With a New USPS Truck Announced, Is Now the Time to Start Shopping for an LLV?

Colin
By Colin Wood
Feb 24, 2021 | USPS, Grumman, LLV

Photography Courtesy USPS

The United States Postal Service has chosen Oshkosh Defense's Next Generation Delivery Vehicle to replace the long-in-the-tooth Grumman LLV—replacement process that's expected to take place over the next 10 years.

As the current LLVs are phased out over that 10-year timeframe, they could potentially be sold via government auctions to the public. That means you.

Why would you want an LLV? Perhaps because you're weird like us (one of the most viewed threads on this site asks where to find an LLV for sale), or maybe because it’s powered by the venerable Iron Duke four-cylinder engine—the same powerplant found in the Pontiac Fiero, Chevrolet S-10, and a number of other late-'70s, '80s and early '90s GM products—and the performance possibilities are endless.

At any rate, if you got your hands on an LLV, how would you modify it? We’d love to see one show up to our $2000 Challenge or even the Ultimate Track Car Challenge.

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Comments
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maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/24/21 1:53 p.m.

2030 GRM $2000 Challenge sub-class

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
2/24/21 1:54 p.m.

"LS swap it" is the first thing that comes to mind. It may be a cliche, but it's a cliche because it works. And because, since it's based on an S10, there should be plenty of parts available to do this. Some other possibilities:

  • Pontiac SD4 motor - the race spec version of the Iron Duke.
  • Get an Oldsmobile Bravada AWD parts car, add turbo, build a Syclone-clone.
John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/24/21 2:16 p.m.

Fun fact:  The current LLVs were produced from 1987 - 1994.  The first digit of the vehicle number relates to the year it was built.  So, the model pictured was produced in 1989.  Now, use that knowledge to see how old the truck in your neighborhood really is.  

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/24/21 2:17 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I'm going to have to pay extra attention when the mail comes by to find that out.

Thanks for that fact. smiley

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/24/21 2:17 p.m.

Didn't the man who's office is oval mandate that all new govt vehicles have to be electric?  Including these mail trucks?  

maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/24/21 2:18 p.m.

Holy crap, they're only 2700 lbs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_LLV

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
2/24/21 2:19 p.m.

S-10 chassis , so swapping it to 4wd should be almost a bolt-in thing. LS swap while you're at it..........the ultimate overlanding vehicle?    Maybe not.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/24/21 2:23 p.m.

That thing is just begging for some kind of motorhome conversion. 

maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/24/21 2:36 p.m.
ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
2/24/21 2:37 p.m.

You'd need to cut like 20" out of the height to get it challenge legal :P

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/24/21 2:38 p.m.

Make one into a food truck serving tapas?

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/24/21 2:44 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

You'd need to cut like 20" out of the height to get it challenge legal :P

Or just widen it until the tires sit entirely outside the body and then slam it to just above scraping. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
2/24/21 2:46 p.m.
rslifkin said:
ProDarwin said:

You'd need to cut like 20" out of the height to get it challenge legal :P

Or just widen it until the tires sit entirely outside the body and then slam it to just above scraping. 

So widen it 20" then :P

I can't imagine the slalom times

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/24/21 3:24 p.m.

It's ashame the chassis isn't more rigid, I always wanted to prep one for rallycross. 

Sonic
Sonic UltraDork
2/24/21 3:29 p.m.

I'm looking forward to the first LLV in Lemons. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/24/21 3:32 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Didn't the man who's office is oval mandate that all new govt vehicles have to be electric?  Including these mail trucks?  

These have a path to all being EV and most probably will be EV's

 

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/24/21 3:48 p.m.

It is hard to imagine a worse vehicle for 90% of any use. It is perfect for LeMons and the Challenge, because of the odd intersection of commonality and weirdness... But these things are good for low speed, high durability, and thats about it. Every postal worker I've talked to say they basically suck. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/24/21 3:58 p.m.
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) said:
John Welsh said:

Didn't the man who's office is oval mandate that all new govt vehicles have to be electric?  Including these mail trucks?  

These have a path to all being EV and most probably will be EV's

Yeah, the OshKosh NGDV article says they are available as both battery EVs and ICEs.  It doesn't say which one the government's buying, but this kind of service (local delivery, short trips but with frequent stop/start) is something EVs are really good at.

Also, I suspect the executive order mandate is likely to apply to purchase decisions being started after some date.  Any contract that's been announced today has been in the works for multiple years at least.

 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
2/24/21 4:07 p.m.

I was just thinking the other day about how old these mail trucks must be and wondering what motor they had. The starter must be way overburdened on these.

I would love to have one for some silly reason. It’s close to an Eagle Summit wagon in dimensions. Or a Transit Connect maybe...

earlybroncoguy1
earlybroncoguy1 New Reader
2/24/21 7:19 p.m.

It's a good thing the new ones have A/C because the windshield has more solar area than the Sahara. Plus, holy crap they're ugly.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/24/21 7:24 p.m.

I can't imagine why anyone would want one of those chunks of E36 M3. 

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
2/24/21 7:45 p.m.
Rons said:

Make one into a food truck serving tapas?

In envelopes

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/24/21 8:07 p.m.
earlybroncoguy1 said:

It's a good thing the new ones have A/C because the windshield has more solar area than the Sahara. Plus, holy crap they're ugly.

As for the windshield, it looks that the wipers will only swipe the top half of the windshield and then I'm concerned that if the blower/defrost comes out of the cowl/bottom of windshield, it will only be strong enough to clear the lower half of the windshield.  If the blower/defrost comes out of the top of windshield then the bottom half of windshield will neither be cleared via wiper nor defrost thereby negating the whole extreme visibility thing.  

slowbird
slowbird UltraDork
2/24/21 8:14 p.m.

It looks like there might also be a tiny wiper at the bottom of the windshield? Not sure.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
2/24/21 8:24 p.m.

They are going to be great for Ice cream trucks , 

the driver is even on the  curb side , 

But really the guy that bought the Florida oval track needs to buy 50 of them and rent them out for a race series......

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/24/21 8:40 p.m.

Dose it have wings and rocket boosters like it did in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or was that just for the movie?

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit UltraDork
2/24/21 8:53 p.m.

Mine will be a blown V8 mounted in the rear cargo area, with MASSIVE wheel tubs and drag slicks, the exhaust will exit through the walls,  and at least an 14 inch chop.

 

Paul B

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/24/21 9:00 p.m.

My dad mentioned today he bought 100 shares of Oshkosh stock a while back at like $50. As of today it was like $110.

I was thinking about this the other day when I had to pull my mail-lady's Grumman off of a snowbank she got high-centered on. Those Grumman trucks are still built on an old S-10 chassis, as I recall. I always think that they must be terrible to drive (though, perhaps better than the old Jeeps?)

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/24/21 10:58 p.m.

How secure are the Grummans? In considering it more, they have the potential to be the perfect platform for mobile mechanics to use. 

former520
former520 HalfDork
2/24/21 11:05 p.m.

4x4 conversion for little campers?  Or perfect for a track bike rig.  

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/25/21 7:14 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

Those Grumman trucks are still built on an old S-10 chassis, as I recall. I always think that they must be terrible to drive (though, perhaps better than the old Jeeps?)

IIRC, they're the rear end of a 4wd S10 mated to the front end of a 2wd one (which gives large track width mismatch).  I'm not sure the S10 front end is going to drive much, if any better than an old Jeep.  Both are pretty bad without some work done to them IMO. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
2/25/21 7:38 a.m.

The other possibility is to try to make yourself a homebrew clone of the LLV-R roadster.

maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/25/21 7:58 a.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Oh. My. Gawd. I've never been more inspired in my life.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/25/21 8:12 a.m.
John Welsh said:
earlybroncoguy1 said:

It's a good thing the new ones have A/C because the windshield has more solar area than the Sahara. Plus, holy crap they're ugly.

As for the windshield, it looks that the wipers will only swipe the top half of the windshield and then I'm concerned that if the blower/defrost comes out of the cowl/bottom of windshield, it will only be strong enough to clear the lower half of the windshield.  If the blower/defrost comes out of the top of windshield then the bottom half of windshield will neither be cleared via wiper nor defrost thereby negating the whole extreme visibility thing.  

It is a CGI of the prototype.  It remains to be seen what the final version looks like.  I can imagine the windshield being simplified a lot for production and future replacement cost concerns. 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
2/25/21 8:12 a.m.
rslifkin said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

Those Grumman trucks are still built on an old S-10 chassis, as I recall. I always think that they must be terrible to drive (though, perhaps better than the old Jeeps?)

IIRC, they're the rear end of a 4wd S10 mated to the front end of a 2wd one (which gives large track width mismatch).  I'm not sure the S10 front end is going to drive much, if any better than an old Jeep.  Both are pretty bad without some work done to them IMO. 

I had heard the rear axle was from an Astro, but knowing GM, that cold also be the same as the rear axle of a 4x4 s-10.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
2/25/21 9:12 a.m.
former520 said:

4x4 conversion for little campers?  Or perfect for a track bike rig.  

This was my first thought too, but then I realized how small they actually are. Think Transit Connect, minus any pretense of refinement. I'm also not sure they are capable of interstate speeds, at least not in stock form.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/25/21 9:25 a.m.

It's hard to show in a photo, but one of the worst things of the LLVs driving characteristics is that the front track is narrower than the rear axle/track.  The reality is that the rear tires do not follow in the path of the front tires.  This would probably be horible for off-roading.  

The reason for this narrow front track was to meet the turning radius requirement.  I am not sure of the actual turning radius but the expectation is the LLV can u-turn on a standard 2 lane street.  The reason for this requirement is the driver are very forcible required to never drive in reverse for safety reasons.  

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
2/25/21 10:02 a.m.

Okay, back to build ideas:

Big block. Don't matter what, but what DOES matter is getting the front transaxle from a Toronado to drive the rear wheels and put all the weight back there. WHEELIE TRUCK. Front end hits so hard even looking at it gives someone a concussion.

God the first bids for old LLVs are gonna be NUTS.

 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
2/25/21 11:22 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

My postman will drive up the driveway to deliver packages and then does a three point turn so as not to have to back up

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/25/21 11:41 a.m.

What I'm hearing on this "no backing up" discussion is this: USPS should have spec-ed bigger engines so the drivers could just stomped the throttle and kicked the tail around to make tighter u-turns devil

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
2/25/21 11:46 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

God the first bids for old LLVs are gonna be NUTS.

 

You really think so? I remember going into one of my usual pick-n-pulls almost 20 years ago and there was a whole row of postal Jeeps sitting there, pretty much unmolested for parts. While I can see a few individuals interested in an LLV for the novelty,  the supply ( >100,000 units) should outweigh the demand. But, what do I know. The last serial numbered one could end up at a Barrett-Jackson auction.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
2/25/21 11:54 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

Personally? I think it'll boom, then glut right after when people realize what it is underneath. Guys like Hoovie and Donut garage will buy them for the memes and show just how bad they are, and that's when the prices will seriously fall.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/25/21 12:03 p.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:
GIRTHQUAKE said:

God the first bids for old LLVs are gonna be NUTS.

 

You really think so? I remember going into one of my usual pick-n-pulls almost 20 years ago and there was a whole row of postal Jeeps sitting there, pretty much unmolested for parts. While I can see a few individuals interested in an LLV for the novelty,  the supply ( >100,000 units) should outweigh the demand. But, what do I know. The last serial numbered one could end up at a Barrett-Jackson auction.

I agree. I'm really trying to figure out who would want one. LeMons and Challengers and similar... that would be a few hundred? Max? Then probably some local delivery companies, maybe... But I'd question how these are any better than almost anything else, unless they're just so cheap. Some folks will repurpose them into doughnut trucks or donut trucks or mobile mechanics... But I just am not seeing how these will be desireable to almost anybody. 

They have two things going for them: They're cheap, and they're robust. But they're OLD. And I know that they're reliable, but they're OLD. 

 

So where is the real market for them? How many Cliff Clavins need a new Cliff Clavinmobile?

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
2/25/21 5:39 p.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

In reply to John Welsh :

My postman will drive up the driveway to deliver packages and then does a three point turn so as not to have to back up

I've got a semi-permanent oil spot in my driveway from when they drop off packages at the door!

white_fly
white_fly HalfDork
2/25/21 11:17 p.m.

Chassis swap with a shortened P71? Or normal length fox body.

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