Economics once again drove the U.S. military to become interested in commercial vehicles in certain roles rather than relying strictly upon tactical vehicle designs. In the post-World War II era, this was first evident with the Kaiser-Jeep M715, then the Dodge M880 series, and more recently the Chevrolet CUCV family of vehicles.
The Chevrolet Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle series replaced the Dodge M880 series beginning in 1984. Like the M880, the trucks began with off-the-shelf civilian four-wheel drive vehicles, which then had some military components added. The militarization of the Chevrolets was fortunately a little more extensive than it had been with the M880 series.
The M1008 was the base vehicle of the CUCV series. It was essentially a diesel-powered version of Chevrolet's civilian truck line utilizing the frame and suspension of the Chevrolet K3500. At the rear of the truck was a standard step bumper with a pintle hook mounted in the center.
The cargo bed itself differed little from the civilian model, but did have a lightweight folding cargo cover and removable troop seats added.
Modifications included the addition of a brush guard and towing shackles on the front bumper and a dual 12- and 28-volt 100-amp charging system.
The powerplant was GM’s 6.2-liter diesel coupled to a Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. Most models used the New Process NP208 two-speed, chain-driven transfer case. All models have non-slip Detroit 4.56 rear differentials. The front axle had lockout hubs.
Weight: 5,900 pounds
Size (LxWxH): 216.5” x 79.625” x 76”
Max Speed: 65 mph
Range: 270 miles
Condition code Value (dollars)
6 — $1,600
5 — $2,700
4 — $4,700
3 — $5,200
Military Vehicles Magazine uses a given a value based on a 1-to-6 condition grading scale as follows:
1=Excellent: Restored to maximum professional standards, or a near-perfect original.
2=Fine: Well-restored, or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original parts.
3=Very Good: Complete and operable original or older restoration, or a very good amateur restoration with all presentable and serviceable parts inside and out.
4=Good: Functional or needing only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or poor amateur restoration.
5=Restorable: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis, and interior. May or may not be running, but is not wrecked, weathered or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts.
6=Parts Vehicle: Deteriorated beyond the point of restoration.
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