In the beginning of the seventies the U.S. military became interested in commercial vehicles for certain roles. This sudden interest for such vehicles was related to economics more than a certain reliance on strict tactical design. The concept of the CUCV (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle) was born although the first series of vehicle weren’t yet known under that denomination. The M880 series which appeared in 1973, was aimed to replace the M715 Kaiser-Jeep. The Chevrolet CUCV family of vehicles replaced in turn the Dodge M880 series beginning from 1984. The militarization of the Chevrolets was a bit more extensive than it had been with the earlier Dodges. 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 power plant was GM’s 6.2-liter diesel coupled to a TurboHydramatic transmission. Most models used the Process NP208 Process two-speed chain-driven transfer case. All models were equipped with non-slip rear differentials.
The Lebanese Army was supplied with CUCVs throughout the nineties. A wide range of M880 series and CUCVs can be found in Lebanon even the rarest variants. The M880 and M1008 are usually used for patrolling while the M1009 is used as officers vehicle. The non-exhaustive list of such vehicles in Lebanese Army use can be resumed as follow:
- M880 : The Basic Dodge 4×4 Pickup truck Model.
- M886 : The Ambulance model based on the M880.
- M1008 : The base vehicle of the series, diesel-powered version of the Chevrolet K2500 with the front axle of the K3500.
- M1008A1 : Same as M1008 but with radio racks installed in the bed, and antenna mounts installed.
- M1009 : Military version of the Chevrolet Blazer.
- M1010 : The ambulance version of the CUCV series. The only member of the series air-conditioned.
- M1028 : The shelter carrier version of the M1008 with a communications kit and an S-250 shelter installed.
- M1028A2/A3 : The basic M1008 with dual rear wheels.
- A number of M1008s were locally modified into prisoner transport and field maintenance vehicles.