The V-100 series of vehicles was developed in the early 1960s by the Terra-Space division of the Cadillac Gage company. By 1962 a patent was filed and received by Terra-Space for a vehicle then only known as the Commando. The first prototype emerged in 1963, and the production variants entered service in 1964.
The vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive and uses axles similar to the ones used in the M34 series of trucks. The engine is a gasoline-powered 360 cubic inch Chrysler V8, same as in the early gas models of the M113 armored personnel carriers. Its 5-speed manual transmission allows it to traverse relatively rough terrain. The M706 has a road speed of 62 mph, and can travel across water at 3 mph. The armor consists of high hardness alloy steel called Cadaloy, which protects against projectiles up to 7.62 x 51 mm. Partly because of its armor, the M706 has an unloaded mass of over 7 tons. As a result, a common problem with the vehicle is rear axle failure caused by the extreme weight. The V-100 was available in turret and open-top models. Factory prototype turret options included the T-60, T-70, and T-90. The T-60 featured a combination of two .50 caliber machine guns, two .30 caliber machine guns, or one of each, and had manual traverse. The specific .30 caliber machine gun options were extremely varied, with from factory configurations including the M1919A4E1, M37, M73, M219, and MG42. Later the M60 and FN MAG were also added to the list of options. The Cadillac Gage company also intended to use the solenoid trigger equipped fixed machine gun version of the Stoner 63 weapon system, but this was dropped after tests showed the smaller caliber catridge to be unsuited to this role. The T-90 featured a single 20mm cannon with power traverse. The T-70, developed for police use, featured 4 tear gas launchers, vision blocks all around the turret for 360 degree vision, and no other weapons. The T-70 and T-90 were not put into mass production with a modified T-60, with the guns mounted together in the center, instead of on the outer edges, becoming the standard. A variant of this turret featuring the 7.62mm General Electric Minigun was also developed. In addition an open topped variant with a central parapet was developed. The intended usage of this variant was to be a mortar portee, but a total of four machine gun mounts could also be fitted. A enclosed raised superstructure 'pod' was also developed for converting the V-100 into either a command vehicle or for police use. The variants for police work featured special elongated firing ports for better angles of fire for tear gas grenade launchers.
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