Well-Known Member
I saw in another thread a bunch of people mentioned the P500 and how horrible a vehicle it is. My question is, what is a P500? Who is it made by, what model years, what is its volumetric capacity (7, 8, 10, 11, 13 cube?) etc etc. Thanks.


Retired Senior Member
P500's are supposed to hold 500 cubic feet of packages. They were first added to the UPS fleet in the early 1980's and they replaced the old P400's that were made in the 1960's. I don't think any P500's have been made since 1990. As others have stated the were a sweet ride compared to what they replaced, the heater, the ride, and the steering made for an easier day when they were new.


New Member
A P500, also known as a P5, would have a cube value of 5, just as a P7 has a cube volume of 7, a P8 is 8, a P9 is 9 and so on and so on. I've been around for 16 years and the P5's were old then. The majority of cars in our centre (that's Canadian, centRE) are P5's. They are unplesent to drive, mostly due to the armstrong steering. I'm sure you will get more replys and more opinions about the venerable P5.


From the promised LAND
Yes, they were sweet cars that replaced 400's and others like the Hon car.

But, the problem lies with the money saving tricks UPS tries, like recaps on all four wheels, many of which are not matched. It has a real problem with the rear end swinging around and attempting to become the front end, usually flipping over on its side as it swings around. Once this manuver starts, it is almost impossible to stop, making for one butt puckering ride to the finish.

There are those that dont mind driving in a 500, but they are few and far between. The problem lies not with a regular 500 driver, but those that cover, the route, or cover in a 500, or run air etc. They were not designed to run 500,000 miles or more, and many have more than that.

As we speak, there are many that are being taken off road, but mainly due to severe accidents.



Well-Known Member
I'm sure glad we have brown cafe. I have asked since the beginning of time, why are they called p500 p600, p1000, etc. No one knew exactly why. Now I know.


red.... p500 is not a bad car if it is well maintained by your mechanic. danny is right about the swing/cover driver issue. I have driven one for over 20 yrs. they get into tighter places than our p700 and it travels off the pavement better as well. I think it is probably better suited for rural runs as opposed to a city route. The one serious flaw mentioned in a previos thread is true. TIRES, especially brand new (factory) as well as newly recapped tires are dangerous. Be very cautious when driving a p500 with new rubber. My past experience with new tires is it takes anywhere from 500 to 1500 miles to break them in. The new tires wander all over the road (from shoulder to shoulder) until they are broke-in. I have asked every mechanic I ever worked with why p500's are like this. I have gotten many different answers, along with a lot of personal opinions, as to why this problem exists. My advise to you, be careful, use the driving habits that you were taught, and make your mechanic your best friend. Keep him informed on the condition of your car and let him know that you appreciate the work he does for you.