Hummer: From America's Battlefields to Her Streets
It's certainly a glaring testimonial for any vehicle to be able to hold up to the rigged and strict standards of the United States Army. In every battle America has fought since 1984, the Humvee has been the workhorse the troops counted on. Ruggedness on any and all terrain, versatility, and modular build made her ideal for any military engagement.
Though AM General had originally planned to release a civilian version, it took the persistence of no less than action star Arnold Schwarzenegger to bring that plan to fruition. The problem was that the Humvee was too powerful and dangerous for civilian use. This fueled a wave of innovations that Hummer users now enjoy.
In battle, there was nothing wrong with a vehicle that could charge into any trouble and come out unscathed. The problem AM General had was that quality might not translate to safety on roads across America. As a result, the first Hummer to come out, the H1, was deemed underpowered by the buying public. This caused much difficulty for GM, who eventually took over marketing responsibilities.
The answer was the 6.6-liter Duramax V8. It struck the balance between the consumer's need for power, and GM's need for peace of mind. With an impressive 305 bhp at 3000 revolutions per minute, the Duramax was perfect to carry the bulk and weight of the massive Hummer and transform it into the vehicle of choice for the off-road adventurer.
CITS (Central Tire Inflation System)
When it comes to off-roading, power is just one part of the equation-tire pressure is another. On flat, level roads, higher pressures are required-on rougher terrain, that high pressure can cause you to pop a tire real quick. Enter the CITS. This handy innovation allowed Hummer owners the unique ability to inflate or deflate their front tires or their rear tires, or even all four altogether.
Under normal driving conditions, the Hummer's tire pressure rests at 26 psi up front and 28 psi in the rear. Should the driver require it to carry heavier loads, he could bring that up to 45 psi with just a flick of a switch! Off-roading? Bring it down to 20 psi. Driving through deep snow or mud? Cut it lower to 10 psi. The system even warns the driver if he goes too far either way!
Do they work?
All these are good to talk about, but how well do these innovations perform under real life conditions? Well, in 1990, a pair of Hummers ran a gauntlet of extremely rough terrain from London to Beijing, through the former Soviet Union-a tough journey if there ever was one-yet the Hummer completed it with great ease!
When a Hummer is More Than a Hummer
If you haven't seen a Hummer limousine, you are missing half your life. They seem to be an affront to all things normal. Too wide already to fit most parking spaces and smaller roads, the Hummersine seems to stretch that even more-pardon the pun-by making it unwieldy length-wise. One has to admit, however, that it makes for a spacious and luxurious interior.
Versatility in ruggedness
That kind of set up represents the extreme range of customizability that the Hummer gives you. If you're not into that kind of ludicrous extravagance, there are other options in customization that might be more up to your tastes. Here are a couple of ideas that might help you get the most out of your Hummer.
This custom job brings together a lot of different components to make your Hummer stand out in a crowd. The first things you can customize are the lights. Off the bat, you can change out your front headlights with more powerful Xenon variants. Complement this with a light bar up top for an outdoor party, some h-racks up top to stow the drinks and supplies, and even a tricked-out audio package to make good use of the real estate out back.
The hero set up focuses on the immense potential for rescue and recovery operations that the hummer makes possible. First off will be a couple of winch options-these you can mount up front to help you pull things out of mud or water. If you have the SUT variant with the open bed at the back, you can put in a covered slant back or tonneau to helps shelter people or supplies for rugged transport.
The sky (and your budget) is the limit to the amazing things you can do on and with your Hummer. One word of advice if you want to start building that dream Hummer: make sure you're getting parts that fit the right variant!