Farewell, my lovely!

I normally yawn when it comes to SUV's, so I don't know why I'm sad that General Motors announced that they are going to stop producing the Hummer H1. Maybe it's because I liked that it spearheaded the brand which symbolizes excess (and America), that it was put together in the mid-80's, or that it looks 'engineered' the same way that the newer trucks look 'designed.'

Whenever I drove alongside one, I liked to look at the lopey wheels with their central tire inflation arms, and I marvelled at how ridiculous they looked in any configuration. My favorite was the ragtop, though wagon, slantback, and 2-door pickup versions were also available.

I liked the drop down wheel holders too, which gave the H1 unequalled ground clearance.

I even like the blurry smiley face steve-o got tatooed on his arm while being driven over a long set of whoops in one.

In 2005, I sat next to a Yugoslavian jounalist in an H1's shiplike interior at the Detroit Auto Show. He mused "look at this thing, seriously, if you only want one car for the rest of your life, this is it." You'd get tired of the cramped interior, and wind up dating the gas station attendant, but the thing is designed to go a million miles.

I always wondered who was behind the wheel of these beasts. Over the 12 years they were for sale, more than 14,000 people walked into Hummer dealerships with enough money and desire to walk out with one.

When cars feel more and more generic (Dodge Magnum, Chrysler 300C, and Dodge Charger come to mind), it was nice to have a bully on the block who didn't feel like sharing any of his parts.

It seems like everyone uses nameplates to sell mass market bits on expensive cars, (Ford's Vantage and S-type, VW's Continental, Audi's Gallardo), it is rare to see someone taking a small name (AM General) and pasting a big name over it, smearing it with a touch of civility, and offering it to the public.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You know, its going to be wierd when the Hummer brand is led by the H2, which to me looks no different from an HJ, or a liberty (in terms of panel shapes and construction, basically just the year it was constructed in). At least, without the halo H1, maybe people's aspriations will slide down one model, i.e. "well an H2 seems like a little much, and I'll just stick with an H3."

As for the green side, H2's have been selling around 35,000 per year, so they are the real problem for the environment, not the lumbering H1, which you could argue someone may actually have a need for.

So really, this must be a cost thing. GM would make or save money with it off the market. See ya!