Friday, July 10, 2015

Going Postal: 1963 Studebaker Zip Van Model 8E5-FC

The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company was rapidly approaching the sunset on its time as an automobile manufacturer in 1963 when it received a surprising order from the US Government for 4,000 vans to be used for postal delivery.  The Zip Van (named after the newly designated Zip codes, but technically Model 8E5-FC) was produced for one year only and is just funky enough to be a great weekend driver.  Find this 1963 Studebaker Zip Van Model 8E5-FC offered here on eBay, bidding for $7,500 reserve-not-met with 1 day to go, located in Westminster, CA.


The funny thing that pops into my head when I see this, is how much it looks like an ice cream truck, specifically Sweet Tooth from the Twisted Metal video game franchise.  If I owned this, I would really have a hard to time NOT putting a flaming clown head on the roof and mounting machine guns, but that probably wouldn't do much for the resale value.


The Zip uses the classic Studebaker Skybolt inline-6  that pushes 112 horsepower into an automatic transmission and is geared for pulling stumps instead of high speed runs.  The Skybolt isn't a very refined engine and is known for cracking heads, but there is plenty of room under the "hood" for an LSX if you ask me...but you probably didn't. 


One of the coolest features in the Zip was the dual gas pedals -- one located on the floor next to the brake pedal, so you could drive while seated on the bar stool, and another located on a ledge so  you could drive while standing with one knee up, inadvertently flashing passersby through your USPS issue short shorts.  How you'd hit the brakes while you are standing was an afterthought, but presumably air resistance will bring this brick shaped beauty to a stop quicker than Labrador can moisten a book of stamps.


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5 comments:

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  3. This thing is so cool. I wonder what the parts availability is like? If I need new bushings, do I have to make them from a hunk of rubber?

    Scooter

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