For off-road enthusiasts who really wanted a Humvee but couldn’t afford the six-figure price tag, the celebrations may begin in earnest. AM General, the company that created it, is selling the Humvee as a kit car.
Original maker now selling to civvies again with Humvee kit car
The original Hummer, the H1 or “Humvee,” was a stripped-down, no-nonsense off-roader built to withstand a lot of punishment. Those qualities endeared it to the military, which has employed the Humvee for decades.
The company that originally made them, AM General, sold the rights to General Motors, who stuck Humvee-esque body panels on GM truck frames and sold them as ”Hummers” which yuppies loved. Environmentalists gnashed their teeth and rent their garments. Eventually, gas shot to $4 per gallon, the yuppies tired of brimming the tank every two minutes, GM went bankrupt and the brand died.
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However, the original is still beloved by some. Getting one is an expensive proposition though, as they retailed, according to AutoBlog, for $140,000 when last available to civilians in 2005. In order to bring down the cost, AM General will start selling a Humvee kit car for “only” $59,000.
Still a kit and one needs the power train
Aside from lower cost, it also allows AM General to give General Motors the slip. GM owns the rights to the original vehicle, meaning AM can’t sell Humvees. However, by selling it as a kit car, AM General is able to bypass the situation.
What they get is a C-series H1 Alpha, as the model was known when civilian sales ceased several years ago. However, it’s incredibly spartan, consisting of little more than a frame with four seats, with a rag top and cloth doors. Customers can add the Central Tire Inflation System and a limited number of other options. It also needs to get an engine and transmission, which for that model was a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V-8 and an Allison transmission. AM General estimates it can get put together for around $75,000.
There are other options for getting a Humvee. Aside from buying a used Hummer H1, one can keep their eyes peeled for a military surplus sale where a Humvee is being offered. The government doesn’t sell them, but a few do leak onto the market.
Aside from that, there are some other Hummer kit cars. A company called Urban Gorilla sells kits that mount onto a truck chassis in two, four or six-door configurations. They also come as “utility” or “slant back” models with the sloping rear hatch. The basic kit comes with steel sheets and frames, which the buyer has to weld themselves before welding them to the donor vehicle frame. The company can weld all the panels together for an extra $4,995 for the utility model or $6,995 for the slant back. Utility bodies cost $4,995 for two-door, $6,995 for four and $7,995 for six. The slant back costs $7,995 for two doors, $9,995 for four and $12,995 for six.
There is also the curious Wombat, which takes its cues from the Meyers-Manx dune buggy. Just like the Urban Gorilla, the Wombat is a steel Humvee-like body, but mounted on an old Volkswagen Beetle chassis. The basic kit starts at $5,850, which doesn’t include a roof or doors. However, soft or hard doors and tops can be added as extras.