Curbside Classic Outtake: EcoHUMMER

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
curbside classic outtake ecohummer

Nothing is worse than turning into something you’re not. I am not my father, and yet here I am besmirching his Curbside Classic series with this mystifying find. This Mk1 Scion xB is emphatically not a HUMMER, and yet… well, just look at it.

Despite the fact that there’s clearly no curb in sight in these pictures, there’s at least one more reason they belong in the category: the EcoHUMMER might never have been immortalized had I not visited the spiritual home of the Curbside Classic, Eugene, Oregon, over the weekend. This Hummerified xB was parked in the field that serves as the parking lot for the Oregon Country Fair, an annual hippie festival that typically trebles the number of mysterious, quirky and incomprehensible cars in and around Eugene for several weeks each summer.

Given this milieu, the EcoHUMMER is almost certainly intended as a parody of the HUMMER aesthetic, albeit at a significant penalty to the xB’s impressive around-town efficiency. Which seems a little self-defeating, and based on the reaction of several nappy-headed gents lounging nearby, the irony (or whatever they call it these days) of the retrofit was lost on the fair’s more thoroughly laid-back elements. “Like, why would someone do that?” one glassy-eyed fellow asked his friend. “Like, why would he want to make his car look like that?”

Still, it’s a fitting tribute to HUMMER’s polarizing influence, that someone was inspired to retrofit a Japanese city car to resemble one. It’s even more fitting that reactions to a replica HUMMER are just as confused, emotional and intense as they are to the real thing. It turns out that you could put HUMMER badges and hood vents on a biodiesel W123 (still the unofficial car of the Country Fair after all these years) and you’d still get dirty looks. And come to think of it, you’d probably have more off-road ability than this Toyota-cum-HUMMER. On the other hand, at least with the EcoHUMMER, you’d stand out from the acres of Prius, Subaru, W123, Volvo 240, and assorted vintage Volkswagen drivers who prove that, regardless of the ethos, every subculture enforces conformity through automotive dress code.

Which, in turn, always produces cars like the EcoHUMMER. Rebellion is rebellion is rebellion, and HUMMERs will always be built, bought and converted to get a rise out of civilians in parking lots as much as anything else. And damn does it work. Even when the HUMMER isn’t even a HUMMER.

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  • Russycle Russycle on Jun 28, 2010

    The subversive in me absolutely loves this mod. Thanks for sharing.

  • Toy Maker Toy Maker on Jun 28, 2010

    I wonder why the owner wants the hummer name so much. How's that ever a good thing? I wonder what does he have in the power and suspension department.

  • FreedMike I don't know why this dash shocks anyone - the whole "touchscreen uber alles" thing is pure Tesla.
  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.