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May 26, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

The last Hummer has rolled off the line in Shreveport, Louisiana. Although the H3 shared the same chassis as the Chevy Colorado, and the H2 was basically a Chevy Tahoe with a different body, the antipathy toward the gas Goliaths was immense.
posted by four panels (58 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
, that is the tear I will not shed for the Hummer.
posted by Cranberry at 12:03 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I take it you don't like Hummers very much?
posted by daniel_charms at 12:05 PM on May 26, 2010


The antipathy towards the Tahoe wasn't much less. Am I the only one that remembers the "make your own Tahoe commercial" website from a few years ago that spawned thousands of satirical "commercials" for the beast?
posted by DU at 12:11 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The H2 and H3 weren't Hummers, and the Hummer was never designed to be a commercial vehicle. Selling it as one is stupid. Selling knock-offs based on the branding is even stupider. But the actual Hum-Vee vehicle is an amazing thing, it really is.

I'm no apologist for SUVs or for the military, but it does get under my skin to see these ugly mid-range SUVs with a body kit get bandied about as if they were in any way connected to such an impressively designed thing.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:12 PM on May 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


What's the difference between an elephant and a Hummer?


A elephant has an asshole on the outside.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:13 PM on May 26, 2010 [35 favorites]


It's not so much that the Hummer was an ostentatious gas-sucking pig, it's that the vast majority of people driving them were insufferable assholes with small penis syndrome.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 12:15 PM on May 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


http://www.fuh2.com/ is displaying "Mission Accomplished" on its homepage. (Site might not be worksafe if your coworkers have issues with bad words and public vandalism.)
posted by ardgedee at 12:17 PM on May 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


So annoying and pretentious! Exactly why I drive an understated G-Class.
posted by GuyZero at 12:20 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nothing screams 'Douchebag comin thru!" like a Humvee.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:22 PM on May 26, 2010


No links to the Green Hummer Project or the horse drawn Hummer?
posted by fixedgear at 12:22 PM on May 26, 2010


The sad thing about the H3 is how freaking tiny it is on the inside compared to the outside. Its interior room is barely larger than my Honda Fit which cost 1/2 as much and gets more than twice the gas mileage.
posted by octothorpe at 12:26 PM on May 26, 2010


liquidwolf, i prefer this one, and i usually use BMW instead of hummer (old boss had a BMW)...

what's the difference between a porcupine and a hummer?

with a porcupine the prick is on the outside.
posted by rainperimeter at 12:30 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not so much that the Hummer was an ostentatious gas-sucking pig, it's that the vast majority of people driving them were insufferable assholes with small penis syndrome.

I always found the Chevy Tahoe version kind of chilling. When they originally decided to sell the HUMVEE as a consumer vehicle it was a luxury vehicle for a special kind of man-pig, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ted Nugent.

Now, why would you buy an H2 or H3 over a Chevy Tahoe: not only are you going to commute 40 miles from your exurb in a car getting maybe 10 miles/gallon to work in a nice safe air-conditioned office, but you believe that this "way of life" must be guaranteed by the U.S. military. Anything that causes the price of gas to go up is an act of war.

Now, from the left it's easy to say that this is just putting the face on the pig: our suburbs are built on cheap gas which is built on U.S. military supremacy. No Blood for Oil! But in the end, we all have to decide what is worth fighting for; we may talk big and live big but maybe, in the end, we would rather live smaller lives than bathe in the blood of our enemies. Driving a Hummer was a clear way of saying that some things are worth fighting for...

I'd like to think that 2003 wasn't a plebiscite on whether the U.S. is prepared to go down fighting, because I don't like the apparent outcome. Maybe the demise of Hummer is cause for hope....
posted by ennui.bz at 12:35 PM on May 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


It appears that this is only news of the H3's demise, the H2 will continue to be made. Sadly.
posted by Big_B at 12:36 PM on May 26, 2010


Up here in the Arctic, these things almost make sense and they are somewhat popular and will be missed.

However, the real prestige vehicle (which I'm driving at the moment) is a banged up F350 construction-version crew cab super duty 4x4 with offroad springs, and the cold weather package (plus the obligatory spider-cracked windshield). If you drive a an H2 or H3, I can roll right over you without even noticing the egglike crunch, sort of like running over an armadillo in south Texas in a Honda Civic.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:45 PM on May 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


sorry only that it translates to loss of jobs. from the article:
... the loss of Hummer production will force the plant to lay off roughly 200 of its 900-person workforce. GM is also expected to shutter the facility in 2012, putting the future of its compact pickups in question.
other than that, i'm happy to see the beasts off the teat of big oil. even if it *is* lapping at our shores.
posted by msconduct at 12:47 PM on May 26, 2010


The day I bought my 2004 Honda Element, I drove it to a local ice cream shop with my boy, parking it 2 spaces away from an H2. Another family was at the next table, and a boy about my son's age asked if the E was mine. When I told him it was he replied "Aw man, it's SO COOL!". I asked him what car he arrived in, and he pointed to the H2. His dad looked super-pissed, there was practically steam emitting from beneath his permed mullet.

Delicious.
posted by Scoo at 12:48 PM on May 26, 2010 [15 favorites]


I just wanted to point out that the "Hummer" in the last pick of the post isn't a consumer-available "hummer", it's a decommissioned/reconfigured military HMMWV.

Much more awesome, what the other things want to be---with the offset transmission and available in a sluggish but gruesome 6.5L Turbo Diesel.

You can tell by the doors and the fact that pretty well all comfort features (and safety features) aren't present. It also sits lower and squatter w/ way more ground clearance.

FWIW, HMMWV's aren't legal in DC and many other places because they're too wide.

Hummers = lame and glad they got sold to China. HMMWV's are awesome, and they have been ever since AMC started making them...
posted by TomMelee at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good riddance.
posted by caddis at 1:12 PM on May 26, 2010


1000 words, etc.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:19 PM on May 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


My only complaint about Hummers was people trying to drive them in Ireland... Where rural roads barely had room across for two NORMAL width cars, encountering the rare Hummer was an exercise in frustration.
posted by antifuse at 1:23 PM on May 26, 2010


> The last Hummer

Yeah, mom. Take five. huh huhuhuhuhuh.

> FWIW, HMMWV's aren't legal in DC and many other places because they're too wide.

Many models are also out of the accepted weight range for many residential streets. Not that they ever get cited for it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:24 PM on May 26, 2010


Another stupid reminder of the aughts, thankfully and mercifully, bites the dust.

Take it away Freddy....
posted by Skygazer at 1:25 PM on May 26, 2010


Oh good, now I can concentrate all my hate towards the Escalade.
posted by cazoo at 1:30 PM on May 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


TomMelee, that's a Hummer in the SUT configuration. Look for the nameplate on the front fender. The real HMMWV is not, so far as I know, street legal. The Hummer (H1) is the HMMWV with those necessary mods.

Also, the Chinese company did not complete the deal with GM, and the brand is being retired.
posted by dhartung at 1:30 PM on May 26, 2010


Hummers were awful more because of their customers than because of the vehicles themselves. The H1 was at least *interesting* from a technical standpoint. I see the appeal. It was unsophisticated and high tech at the same time.

The H3, in spite of its image, was a pretty capable off-road vehicle with the right options, worthy of the branding. It got decent (~20 mpg with the I-5) mileage and wasn't stupid huge in spite of its presence. It's what the H2 should have been and it's actually a little sad to see it go.

The H2? A great example of everything that was wrong with GM at the time.
posted by pjaust at 1:33 PM on May 26, 2010


Ah, really? I've seen h1's before, but not one that looked like that.

And HMMWV's are legal in west virginia, because I know several people who had them long before "Hummer" was a saleslot brand.
posted by TomMelee at 1:45 PM on May 26, 2010


@fourcheesemac

Back during my short stint in Alaska, I rode a Ford Excursion out into the bush with 7 other people. Despite my extreme misgivings about the sheer extravagance of the thing, it actually almost made sense in that context. It was comfortable, and fit all of our gear. Compared to the alternative of taking 2-3 other vehicles, we may have even saved some gas.*

Still, it's worth noting that there are surprisingly few SUVs in Alaska. Most folks drive Subarus, pickup trucks, or smaller 4WD SUVs. I see more big SUVs in suburban New Jersey and NYC than I did in Fairbanks.

*This isn't a fantastic argument, as the thing still somehow manages to use more gas than a school bus.
posted by schmod at 1:53 PM on May 26, 2010


> ompared to the alternative of taking 2-3 other vehicles, we may have even saved some gas.*

As an aside, if you're going off trekking with a group in remote wilderness or desert, it's really best to take more than one vehicle in case of breakdowns.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:56 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The H2 shared only the basics of T800 chassis with the Tahoe, Suburban, etc. The suspension, the differentials, transmission, the transfer case and the positioning of the wheels w/respect to the body (virtually no overhang) made the H2 a very, very capable off-road machine.
posted by bz at 2:03 PM on May 26, 2010


To be fair, there was some backlash against the Tahoe, but the H2 Hummer (and H3) got so much crap in large part because, unlike the H1 (which was at least off-road capable) the H2 and H3 took everything bad about their respective platforms and made 'em worse, plus cost more and used more gas, all in the name of serving an audience of H1-driver-wannabes. The H1 backlash, while strong, was more focused on such an off-road-capable vehicle being pointless on-road.
posted by davejay at 2:20 PM on May 26, 2010


I had the good fortune to finish high school living with my much better off aunt and uncle in a well-to-do suburb of Chicago. I also had the misfortune, in college, to herniate a disc so badly that, in the summer time, I had to have surgery. Part of my recovery was talking very, very slow walks around the subdivision. As I got healthier, my slow walks covered more ground, and, in 1997, brought me past a house whose driveway was occupied by a black Humvee (original type). As far as I could tell, it was the designated car for the wife, for buying groceries, dropping the kids off at soccer, etc. Every time I saw it, I had an immense desire to just piss all over it. The sides, the tires, the doors, the window. I never did, mostly because, at that stage in my recovery, my hundred yard dash time was something like 2 minutes. Even 13 years later, this is great news to wake up to.

And if you think DC streets are too narrow, please explain that concept to the people driving Hummers (of all numbers) and SUVs around the tiny streets of Tokyo. Ridiculous.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:36 PM on May 26, 2010


The Hummer fragrances for men (from Elizabeth Arden) might outlive the original product.
posted by iviken at 3:12 PM on May 26, 2010


I sat in one of the original (H1) models that had been converted to a sort of grass fire response vehicle. I couldn't believe how uncomfortable it was. So when they started selling them to consumers I just laughed, thinking they'd never sell. I was, clearly, a fool.

But at least I wasn't enough of a fool to actually buy one.
posted by tommasz at 3:14 PM on May 26, 2010


made the H2 a very, very capable off-road machine

Only sort of. Have you driven one? The visibility out is atrociously, ridiculously bad, and it's lard-ass heavy. Nice big tires and ok overhangs, but wide and tall in very unhelpful ways. Stupid, stupid vehicles, that never should have been made.
posted by Forktine at 3:17 PM on May 26, 2010


The other day, I saw someone using an H2 for something it ought to be used for: towing. They were towing an old Bronco. The combined height of the trailer and the bronco was less than the roof height of the Hummer.
posted by wierdo at 3:24 PM on May 26, 2010



posted by m@f at 3:25 PM on May 26, 2010


The sad thing about the H3 is how freaking tiny it is on the inside compared to the outside.

The first time I rode in one, I was shocked at how small they are on the inside. My cousin's husband bought her one, and I talked her into taking it back because of the lack of interior space. They have 5 kids, and I made the point that they could pay less money for an equally capable automobile that their whole family could actually ride in together.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:33 PM on May 26, 2010


Hummers do indeed seem to be on their way out, but I've noticed a lot more Hummer Limos while out and about town. Is this a trend?
posted by crapmatic at 3:48 PM on May 26, 2010


> The Hummer fragrances for men ...
are probably not that popular in Glasgow, where a hum is a bad smell.
posted by scruss at 4:40 PM on May 26, 2010


In Australia there was a charmless advertising slogan for Hummers "Now Get Lost", with an extreme close-up of the grill. The message was clear - "fuck off you little person".

Quite disgusting, I'm sure it worked a treat on reptilian-brain adolescent males.
posted by wilful at 4:40 PM on May 26, 2010


The sad thing about the H3 is how freaking tiny it is on the inside compared to the outside. Its interior room is barely larger than my Honda Fit which cost 1/2 as much and gets more than twice the gas mileage.

I've never sat in a Hummer, but every picture of the interior gave me a really claustrophobic feeling.
posted by zardoz at 5:12 PM on May 26, 2010


The only good thing I have to say about Hummers is that it's totally OK that Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg drove one in Zombieland, because those are extenuating circumstances.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:45 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want an off-road SUV, buy a Land Rover Defender.

If you want an SUV that can also go off-road, buy a Land Rover Discovery.

If you're batshit insane, buy a Bowler Wildcat or a Unimog.

That is all.
posted by armage at 6:28 PM on May 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you want to go off road, but not deep into the bush, buy a jacked-up jeep wrangler with a winch.

A friend of mine once had one that would easily climb boulders as big as the jeep itself was. Of course, it was somewhere near forty feet off the ground and nearly required a ladder to get in. Also, the highway mileage sucked. On the bright side, the tires were big enough to float the thing, so driving into a river wasn't a big deal as long as we remembered the paddles.
posted by wierdo at 6:47 PM on May 26, 2010


Still, it's worth noting that there are surprisingly few SUVs in Alaska. Most folks drive Subarus, pickup trucks, or smaller 4WD SUVs. I see more big SUVs in suburban New Jersey and NYC than I did in Fairbanks.

when gas costs 5 or 6 bucks a gallon, as it does in bush Alaska, most travel is by ATV or snow machine anyway. Toyota Rav4 and Jeep Eagles are big for around town.

You're not gonna go off road in any suv or truck where I am unless it's an ice road. But on the north slope even driving around town feels like "off road" anywhere else.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:30 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]




The weird thing with the HMMWV is the inboard disc brakes, combined with very heavy tires, wheels and central inflation system, and not-quite locking Torsen diff. This combination almost guarantees that almost every outing will break a half shaft unless the driver is very, very careful to ease onto the brakes when the wheels start spinning.

Speaking from experience -- my 404 Unimog towed out several H1's with broken shafts.
posted by autopilot at 8:34 PM on May 26, 2010


If you want to go off road, but not deep into the bush, buy a jacked-up jeep wrangler with a winch.

Or travel in style in a VW Syncro.

I own a '95 Jeep Wrangler; it has the square headlights but I love it anyway. It's currently propped up on cinder blocks, covered by a tarp, mothballed in my parent's driveway. It's serving as a habitat for several thousand spiders and a family of squirrels. I'll get it running again when I have the money and time for that project.

As the first vehicle I bought, this jeep has a special place in my heart. It's more than simple ownership or accomplishment, it's a matter of companionship. I rode it around with the top always down for years regardless of the weather. Showering and changing at work took less time and effort than putting up the top on a rainy day; I think I was known to many people along my commute as "that crazy guy who drives with the top down in the rain and snow."

On a certain commuting corridor in Northern Virginia I was almost as well-known as Santa Claus, I'd drive the jeep to work with the top down in any weather and smile and wave to anyone that honked at me. I even broke it off with a fine woman who demanded that I put the top up for her comfort. On the road, people loved me like a celebrity. I lived out of this jeep and it was a big part of who I was for a coupla years. I lived a simple life, all I did was work during the week and pack up my camping gear on friday and drive straight from work out to the George Washington National Forest to take a trail to a secluded spot and camp for the weekend (and hike and fish and drink beer and all the other things a young man should).

Off the road, on the national forest trails, all the off-road trails were exactly one jeep's width. Every switchback was made for the jeep's turning radius. If you were driving a larger vehicle, a more powerful Grand Cherokee or Ford pickup, you'd have to accept pin stripes on the sides of your vehicle as you scrape your way through a narrow trail and making three-point turns on the switchbacks not made for your longer wheelbase.

But then they started selling the Hummer, the original H1, a tank of a vehicle for civilians. Us jeep jockeys were pretty threatened, as it was a vehicle that, stock from the dealership, could outperform the jeep on any back country trail. It was, and is, a beast of an off-road performer. There was even a Hummer School where new owners could take their H1's through a military obstacle course to teach the owners what their vehicle was capable of; if they had the guts to put their machine to the test, they would traverse the deepest and steepest of ditches.

Anyhow, one time in my lil' jeep, I drove into the bush for hours to find a secluded spot in which to camp with my ladyfriend. It was my secret secluded spot; but somebody beat me to this perfect spot: a goddamn VW Syncro driver beat me there. It is a georgeous place to camp and I had a sleeping bag a tent and he had a pop-up camper built into his vehicle.

And I've been looking for a nice vw syncro ever since.
posted by peeedro at 9:56 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd prefer an Alvis Stalwart.
posted by zippy at 10:24 PM on May 26, 2010


Wow, the impact of hitting the water like that would have to hurt.
posted by wierdo at 11:13 PM on May 26, 2010


I don't know if Hummers are decent off-road vehicles or not (although with the branding and such, I'm sure the price/performance ratio is bad regardless.) I do know that I have seen many, many Hummers in my life, and I have never seen one that was dirty, as if it had just come back from the field.

Internally, I refer to them as poseurmobiles. Not that I like the lets-drive-over-nature mentality, if you actually gave a shit about the outdoors you'd find some way to traverse it that didn't wreck it. However, it takes a special variety of weak to like that sort of mentality enough to buy into it, have enough money to participate in it, and then not actually do it.

Personally, I think anyone who has ever owned a hummer should be restricted to driving a smart car for the rest of their lives. And if it was an H2, it must be pink.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:52 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


A few nights ago we spotted an H3 on the road with the vanity plate "HUMVEE".

I've never seen a license plate with a smug expression before. It was amazing.
posted by Spatch at 12:18 AM on May 27, 2010


Curious, the plant manager grew up across the street from me.
posted by Goofyy at 12:43 AM on May 27, 2010


If you thought the H2 was bad, boy have I got the thing for you: the International CXT. Hate away.

21 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 9 foot roofline. 7.6-liter International DT466 (I-6 turbodiesel); mileage is reportedly between 8 and 9 MPG, city.

Basically it is a full-size truck chassis, such as you might normally find on something useful like a moving van or flatbed towtruck, except it has a lengthened SUV-style cab with four doors and then a F-350 bed tossed on the back, presumably because a hot tub wouldn't quite fit.

The only good thing about it is the price: new it's $115k, so thankfully out of reach of all but a handful of d-bags.

I have, however, actually seen one 'in the wild' (parking lot of a hotel in NC near I-95) ... sitting across a good four parking spaces.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:19 AM on May 27, 2010


It's not so much that the Hummer was an ostentatious gas-sucking pig, it's that the vast majority of people driving them were insufferable assholes with small penis syndrome.

There's assholes in every make and model. It WAS that they were 'ostentatious gas-sucking pigs'.

The day I bought my 2004 Honda Element, I drove it to a local ice cream shop with my boy, parking it 2 spaces away from an H2. Another family was at the next table, and a boy about my son's age asked if the E was mine. When I told him it was he replied "Aw man, it's SO COOL!"...

A contest between the biggest gas guzzling behemoth and the ugliest suv on the road can have no winner.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 6:54 AM on May 27, 2010



I used to work for a company that collected roadway data. Things like how level the roadway is, how deep the rutting, pothole and crack size and depth measurements - that sort of thing.

We would take regular cargo vans, and put a small LAN in them with the several computers and servers reading data off of the many sensors. There was a lot of data collected - one van could do 5-600 gigs in a week.

Anyway, we got a contract to do some roadways in Alaska, including some that were quite out of the way. So we got a Hummer H2, mostly because the amount of space inside and under the hood meant that we could mount our equipment with a minimum of fuss. It would be showy enough for trade shows and, it was supposed to be able to handle some moderate offroading and abuse.

It worked well enough. But at ~20000 miles, we blew out the automatic transmission. At ~35000 the transfer case. At ~40000 miles, the transmission again. The dealer had a long talk with us about what we were doing. According to him, the Hummer wasn't actually designed to be *used* offroad with any consistency. We had to replace most of the drivetrain with aftermarket parts that have since been a lot more reliable.

The Hummer has been retired from service now, and the company CEO uses it to tow his boat.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:34 AM on May 27, 2010


And I've been looking for a nice vw syncro ever since.

Careful what you wish for, peeedro -- if you're used to a Jeep, you'll never come to terms with the astounding complexity, poor reliability and short engine life of the synchro.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:25 AM on May 27, 2010


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