By on March 3, 2013

Yes, the death of the Hummer brand is old news and was long overdue. But in the vein of Tom Cruise, when your public image goes bust, go back to what you do best: GI Joe. I kit you not.

At the International Defense Expo here in Abu Dhabi, the folks at AM General had their booth, and with it sat a perfectly recognizable 4 door Hummer pickup. The info pamphlet proclaimed the 2013 HUMVEE C-Series is available for the first time to the general public. “Just add your own powertrain and you are ready to roll.” So when Arnold gets tired of his Unimog, he can order a new Hummer. I would suggest a Duramax, but we all know he’ll go for the LSX option.

Like the shadowy “Max” from The Losers, the actual origins of the civilian Hummer are murky, hard to pinpoint and full of folklore. See, the original Hummer was a demilitarized version of the M998 Series High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle, aka the HUMVEE, built and marketed by AM General. But the image associated with the Hummer in Gulf War I back in the early nineties prompted production of a version for the masses. AM General is a former arm of American Motors, and previous to that, Renault. In 1999 the GM Hummer, aka the H1, still designed and built by AM General, hit the market. There was also the H2 that was built under license by GM. The H3? Well AM General had nothing to do with that.

But those were the (hopefully) forgotten days of the sissy truck! Leather? SATNAV? OnStar? These have no place in an “…aircraft quality aluminum riveted body, exceptionally durable chassis, and a basic soft top structure that screams ‘Off Road Ready.’” The C (for Civilian) series, is still available for those who need the “…next Off-Road legend,” in order to safely arrive at JoS A. Bank in time for their next sale. The civilian market is actually still the only place left for the veritable M998. Because like it’s paternal grandfather, the General Purpose or “Jeep,” the world it was built for is no more.

The nature of modern urban warfare needs light, mobile, armored and (somewhat) mine resistant vehicles. Currently with US forces, this is being met by armored HUMVEES as they are phased out and the new MRAP variant Oshkosh M-ATV.

Like 24 Hour news, the military light truck market has gotten pretty crowded. Just a few of the available offerings on display at IDEX alone included; the previously mentioned Oshkosh, the Chinese Norinco CS/VA 1, the African made Paramount Marauder, the Spanish Vamtac Mi-3, even the crew at International makes a Special Operation Tactical Vehicle in conjunction with Navistar Defense. AM General itself has moved out of the military HUMVEE business with the construction of 22 prototypes of its Blast Resistant Vehicle – Off road (BRV-O) for the lucrative new DoD Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract.

They are clearly hoping there will be enough fragile egos and the insatiable need for “bro trucks” to provide AM General a market for the original Hummer. But if you need a Hummer and find even the C Series to be too little for your manly needs, also on display at IDEX is the MEV HUMMER HX™ T Limo, which according to their website is “…a vehicle, that the majority believe would have saved...” the GM Hummer brand. I will let you be the judge.

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11 Comments on “Abu Dhabi Dispatches: How to get your 2013 Hummer (wait..what?)...”

  • avatar

    “Just a few of the available offerings on display at IDEX alone included;”

    Funny how the exhibitor list at the Abu Dhabi Defense Expo doesn’t include any Israeli vendors. Israel’s AIL, which mostly makes Jeep Wrangler based military vehicles (and has a history that goes back to assembling Studebakers and before that Kaiser Frazers), makes a very cool 6X6 attack and reconnaissance vehicle called the Desert Raider that’s said to work as well as tracked vehicles.

    • 0 avatar

      “Said” being the operative word in that sentence. They do claim tracked level of mobility, such a claim is most probably hogwash, a tracked vehicle has a lower ground pressure (at equal weight) and most have the ability to skid steer and that’s where tracked shines. Going with wheels instead of tracks has several performance gains, such as on road speed and stability, fuel consumption, price and so forth. It might very well be an excellent patrol vehicle non the less but comparing it to tracked is truly apples to oranges.

  • avatar

    What, no mention of the $457k Merecedes G63 AMG 6×6? Clearly, the next step in SUVs:

    Surely what the well-heeled oil sheik will be tooling around in. A converted, civilian HUMMWV would be so plebian…

  • avatar

    When did Arnold switch from Humvee to Unimog ? I remember he was the very first to get an non Mil Spec. Humvee decades ago .

    For those who have little self confidence , The Ghetto (where I live) is still chock full of bejeweled Humvees , driven by the sort of losers who think it makes them look tough instead of foolish .


    • 0 avatar

      I do imagine the reason being something along these lines,
      “Hummer crush caaaahr, Unimog cruuush Hummer”.

      I do actually think that arny still has his biodiesel hummer, he’s not the kind of guy that affords just one ride, or maybe it’s now on the Kennedy compound.

  • avatar

    Do we know for a fact or not that Israeli exhibitors maybe just did not choose to attend?

  • avatar

    AM General was never an arm of Renault, it was part of American Motors from 1970-1984, when it was sold to LTV. Prior to American Motors, it was part of Kaiser Jeep. Renault did own a stake in American Motors at the time, of course, and the sale of AM General was required by the US government as a condition for Renault increasing it’s share in AMC to a majority.

  • avatar

    They look so tiny and have such big windows compared to the now standard issue up armored versions.

  • avatar

    The civilian HMMWV was first brought to the public in 1992, not 1999, that is when GM acquired the HUMMER line, this could have used a less biased author, rather than someone with no experience on the brand.

    Juss sayin

    Also kinda confused why you stated Arnold would opt for the LSX when he’s long since converted all of his diesels to biodiesel machines

  • avatar

    I’d much rather drive one of the old jeeps. the humvee really sucked, maintenance pig, it broke down quite often. I once put 1100 miles on one in 10 days in the national training center and it only broke down twice. I considered myself lucky. The high back model does make a good makeshift camper with a stretcher in the back though!

  • avatar

    “Just add your own powertrain and you are ready to roll.”

    Is this like a heavy truck “glider kit” in which the chassis etc is complete except for the engine so there is no EPA qualification for the manufacturer to work through or you provide a non-emission requirement engine?

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