In the early 1990s, America’s not-yet-favorite Governator said he wanted one of the Persian Gulf War’s hero cars: An AM General Humvee. Back then he often got what he wanted, so the military vehicle producer followed suit in pleasing the Terminator actor. Several thousand units later, from 1992 to 2006, AM General made a bunch of would-be Ahnolds happy, too.
In the meantime, General Motors bought the Hummer name and had AM General build the Humvee under license as the Hummer H1. But in 2009, not long after General Motors went bankrupt, it closed the Hummer brand after trying to find a suitor to take it. Consequently, AM General left civilian vehicle production. GM’s contract with the SUV producer said it couldn’t sell them to private buyers. So long, farewell, it would seem, to America’s most garish vehicle of all-terrain excess.
Until now, apparently. AM General and Hummerguy.net have corroborated in saying the Humvee could be making a comeback. The biggest difference? Customers would have to supply their own engines.
To get around GM’s rules, AM General is looking at the idea of selling the Humvee to civilians as a knock-down kit. Current rumors say it will be called the C-Series and, unlike the last models sold publicly, would feature a stripped-down interior and tearaway doors instead of leather, luxury, and steel doors. The Humvee C-Series is expected to cost $59,000 before receiving its engine, which means it could be put on the road with the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel the last Hummer H1 Alpha had or the 5.9-liter inline-6 Cummins diesel from Ram pickup trucks for around $75,000.
Sure, it’ll lack the Monsoon stereo or carpeted floors of the last Hummer H1, but the last H1 Alpha cost in excess of $140,000. By that measure, the kit should be a bargain.
But then consider most Hummer H1s on the used market cost around $65,000 and come with full interiors, the trick central tire inflation system that AM General is apparently proposing as an option, and the booming stereo. And most don’t have to be registered specially, as would be the case with the kit car-labeled C-Series.
AM General spokesman Jeff Adams says the company is “considering the development of a HUMVEE kit comprised of certain HMMWV body and chassis components,” but has not come to a firm conclusion as to whether it’ll actually sell it yet.
Automotive.com’s take: If you need a vehicle to survive the impending zombie apocalypse, this could be the one for you. If you feel the need to get closer to nature—giving Bambi PTSD in the process—this might be vehicle for you. If you have a wallet that can sustain damage to the tune of 12 mpg on a good day regularly, a new Hummer could be just the SUV for you. But if this really is the vehicle for you, we’d recommend you buy used. Or just grow some self-esteem and buy a Range Rover.