If you’ve been ruing the day the legendary Hummer H1 went out of production back in 2006 and you wish you could still buy one new, your wish appears to be coming true. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, albeit a very big and heavy one, the Hummer H1 is back, it’s brand new, and it’s coming straight out of Detroit too. There are just two problems though; it’s not able to be called the Hummer H1 and it’s not going to be sold in America where it’s built.
Although Hummer as a retail brand was killed off by GM in 2010, its contract manufacturer for the vehicle, AM General, has continued to build military versions now referred to as the HMMWV (High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle) for US and foreign armed forces. Hummer is still a GM trademark, so when AM General started offering the vehicle for sale to individuals in kit form in 2013, it started being known as the C-Series.
Now the kits are being pre-built in America by a company called VLF Automotive, which Bob Lutz, the 85-year-old industry wizard responsible for the Volt and Viper, is involved with. The finished vehicles are then being exported by a company made up of Humvee enthusiasts and entrepreneurs based out of Saint Clair, Michigan, called Humvee Export. The finished trucks are now being sold to importers overseas who are distributing them in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and now China.
Ironically, Humvee Export won’t be selling the built trucks in the US as they don’t come under what’s known as Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act. This act exempts kit-car builders from having to crash test and gain EPA certification for licensed replica vehicles, but only for designs last in production at least 25 years ago. As the Hummer was offered for sale there as recently as 2006, the C-Series kits don’t qualify for the exemption, so it wouldn’t be financially viable to get them certified for sale in the US.
The company expects to sell something like 100 C-Series units into China by the end of this year, with prices expected to be somewhere north of $150 000 (roughly R2 034 000). They will be available with a number of engine options, including 6.5-liter V-8 diesels of varying power ratings and GM’s current LS3 6.2-liter V-8 petrol. – AFP Relaxnews (Pic: WikiMedia Commons)