If you think the Toyota FJ Cruiser isn't rugged enough, the Nissan Xterra rides too well, or the Jeep Wrangler is just too luxurious, this 1985 Humvee could be perfect for you.
The first owner of this Humvee was the United States Marine Corps, who clearly didn't opt for the creature comforts, only ordering the bare essentials: canvas doors, plastic side windows, no seat belts or airbags, and a top speed of around 65 mph. It's also a collector's item: according to current owner Dennis Moser, just 1,000 were ever released to the public after military use.
Moser, who owns a real estate firm in suburban Charlotte, North Carolina, purchased the vehicle from a doctor in Arizona. After spending over $5,000 to get it in good shape, Moser successfully registered it and used it to show potential buyers around huge tracts of rugged, forested property. According to Moser, the Humvee was just one of many modes of transportation, including ATVs and, for the biggest plots, rented helicopters – but clients always remembered riding in the Humvee.
"When people went out in it, they would never forget it," explained Moser. "I still have people coming up to me years later saying, 'Do you remember that time we went out to check out that land in the Humvee?'"
Although the recent H2 and H3 define the Hummer brand for most people, its history goes way back to 1984, when the military contracted AM General to make the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle – shortened to HMMWV, or "Humvee."
Following intense media coverage of the Gulf War, where the Humvee saw extensive active duty, AM General decided to rename it "Hummer" and sell it in the civilian market – with a little help and prodding from early admirer and pitchman Arnold Schwarzenegger. General Motors bought the rights to distribute the Hummer brand in 1999 and came out with the H2 in 2003.
Last week, General Motors announced they would be winding down the Hummer brand after its proposed sale to a Chinese heavy machinery manufacturer fell through. While AM General still manufactures the original Humvee for military use, it's unlikely that any more vehicles will be released to the public – meaning this might be your only chance to own a true, go-anywhere military icon.
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