ended up as FAR MORE work than it seemed worth but it looked WAY Better. I also sandblasted the crappy chrome off the Cragars at work, And painted them with a good urethane and clear. Bought new stainless lug nuts and looked pretty decent.
    But while VERY handy for many things, It was VERY VERY UNSTABLE to drive over 50 mph. On a Motorcycle we would call it a Tank Slapper,, this thing would start wobbling and weaving over 50 and many white knuckle experiences when it did. I found a Maverick rear end the right width and pulled the rear. I still have it and pulled it out of storage the other day.
    (its going in my prewar rat rod coupe). Why so much trouble for a rear end? Because its a Ford 9″ Detroit locker with a 3 series Ring and pinion. I eventually sold it to some guys from India and they were going to use it for a carpet cleaning and service type business. It was a lot of fun. Quite an adventure to own it.

  18. Doug Towsley

    I meant to add on mine it was basically Ford, but there was some AMC and Mopar parts on it which spurred hours of debate with gearhead friends. Both front doors were sliders like a UPS Truck. I often drove with the doors open. The back door like I said was a roll up but there was lots of signs NOT to drive with it open. I looked into upgrading suspension due to instability, But my friends also thought I SHOULD hot rod it, I looked into swapping in a V8 but i had too many other projects.
    I bought it for $800, kept the 9″ Ford Detroit Locker, Captains chairs, stereo, lug nuts, battery, new lug nuts and fender skirts. Paint and body. All told I had under $1500 in it (Admittedly a lot of labor) But I sold it for $2500 and got great use out of it for 3 years. Not a big money maker but I still call it a win. My buddy who was a Ford fanatic convinced me of its value. He insisted that all Govt vehicles usually got the best parts and that rear end would have all the heavy duty parts. I think its a 3:70? 9″ fords are not as valuable as they once were but still,,, It was fun. I think I sold it around 1995. Would love to know where it is today out of curiosity.

  19. racer99

    Just not sure on the quality of work on this one. If the chassis is decent then it could be a fun vehicle. If it’s butched together than it could be a death trap at anything over 40 mph. Several of the visual clues lead me to choice #2.

    1
  20. MRE2ME

    I’ve read all the comments regarding lack of safety with this thing,but I’m still drooling-ME WANT!

    1
  21. slickimp

    That’s a big LOL

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