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Autotrader Find: High-Performance Hummer H1 Prototype

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author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2017

This 1998 AM General Hummer may look like virtually any other 1998 Hummer from the outside -- in the sense that it's massive, blocky and ridiculous -- but it has a secret under the hood: an 8.1-liter Vortec V8, with a massive 455 lb-ft of torque, reportedly installed by General Motors in just two Hummer models as a prototype. Indeed, this is one of those two, and it's currently listed for sale in Reno, Nevada, with 52,000 miles for $63,000.

Despite my previous Hummer ownership, I'm absolutely not an expert on these things -- but here's the story as it's described in the listing. According to the seller, General Motors wanted to try out the massive 8100 Vortec engine in the Hummer, which (at the time) was offered only with turbodiesel V8 power. As a result, they installed the engine in just two Hummers -- and just one (this one) was a "four-door-pickup" model.

The listing says the truck was covered in "Motor Trend" and tested at GM's desert proving grounds in Arizona. For further proof of its provenance, the ad shows several images of Arnold Schwarzenegger standing next to a yellow Hummer -- and while it can't be verified that it's the same Hummer as the one for sale, it seems like a reasonable assumption. The ad also shows that massive Vortec V8 under the hood, which must've provided something the Hummer seriously lacked: decent acceleration.

While $63,000 is big money for a '98 Hummer, this is a pretty special example of the truck -- perfect for the collection of any Hummer enthusiast. If such a thing exists.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Autotrader Find: High-Performance Hummer H1 Prototype - Autotrader