Military Grade: 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe CUCV II

Up for consideration here on eBay is this 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe CUCV II, showing only 71,000 miles. Seller states it was a federal border patrol vehicle. These “2-door” Tahoe’s are popular among enthusiasts, and the military units are rare, especially presenting in this condition. The seller is asking a buy it now price of $16,500 but is accepting offers. That price may sound high but with fewer of these trucks on the road, it is becoming a seller’s market.

This truck is standard fare with the 5.7 liter V8 backed by the popular 4L60e four-speed automatic transmission and manual shift gearbox four-wheel drive. Limited-slip differential and 2-inch ball hitch receiver are also included.

The inside shows nicely with the pictures provided, with clean lightly used cloth seats, and rubber mat flooring. These CUCV “military trucks” were similar to the WT “work truck” packages, with the WT plain front grill and no-frills features. The truck offers electric locks, but is equipped with manual crank windows, factory gun racks behind the driver and passenger seats, and is absent many “creature comfort” features today’s average buyer is accustom. The seller also says the air conditioning works well and does not list any features as non-operational.

There is no mention of the rear seat, which was often a factory delete on these trucks for outfitting per buyer’s request. The seller doesn’t provide a picture of the rear cargo area for review but does show part of the engine bay, which appears, clean and tidy. Seller states the truck is freshly painted (unsure of this is factory color, though Hunter Green is one of the three colors used on the CUCV II aside from factory White. (The others being Desert Tan or Three Color Camouflage) The seller also states it has undercoated for corrosion protection. It is sitting on stock base wheels and boasts aftermarket additions of LED lights, remote start, tinted windows, and stereo system.

Chevrolet discontinued the K5 Blazer in 1994, rebranding it Tahoe with the introduction of the popular four-door SUV in 1995. GM kept the two-door, often referred to as the “Sport”, though this was actually a trim package. The two-door models were popular off-roaders and fleet vehicles, and have grown a large following over the years. The last two-door models rolled off the production line in 1999, being discontinued, as markets for larger four-door SUVs grew. The WT models were widely used in the Western States, and these units were popular with police, military, and federal and state agencies such as Border Patrol and Game Wardens.

What makes this unit desirable is it appears to have been mostly left original and what changes have been made could easily be reversed. More often than not, when a buyer finds an SUV like this it is either warn and tired or lifted with stylish wheels and unsound mechanical “upgrades”. This offering also has the highly desired “barn door” on the rear instead of the tail gait coupled with the hatch.

This could be a fun truck to own and use as a daily driver or occasional off-roader. For the purest lost in today’s markets of electronic conveniences, sensor heavy trucks, this Tahoe would be welcomed and enjoyed.

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  1. Jeff

    It’s a lot of money for essentially a stripped down version; regardless of condition. I have a clean ’96 Tahoe 2dr that came out of California. It’s high mileage but rust free. Paid $5,700 for it. Don’t think I’d want to pay more than $9,500 for this one.

    Like 6
  2. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Very cool truck – nice work, Scott!

    Like 2
  3. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    I’m angry just looking at those headlights knowing they are eager to blind all of us.

    Like 18
  4. AndyinMA

    Nice truck, but prices for these and pickups and Broncos has just gone crazy. Needs a 50% discount.

    Like 7
  5. alphasud Member

    Being a border vehicle it’s been run hard and put away wet! Also surprised the military version retained the 4L60e. Rather weak transmission in stock form. Can’t tell what rear axle is in there from the pictures but the 1/2 ton axles were also weak.

    Like 4
    • MTMigra

      It’s not a USBP vehicle, although your assessment is correct. All of the USBP 2 doors had the “clamshell” rear hatch, plus the armrests would have been removed and the gun locks are between the front buckets, not behind the seat.

  6. dabig kahuna

    Anybody notice in the last pic it is parked in front of the local asian massage parlor. A happy ending to the story!!

    Like 14
  7. Erik Tisher

    As a career military guy, I cringe when I hear “military grade.” To civilians, it means “heavier-duty”),” I guess. To us in the cloth, it means “lowest bidder.”

    Like 8
    • Tim Bane

      I’m not convinced border patrol used the same vehicle as the military version. Maybe the body was the same, but I think from there it likely departed ways quickly. Military used a 24 volt system, no mention of that in his ad. Also all of them I ever had the pleasure of driving or riding in none ever had a manual transmission. I think the military went away from manual trannys after they phased out the MJ era jeeps and trucks. Nice truck, but not convinced it shares anything of significance except body with military.

      • Tim Bane

        Ok so I have an addendum to correct my post. I overlooked this was a CUCV II, so it may indeed carry a traditional 12 v electrical system, and in my first read I thought he said it was a manual transmission, but he said automatic with a manual 4×4 shift. HOWEVER, I still highly doubt this was a military use vehicle, but may have been a govie owned for some federal dept based on color. Only way to really tell is close visual inspection.

        Like 1
    • MarveH

      I also think of this as GSA vehicle rather than a true CUCV. I had a full sized Bronco in the late 90’s as a G-ride but I didn’t consider it a modified-to-purpose military vehicle.
      I just think of a CUCV as being a diesel, having blackout lights, one key for all, and a chain for the steering wheel with a pad lock.

      Like 4
  8. Nitehawk770

    $16.5k BIN for a base-model 2 door. Yeah, no thanks. BP link aside, its nothing special. Repaint and fresh undercoating makes me think it was a rotbox beforehand. Seller is trying to recoup the losses from the paint/bodywork. Hard pass.

    Like 4
  9. John

    The price doesn’t seem all that out of bounds for this interesting vehicle. Keep in mind that unlike most of these, as a Border Patrol vehicle it was actually was used off road or on dirt/gravel roads most of its life so get a look at the frame and front suspension. By the looks of the interior it may have been a supervisors vehicle and subject to less abuse. I kind of like the stripped out versions of SUVs.

  10. dyno dan

    this went for 2 grand at a govt surplus auction.

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