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The M1009 CUCV: A Manly, Eco-Conscious, Military-Rejected, Survivalist's Dream Vehicle

Looks Beautiful in the Snow

Looks Beautiful in the Snow

To Hell and Back

Are you a survivalist nut? Do you crave a real man's vehicle that will take you anywhere and let you pull tree stumps out of the earth if they get in your way? Are you looking for an authentic, "I've been to hell and I'm going back," rolling chassis with original toxic military-grade paint (called CARC, which ironically stands for Chemical Agent Resistant Coating)? How about that perfect addition to the mountain militia armada?

Do you want a vehicle that features no complicated computers and electronics and still has the old round air filter housing that sits on top of the engine with a little butterfly nut instead of the goofy air canister casings that are off to the side and out of the way in the engine compartment found on modern cars? How about a bare-bones, no carpet interior that embodies the spirit of the no-frills, exclusive society of men that own at least two handguns, two rifles and a shotgun, and secretly cry while watching movies like Gran Torino?


Poor Military Vehicle but Great for Civilians

Look no further than the ex-military M1009 CUCV. What the heck is a CUCV? It stands for Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle and was brought into military service as a converted civilian vehicle intended as an intermediary for the more expensive and capable amphibious Gama Goat and the rock climbing, trailblazing HMMWV. It is rumored that while the M1009 served in combat during Desert Storm, the results were "less than desirable," and it has been supplanted by the Humvee (HMMWV) it was intended to support.


What Is a M1009?

By now, you're burning with curiosity—what is an M1009 exactly? It's an old Blazer with a diesel engine. The models converted for military use were built from 1983 to 1987—the big hair years.

Despite its ordinary K5 Blazer heritage, you just can't ignore the standard rifle rack. It does hold only two rifles, but hey, that's better than the over-the-top expensive and plushy Tahoe at your local dealer which has no hunting accessories at all! Speaking of expensive, you can pick up a used M1009 for dirt cheap. Often, they can be found with extremely low miles. Specimens of this common breed have been seen on eBay with 70,000 miles, in great running condition and a new paint job and undercarriage paint for between $5000 and $6000. There are some that have even less than 50K miles!


Veggie Conversion

In addition to the reinforced tow hooks attached to the front and back of the M1009 optimal for Chevy maintenance intervals, the standard non-turbo diesel engine is an ideal platform for bio-diesel or veggie oil conversions. Just think, that old corn field you've just let grow wild can now be harvested to run your M1009!

Or you can just hit the local Chinese buffet or McDonald's and instead of meekly begging for grease with your pasty, white vegetarian eater's complexion and your wimpy diesel Vanagon parked behind you, you can instead roll up in your beefy, military, olive drab monster of a truck. Step out with your plaid hunting jacket over a pasty, white skin and flabby, aging, meat eater's body and subtly imply that it would be in their best interest not to interfere while you suck some of the goo out of their grease trap.


Big Gun

There is no end to the benefits of owning a Blazer CUCV, not to mention that the official designation of your M1009 sounds a lot like a really big caliber weapon that needs a tripod to operate safely. The combination of the 6.2-liter diesel engine with the tough TH400 transmission and the locking differentials hooked to the NP-208 chain-driven transfer case make this militarily inadequate SUV the perfect off-roader for the tough and independent outdoorsman.

Sweet Smell of Freedom

And just think, converting the beast to take used vegetable oil will not only add to your sense of independence from the oil industry and the government, but it will also confuse the hippies who want to condemn your fuel-guzzling choice of transportation and complain about the dirty diesel exhaust. They will stall like a Smart car going uphill when they smell nothing but French fries as you pass by.

Be Different

You want independence? You want to be different? You want to be the epitome of the rugged individualist? Then find yourself a good used M1009 to put those MREs and camping supplies in and take off for parts unknown. (Don't forget the toolbox, it's still a Chevy).

Fording Deep Waters

Rock Climbing


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.