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Good Studebaker mention in Postal Jeeps article

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  • Good Studebaker mention in Postal Jeeps article

    Nice Studebaker inclusion:

    https://56packardman.com/2018/10/02/...ay-usps-jeeps/

    BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    Yes, and within it there is a link to a previous article on the Zip Vans.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      I wonder what fevered thoughts the Studebaker design staff were dreaming up as they all developed the Zip-Van using not even coin-shaped lint as their budget? Was it to provide some of the despondent workers with steady work? To send off the automotive business in a somewhat dignified fashion? Inquiring minds want to know.
      Jake Robinson Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

      1962 GT Hawk - "Daisy-Mae" - she came dressed to kill in etherial green with a charming turquoise inside. I'm hopelessly in love!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Stude Shoo-wop! View Post
        I wonder what fevered thoughts the Studebaker design staff were dreaming up as they all developed the Zip-Van using not even coin-shaped lint as their budget? Was it to provide some of the despondent workers with steady work? To send off the automotive business in a somewhat dignified fashion? Inquiring minds want to know.
        Not sure this answers your question. One has to place events in historical context. From the Stude truck history on the SDC web site:

        "In late 1963, it won another Government contract, this time for 4,238 postal delivery vans for the U.S. Post Office. These postal vehicles, designated as model 8E5FC (FC for forward control), were called Zip-Vans in production, and were a very different job than assembling Army trucks. The Zip-Vans were a Studebaker design, and used the Studebaker Champ 6-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, frame, suspension, and steering components, and the Transtar instrument cluster. The bodies were built by Met-Pro of Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Because of the considerable truck division effort in their design and development, it’s probably a safe assumption that the company took considerable satisfaction in winning this particular contract.

        Unfortunately, by that time, it was too little, too late. The company had a large inventory of unsold 1964-model cars, and another 3,000 leftover 1963s. The banks had already loaned the company $16.5 million and would not agree to loan any more to cover the losses of the automotive division without more collateral, something to which the board of directors would not agree. On December 7, 1963, the board decided to close the South Bend plant and build Lark-type passenger cars (only) in the Hamilton plant. That meant the end of Studebaker truck production and the abandonment of plans for a next-generation Avanti and a new line of trucks."
        Skip Lackie

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        • #5
          Shoo- I am of course wasn’t there at the time. But I would have thought they were doing what any struggling and failing company would do: try anything they can to turn around their fortunes. They had already been doing that for many years; the Lark was a great example of this – basically chopping the ends off an existing car to make a compact.

          For probably the last 15 years of their existence, they got by using clever, low-budget changes. Some worked for a while, some did not. In the end, none of it was enough.
          Proud NON-CASO

          I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

          If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truthlet me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

          GOD BLESS AMERICA

          Ephesians 6:10-17
          Romans 15:13
          Deuteronomy 31:6
          Proverbs 28:1

          Illegitimi non carborundum

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          • #6
            As I recall reading in Turning Wheels, the Zip Van was not a Studebaker design, but conceived by the USPS. Met-Pro reportedly got the contract because that area of PA was economically depressed at the time, according to the article. There were numerous parts unique to the Zip Van, and had some features on it that were never available on any other Studebaker that the USPS required such as a back-up warning buzzer. After Studebaker stopped producing the Zip-Van, Off-Highway Products continued to produce a very similar appearing postal van for the USPS. If the USPS didn't 'own' the design rights for it, Studebaker could have put it on the market for commercial sale.

            Craig

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            • #7
              It would not be unusual for a government contract to include language to the effect that the government owns the design, since they paid for it to be created. If they own the design, they can then contract with other companies to continue production if the first company gets too expensive, or goes out of business.
              Mark L

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              • #8
                I only saw one Zip van in use. It was delivering mail to my high school in 1966. I saw it out by the curb as I walked by the school office.
                james r pepper

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                • #9
                  Jim,

                  Check your PMs.

                  Jon Kammer

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