Junkyard Find: 1972 AM General DJ-5B "Mail Jeep"
US Postal Service-surplus right-hand-drive DJ-5s were once cheap and plentiful. Actually, they’re still cheap and plentiful. Some got converted to four-wheel-drive, some got used as farm vehicles, some ended up as urban hoopties… and many of them were bought cheap at auction and then sat for decades, awaiting a project that never got started. Here’s a 40-year-old mail carrier that looks like it went right from the post office to the junkyard. Quite a few rural routes in Wyoming and northern Colorado are handled by non-USPS-employee subcontractors who drive their own vehicles, so it’s possible that this Jeep stayed on the job well into the 21st century.
You get a steel box on wheels with a handy mail-sorting shelf next to the driver’s seat, which is located at just the right height for rural mailboxes.
AM General went through quite a few engines for the DJ series. This one has an AMC six, but DJs were also built with GM Iron Dukes, Willys Hurricanes, and even Audi-via-AMC 2-liter fours.
The instrumentation is elegant, but we must report that the DJ-5 suffers from understeer at the limit. In fact, it suffers from upside-down steer at the limit.
Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.
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