I was so excited when Doug DeMuro invited me to off-road his Hummer! Of course when I got to his house; “Hah, no, I’m not paying for gas to drive all the way to the woods. Don’t worry. I got some fun roads for you to try.” ...I should seen the red flags right there.
You might have heard the original Hummer called “H1” since General Motors decided to grace us with an H2 and H3, but this steaming pile of 80’s engineering really has very little in common with its modern stablemates.
Even in civilian garb, the H1 is a pure off-road machine that apologizes for nothing. It’s built to move itself over anything, and happens to have four little perches where humans can hang on at the truck’s convenience.
Seriously; that airplane-wing track width is only there to support the vehicle’s massive suspension and driveline. Each passenger only gets a sliver about as comfortable as a playground swing. And half as safe; Doug’s Hummer was also big enough to earn airbag exemptions when it was built.
We had fun anyway, terrorizing the Philly farmer’s market and bicyclists. At least I had fun. Doug got pretty embarrassed once I found the horn (on the blinker stalk of all places.)
I explained how portal axles work and why the brakes are behind the front grille on this truck too, but I think the camera was only rolling for the “incoherent rambling” section. Anyway, here’s what it’s like to try and use an old Hummer as a city car.