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The CUVC: A good truck for my best friend

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 07:00
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1985 M1009 CUCV Blazer
1986 M1008 CUCV

Quite some time ago, I met Jack (“JAK”) while I was stationed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Glenview in Illinois in 1991. Jack loved fishing, and owned an old boat that reminded me of the S.S. Minnow featured on the TV show Gilligan’s Island.

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Jack needed a decent-sized truck to pull that boat out of the waters of Lake Michigan, which was only about a mile east of his residence in Winthrop Harbor, Ill. He knew I was into fixing transmissions and general repair work, so he asked me to find him a truck suitable to tow the “Minnow” to and from the lake.

Time went on, and in 1994 I transferred from NAS Glenview to Fort Worth, Texas. Shortly into my tour in Fort Worth, I ran into a retired Marine who was selling a M1008 single cab, 8-foot bed tactical 1.25 ton, 4X4 Chevrolet CUCV (pronounced “cuck-vee”) that had around 7,000 miles on it!

At first, I was unsure whether Jack needed this type of military truck to haul his boat around in, and felt that he may get away with a standard Chevrolet 4X4 pickup instead. I examined the 1985 CUCV and found that it seemed to be in decent working order. The “Gunny” even let me borrow the truck for a week to see whether it was a good fit for Jack.

The truck came with a J-series 6.2L Diesel rated at 135 horsepower and a TH400 transmission, NP 208 manual transfer case, Dana 60 front differential, Corporate 14 bolt rear differential w/Detroit locker and 4.56 gears. Talk about a “stump puller.” It had tremendous low-end torque.

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