Bob Lutz and Henrik Fisker’s feisty Michigan-based VLF Automotive is bringing the H1 back to the masses — provided they don’t reside in North America.
Lutz has struck a deal with Humvee Export, a small collective of off-road enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in Saint Clair, Michigan, to assemble the trucks using GM powertrains at VLF’s small factory in Auburn Hills.
Even though General Motors abandoned the Hummer brand in 2010, and H1 assembly in 2006, AM General has continued production of the High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle for allied military use. It has also begun offering a C-Series kit to private citizens for $60,000 in 2013, which includes the HMMWV platform minus a powertrain. Seeing an opportunity, Humvee Export began ordering C-Series kits that same year — finishing them off for sale in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. In 2017, they branched out to include export to China and are enlisting VLF in order to expand production.
“There’s a niche market,” Humvee president John Costin told Car and Driver. “There are people who want to have the most fun at 5 or 6 mph.”
Costin says Humvee plans to assemble up to 100 finished trucks by year’s end, with the majority going to wealthy buyers in China with a $150,00o starting price and loads of optional extras. The vehicles will be vintage Hummer in appearance and come in three trim levels: Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. Higher trims provide additional luxury, distancing the vehicle from the base model’s interior and its military roots.
There are also four engine options providing some of the worst fuel economy in the industry. Most models will be assembled with a 6.5-liter diesel V8 in three flavors — 190 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque; 205 hp and 440 lb-ft; or 250 hp and 440 lb-ft. General Motors’ 6.2-liter LS3 is also on offer with 430 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque, a higher price point, and the 4L85-E four-speed automatic. Humvee Exports did not specify what transmission the diesels would be using.
As stated earlier, you cannot get one in North America. The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which allows kit-car companies to forego EPA certification and crash testing of replicas built at least 25 years ago, doesn’t apply here. While the Hummer H1 — first rolled out in 1992 — is technically old enough, is also still in production with AM General. Don’t like that? Write to your state representative.
However, if you have the means to purchase one, you may already own a home outside of the U.S. anyway. In which case, the problem resolves itself.