Friday, February 26, 2016

US Mail Truck Specs

usps mail truck specs engine post office grumman llv random automotive dylan benson














If you live in the United States, you see these everywhere: the US Postal Service Mail Truck. Recently, I have been very curious about what these things actually are. I mean, no one else uses them, so I had to know what makes them so special. Turns out they actually have a name: the Grumman LLV. 

LLV stands for Long Life Vehicle, and that is exactly what they were designed to do. The USPS (back in the 1980s) presented a list of requirements to anyone interested in making the next postal vehicle to replace the Jeeps they used before. The Smithsonian Postal Museum has that list:

  • Drive 5,760 miles on a closed loop 5-mile-long paved road at 50 to 55 mph 
  • Drive 11,520 miles over a gravel road at 30 to 45 mph 
  • Drive 2,880 miles over a road with a shoulder, stopping every 250 feet and accelerating to 15 mph in between 
  • Drive 960 miles over cobblestones that ranged from 3 to 4 inches high at 10 to 14 mph
  • Drive 960 miles over potholes at 10 to 14 mph 
  • Haul a 1-ton pound load during one half of the road test 
  • Haul a man and a 400 pound load during one half of the road test 
  • Drive over potholes ensuring that each wheel hits a pothole 35,000 times 
  • Make one hundred consecutive stops from 15 mph 

If you think about it, these things basically had to be tanks, and they had to be tanks for a long time. Eventually, a company named Grumman Corporation won the contract, and the first LLV was placed into service in 1986. The last one was made in 1994. Yes, that means every mail truck (LLV style) that you see on the road is at least 22 years old. 

The lifespan was originally slated to be 24 years. In 2009, the USPS changed that to 30 years. 

While these were made by an aircraft engineering company that doesn’t exactly exist anymore (it is now part of the well known Northrop Grumman), they are pretty much a Chevy S10/Blazer under the aircraft-like, sheet metal exterior. 

The chassis was made by General Motors, and based off of the 2WD Blazer and S10. The front suspension and instrument cluster are similar to the S-10 as well. The engine first put into the trucks was the 2.5L “Iron Duke”, and then later a General Motors 2.2L I-4 iron block/aluminum head engine. This is paired with a 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic 180 automatic transmission. 

One would think that these would be a little more fuel efficient, but apparently they are only supposed to get around 17 miles per gallon. With the constant stop a go they are put through, it is said they get closer to 10. I guess that we have to keep in mind that these were designed at a time when MPGs were not the most standard three letters in average conversation. Let’s also keep in mind that we are talking about the US government. They always have money.

usps mail truck specs engine post office grumman llv random automotive dylan benson

Here are some basic specs: 

Engine: GM Iron Duke
Transmission: 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic 180 automatic transmission 

Horsepower: About 90hp
0-60 MPH: Approximately 17 seconds
Top Speed: Supposedly about 75 MPH 

Wheelbase: 8 ft 4.5 in (2.553 m)
Length: 14 ft 7.5 in (4.458 m)
Width: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Height: 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)
Curb weight: 2,700 lb (1,200 kg)

usps mail truck specs engine post office grumman llv random automotive dylan benson
Best picture I could find of the engine.  It's of the one I found for sale.
The power and speed specs were gathered from random sources like forums, but they seem accurate. These trucks were built for reliability, hauling, and stuff like that, not quarter mile drag racing. Though, that would be interesting to see. 

Fun fact: I found one for sale online, and the VIN was supplied. When I looked up the VIN, it came back as an S10 pickup. Most places I looked it up though, it said something along the lines of, “please enter a valid VIN”. 

These little trucks will be going away though. In mid 2015, the US Government started looking for a contract to start replacing the long serving Grumman LLV. Canada, which apparently uses these as well, has started replacing them with Ford Transit Connect vans. The USPS has been starting to use more minivans in its fleet, but the LLV is slated to go bye-bye. 

I am curious to see what will happen to them. Who knows if they will be trashed or scrapped, sold at auction, or none of the above? It would be interesting to see these US government vehicles sitting next to Humvees also being sold at an auction. Time will tell. Until then, where’s my mail? 

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

How To Own A New Ford GT


2017 ford gt price qualifications application how to own supercar the random automotive dylan benson














So, you’ve come here because you want to own one of the simply incredible new Ford GTs, right? You have the $400,000 needed, so you’re set, right? Not quite.

Ford is going to make potential owners of the of the new super cars apply online. In doing so, they will be asked a series of questions and have to meet certain criteria. I recently was watching a video from SuperSpeedersRob where the owner, Rob Ferretti, talks about wanting to get one, and what you have to do to get one. Basically, there seem to be four points:
  1. You have to sign a legal document that states you will not sell the car for a certain period of time. 
  2. You have to prove that you will actually drive the car. 
  3. You have to show that you have owned previous Fords in the past. 
  4. You have to have a large social media following.
This is very strange, but I kind of like it. I am a huge Ford fan, and I like that Ford is only letting certain people own these cars. However, if you have the money, you should be able to get what you want, and do with it what you want. 

Regardless, let’s take a look at these points. 

The first one is to help ensure that someone won’t buy one (or more) of the limited 250 cars being produced, and then mark it up for a profit. I get that. Ford wants people to own the car who want the car, not a profit. 

The driving part is actually shocking, but I love it. Cars, regardless of price or quality, are built to be driven, and Ford wants the GT driven. I am not sure how they will monitor this, but it’s a pretty bold statement. Especially for people who want to keep the miles off. I’m sure Ford won’t make you drive it 10,000 miles per year, but knowing it will be on the road is pretty amazing. 

Brand loyalty is important to every company, so showing that you have owned (I’m assuming high-end) Fords in the past is not a bad thing. It’s a good way to “give back” to loyal customers. Well, loyal customers that happen to have a lot of money. 

The social media aspect I do not agree with. My reason is simple: I don’t like showoffs. I get that Ford wants people to see their cars, and what better way than with people posting on social media? However, I am sure there is a very humble rich person out there who meets every other criteria, but doesn’t like to brag and play the “look what I have and you don’t” game. I hope a person like that isn’t out of getting one of these cars simply for that. 

“There’s a loyal following to the car,” Raj Nair, Ford’s product chief, said in an interview. “We want to prioritize people who are going to care about the car, keep the car and drive the car.” 

While this is a strange concept, it is an interesting one none the less. It is one that I actually like. It will assure these cars, that are built to be driven, will actually be driven! What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! 

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Rotting in Style - 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five (Limo)

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy














It seems like every post recently starts the same: “It’s been a while since I posted a car…” You know what? It’s been a while since I posted a car. However, I’m feeling fancy, so let’s get fancy with this 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five (limo). That’s right. The car that looks like something a past President would have driven in. (Apparently an ex-president of South Africa did).

Definitely not in its current state though. While it may look fine from a distance, aside from the fact that its ass is on the ground, up close reveals that neglect is taking its toll. While it’s not THAT bad, the paint is starting to rust in some parts, as well as some of the chrome.

Speaking of the outside, this is a lot of Cadillac. We’re talking a length of 244.5 inches. That’s over twenty feet long! If that wasn’t enough, she’s got a curb weight of over 5450 pounds. That’s a big girl. However, under the hood is a 429 cubic inch V8 that makes an advertised 340 horsepower. Apparently it’s enough to propel all that from zero to sixty in about ten seconds. Crazy, right?

It is a limo, so what about this inside? Well, it’s a bit worse than the outside. It’s ripped, torn, pitted, dirty, and so on, but this is Rotting in Style! That’s just the way I like it.

It has quite a bit. There are footrests that can turn into jump seats. There are temperature controls, window controls, partition controls, and perhaps an ejector seat button? While I like my idea better, apparently that’s part of the AM radio control system. I believe that and the partition (and partition controls obviously) where options, because I didn’t see them in pictures of all the Fleetwood Seventy-Fives when I was doing research.

Up front is a typical 1960s Cadillac look. There are a couple extra buttons, switches, and dials that I am not sure about, but hey, it’s a limo. Even the driver seat is one long, comfy bench.

While I don’t think this car will be toting around the rich and famous any time soon in its current condition, it still has that timeless automotive fashion as sit here, Rotting in Style.

What to see more “I’m so fancy” cars like this? Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by.





1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

1967 cadillac fleetwood seventy-five 75 limo abandoned retro ridez garage db productions rotting in stye dylan benson gm chevy

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