Curbside Classic: 1961-1965 Jeep FJ-3 Fleetvan – Delivered To Your Door

The Jeep FJ-3 Fleetvan used to deliver the mail, but now it’s being delivered. But since this is as close as I’m likely to get to one of these, we’ll use this hulk as a tribute to the little Jeep van. And little it was.

Here’s how it looked in USPS livery. It was first built in 1961, and now that I’ve looked at it, I’m thinking that our featured Fleetvan is not a former USPS van, as it does not have the wide horizontal grille as well as having different turn signal lights and the rear side window is different too. But wait a minute; this FJ-3 doesn’t have the horizontal grille that all the sources say it’s supposed to have.

Like this one. Hmm; maybe there was an early and a late version. Is that the same postman? Looks like it. I guess he was their designated model for photo shoots.

 

Our featured van is right hand drive. I suppose that was available on civilian versions too, perhaps, for those making lots of deliveries. Or maybe this is a former USPS van.

Here’s a graphic showing how this van is of course heavily based on the DJ3A Dispatcher Jeep. It shares the same stubby 81″ wheelbase and narrow track axles, although of course it’s not 4WD.

Here’s the specs.

 

I’m including this shot from a movie just to give some perspective as to just how tiny these were. Total length was 135″, and 64.7″ width. The postal service wasn’t delivering large quantities of packages from Amazon back then. And for that matter, lots of postal delivery was being done from three wheelers, like Cushmans and others.

An impressive array of articulated wipers on the windshield, which was undoubtedly inspired by the GM “fishbowl” bus and others.

This is where the Jeep F-head Hurrican 134 four once resided. Transmission choices were a B/W three speed manual and a B/W automatic.

Here’s the exit. And the cargo area. These Fleetvans were rated to carry 1,000lbs of cargo, so they probably rode a bit stiffly when empty.

Nice badge. These were built in Toledo, Ohio.

Another view of the rolling mail box

Undoubtedly because the FJ-3 had such a limited cargo area, Jeep saw fit to extend the rear overhang by 19″ and call it the FJ-3A.

These were targeted at the civilian market. This sports the classic Jeep grille slots that were used on all the non-USPS versions.

The wide-body FJ6 replaced the FJ3 for the USPS after 1965. Visibility to the curb side was vastly improved too. These were popular as ice cream trucks in their second careers.

I wonder what this Fleetvan’s future holds? Chicken house? Restomod? AirBnB?

 

related:Ā  1963 Studebaker Zipvan