Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Car Pr0n #92

Man, there were some good cars introduced in 1992. The GMC Typhoon (and how on earth did I ever miss the Syclone last year? FAIL), the Honda Del Sol, the Mclaren F1 and the Nissan Altima all merit mention. The Chevrolet Tahoe was a very close second, given the sheer genius GM showed when they cut 21 inches off the back of a Suburban and then charged MORE for the vehicle. But the winner, of course, was this:

1992 AMC Hummer. First year the Humvee was offered to the public, in part thanks to the gentle prodding of Arnold... Naturally, with the pro-American sentiment running high in the wake of our success in the first Gulf War, the Humvee sold like mad, despite having the turning radius of a parking garage and all the amenities of a Model A Ford. But it was vaguely militaristic and totally not like a WWII Willys Jeep...

I can grok those that purchased the Humvee for the off-road capabilities. 16 inches of ground clearance. An approach angle of 35 degrees. Able to climb a 60% grade. Fording 30 inches of water. The Humvee made sense if one was interested in exploring areas normally closed to the motoring public save those with specialty vehicles. Of course, probably 1 in 100 ever saw dirt, let alone mud.

Without the H1, there never would have been an H2, the Hummer built on a Suburban frame. Realizing that 99.9999% of all Hummer owners had no interest in the vehicle's abilities in the mud, but rather the status of the name, GM decided to take an existing frame, put a modified, vaguely-Hummer-looking body on it, and sell it for twice what the donor vehicle was selling for.

Naturally, they sold a ton of 'em...

That is all.


abnormalist said...

Funny, I would put it on the wall of shame for the same reasons. The H2 was something that never should have happened, and was part of the reason and culture that caused GM to fail and had to be rebuilt by the .Gov. (If your car manufacturer is IMPROVED by direct government over-site and management, it tells you how bad it was to begin with)

I did know one guy who bought the original Hummvee with the intent of using it as an off road/hunting truck but in Michigan.

Found out the hard way why the hard core guys use jeep wranglers.

At over 7ft wide, it wont fit down most logging roads. Let alone the old logging roads that have been over grown on the sides, or have shifted over the years. Sold it after one year. Never was able to get it as far in the woods as my dad with his 88 Dodge Grand Caravan despite its impressive off road statistics.

Will said...

From observation at an off-road vehicle riding area, the H2 appeared to be an amazingly capable full-size SUV. Went there with a Hummer Owners Group sponsored by a Silicon Valley Hummer Dealer in '04. Around a 100 H1 and H2's with a police escort to the riding facility.

Besides trails, they have some obstacle courses. The one we mainly used had small boulders and horizontal telephone poles with lots of water. This setup even gave the H1 fits. The only time a vehicle got through without stopping or backing up was a woman driving her personal H2. Next door was a water trough with a climbing ramp exit. Another woman was running her H2 there, getting decent air time from that ramp. Looked like she was trying to emulate the General Lee.

Judging by that picnic, and traffic around the Bay, the H2 was VERY popular with the ladies.

My friend decided to get a Toyota Sequoia instead of the H2, since he thought he would need the third row seating that the H2 didn't have. (I think he has put the 3rd row seats back in maybe 4-5 times in ten years.)

Will said...

BTW, when you see Hummers on the screen, you can tell the civilian H1 models by the 3 center clearance lights above the windshield. They are required for wide vehicles, such as dually pickups and big trucks. Military versions don't have them.

Ancient Woodsman said...

Got a chance to drive both military and civilian H1s. To me, it seemed like there was more room inside the military version - no extra padding & soundproofing to take up space. An extraordinarily nimble & capable vehicle if one trains to drive it; surprisingly easy to break in a bad way if you don't have a clue how to drive one.

But that's just me.

Point of curiosity: the very first civilian H1 was actually a box-stock military one, it is still owned by the state of Michigan DNR, and normally housed at their Roscommon Equipment Center. It literally took an act of Congress to get it so the military would allow AM General to sell them commercially and so smaller agencies could get them surplus from the military.

Wandering Neurons said...

Wife used to have a H2. Pretty useless vehicle. Too big, terrible mileage, no storage room, hard to pull a trailer with the tire on the back, pretty cramped with the center console. And still a GM product.

Off-topic: Jay, is this you doing a test-firing at the range?
Please tell me it is!

Old NFO said...

Friend of mine out West bought an H-1, still has it and uses it for desert running... And he's broken it a time or two, but STILL likes it, says there is nothing better for the area around Tucson.