A Military CUCV Gone Radical
In the mid '80s, the U.S. military turned to commercial truck suppliers to fill some of their vehicle needs. Many of these came from the Chevrolet Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV) design beginning in 1984. The pickup truck was the M1008 version based on the Chevy K2500 with some beefy upgrades. The trucks were rated at 1 1/4 tons.
Gordy Perrigo has owned several big trucks over the years and has a fondness for ones built to run mud. When he discovered this '87 M1008 truck in a junkyard, he decided it would be his next project. The stock 6.2L diesel drivetrain and both axles were already spoken for, but he was able to purchase the complete body and chassis for $500. It was soon loaded on a trailer and headed home with him. Gordy pulled the body off the chassis and set to work, completely disassembling the truck and cleaning everything.
He positioned a Dana 60 and GM 14-Bolt under the chassis to be much like the original configuration. However, the truck was built with far more lift to accommodate tall Swamper Boggers. A mild diesel had little place in this build plan, so Gordy opted for big-block gas power and a more modern four-speed auto transmission. The entire truck was rebuilt from top to bottom and improved mechanically. It also got fresh paint all over and the military green sprayed on the exterior.
The final result of the two-year build is a cool domestic rig that combines a military heart with get-up-and-go romp. Gordy built it for trail fun but with the ability to hit the street when he wants, as well. The big truck cruises comfortably on the highway going 75 mph at 2,200 rpm. We were impressed with the clean build and wanted to show it to you.
Vehicle: 1987 Chevy M1008 CUCV 4WD
Owner/Hometown: Gordy Perrigo/Anthem, Arizona
Engine: GM 454ci V-8, Weiand intake, Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetor, MSD ignition, Hooker headers, dual 3-inch exhaust with Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers
Transmission/Transfer Case: GM 4L80E with Optishift/NP205 with twin-stick
Front Axle: Dana 60, Yukon 35-spline shafts, 5.38 gears, ARB air locker
Rear Axle: GM 14-Bolt, 5.38 gears, Detroit locker, shaved for clearance, disc brakes
Front Suspension: Superlift 12-inch lift springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks, ORD Zero Rate Add a Leaves
Rear Suspension: Superlift 6-inch lift springs, ORD shackle flip kit, Bilstein 5100 shocks, ORD Zero Rate Add a Leaves kit, traction bar
Steering: PSC Saginaw box and hydro assist, ORD crossover steering
Tires/Wheels: 42.5x13.50R17LT Super Swamper Boggers/17x9 Moto Metal wheels
Interior: Stock-style bench seat, tilt wheel, chromoly rollcage, Auto Meter gauges