The Hummer H1. The Off Road Legend. As seen on TV serving in the Gulf War, or with Arnold Schwartzenegger behind the wheel. I had high hopes for this one. The vehicle was up for sale and a good friend and former Hummer owner wanted to buy it, and called me a long for the test drive.
And the verdict: As much as I hate to admit it, Dissapointment! There was no doubt that the vehicle had potential to be an awesome machine, but this particular example was just in too poor condition to justify it's price tag. For what was apprently a 1997 vehicle, it looked and felt a lot older. Fittings in the Dash such as the Cigarette Lighter could be rotated 360°!
Off Road, CTIS, the Central Tire Inflation System saves this beast on the sand, without it, it would be a beached whale. You can lower the tire pressure without exiting the Cab, allowing you to get just a little bit further up the dune. With such large factory tires, you would be spending a huge amount of time manually deflating and inflating the tires.
The fully independent suspension also allows it to soak up the bumps in the off road terrain, and being the most over-built independent suspension in any SUV, and by using portal hubs and sharp angles on the arms giving it plenty of clearance, it can take it fast. Fast is a relative word though as this beast is actually rather slow! When it comes to dune climbs, the only draw back to the Hummer is instantly apparent. It's just too damn heavy. With similar HP to a stock Wrangler motor, and all that extra mass that the Wrangler certainly doesn't have, this thing just doesn't have the power to weight ratio to make it a serious player in Dune Challenges. Unless of course you had an almighty run up to the Dune, maybe starting from the top of the last dune. Using sheer momentum, and god knows this thing's got it, you could do rather well with the Hummer. Without that run up, it simply doesn't have the acceleration needed. One has to wonder where on earth all that weight comes from: The body is a combination of Aluminium and Fiberglass, there's only 4 seats and the interior consists of plastic and cloth trim. So that just leaves an incredibly heavy chassis and drive train... but then that's what it's all about.
At the end of the day, it's simply embaressing that this Hummer H1 could get stuck. It's also quite dissapointing that it's not that hard to do either.
It's a great vehicle that could easily use more power, but it was not as great as I had expected. In the Hummer's defence, this model was either not a turbo, or the turbo wasn't working. If you are in the market for a Hummer, make SURE it has the working turbo as this beast needs all the power it can get.
This one had only 35,000 km on the clock, and was a 1997 model. Unfortunately - it had spent most of it's time resting somewhere close to the beach, and the salty air did not take lightly to it. This particular one looked a LOT more tired than just 35,000 km, and was almost in need of a restoration.
While there's no doubt that a Hummer H1, in good condition, would be an awesome vehicle to own... 10 seconds back in the Wrangler and my decision is clear and final. I would be very reluctant to do an even-swap, our Wrangler for this Hummer. I certainly wouldn't be willing to fork out the sum of money they were asking that could get you 4, maybe 5 1997 Jeep TJ Wranglers in good working order.
And more importantly, what did the potential buyer think of it? As much as he likes the Hummer, this wasn't one worth buying. I would love to do a re-match with a Hummer H1 in good condition. And as for the potential buyer? He now drives a Jeep Wrangler!
And yes, it was a fun day!
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