Junkyard Find: 1982 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep
AMC got a (brief) new lease on life in the early 1980s when the French government, via Renault, invested in the staggering Wisconsin car company. Meanwhile, huge purchases of DJ-5s by the US Postal Service also helped prop up the once-proud automaker. The Postal Jeep was a common sight on American roads (and junkyards) for a decade or so after the USPS phased it out, but its bouncy-box-on-wheels ride and two-wheel-drive configuration doomed most examples to The Crusher. Here’s one that I spotted in a Denver self-serve yard last week.
You couldn’t get much more spartan than this: a simple body to keep the rain off the mail, a sorting tray instead of a passenger seat, and sliding doors on both sides.
The pushrod Iron Duke engine ruined just about every vehicle it touched, but it’s perfect for the DJ-5. Who cares that it’s noisy and weak? Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could stay the Iron Duke from the swift completion of its appointed rounds!
This former Fedmobile appears to have spent years, or maybe decades, sitting in a field somewhere, and it still has almost all its USPS gear installed. Perhaps it was bought at auction during the late 1980s and then sat, awaiting the Hell Project upgrades that never came.
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