It is with tremendous sadness that I report on the passing of a great American hero. On February 26, 2010, the Hummer passed away in Sichuan Tengzheng’s botched attempt to purchase the brand from General Motors. The Hummer was born in its first incarnation in 1979, either as the result of the United States’ need for a new combat vehicle, or the mating of Roger Ebert and a Panzer Tank, no one is really sure. Having served as a powerful asset in the Gulf War, as a reliable ally in the warzone that is L.A. traffic, the Hummer had in many ways come to represent all that this country stood for at the time of its death: gluttonous excess, wide girth, and looking down on all the little people be- ing crushed by your forty inch chrome spinners.
Designated the High Mo- bility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), some of the Humvee’s original accessories included an M2HB .50-caliber machine gun, a MK19 MOD3 40mm grenade launcher, about twelve different kinds of winches, and if you got the deluxe model, heated windshields. (All this is according to “The Hummer Network,” an online community for all-things Hummercentric.) In its infancy, the Humvee mowed down rebels in Panama, whacked A-rabs in Desert Storm, and got its own G.I. Joe scale model.
Though these first models were obviously too baller for the streets, they were not too baller for the half-man, half-machine, all-Austrian, muscled up dreamboat Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Hummer was a true sidekick to the one-man-war turned mainstay of the action/war film genre turned GOP warrior.
Schwarzenegger, whose career was rapidly climbing—and would later peak with the seminal trilogy of _Kindergarten Cop_, _Junior_, and _Jingle All the Way_—needed a car that would match his ambitions. Unhappy with the “girlyman” heaps of tin he saw surrounding him, his life and the course of history was changed while on the set of _Kindergarten Cop_, when he saw a convoy of Army Humvees parading along. It was love at first sight.
Schwarzenegger, admiring the Hummer, was quoted as ex- claiming, “Look at those calves! Look at those deltoids!”
However, like all star-crossed lovers, things wouldn’t be easy for Arnold and the Humvee. The makers of the metal monstros- ity on wheels, AM General, would not allow the love to bloom, claiming that their vehicle was not “street-legal,” and that it was already going steady with the military.
Arnold was patient and persistent and by 1992, he got his way with the Humvee. The first Hummer H1, a modified version of the military vehicle was finally produced, with Arnold behind the wheel. (There is a pretty hilarious YouTube video of the unveiling ceremony, if you care to see it.)
Over the years, the relationship between the Hummer and Ar- nold blossomed—he purchased an entire fleet of the vehicles for himself. The couple was inseparable and has often been called the Bogie and Bacall, the Brangelina, the peanut butter and jelly of the 90s.
Soon, everyone from Coolio to your mother had to get their hands on the Hummer, which became the new hot shit around town. Needless to say, this hurt its relationship with Arnold, who was heartbroken when the brand was sold to GM in 1998. Arnold, now focusing on a political career, was unable to be seen in public with his Hummers due to his newfound stance on girlyman issues such as the “environment” and “greenhouse gas emissions.”
Things only went downhill for the civilian Hummer. With gas prices rising and wallets getting thinner, even Coolio hawked off his Hummer, along with the crazy hybrid snake dreadlocks on his head. Sales in Hummers dipped and the new H2 and H3 models looked ugly as fuck, especially since the only color they seemed to come in was a disgusting combination of puke and a “goldenrod” Crayola crayon.
With the economic shitshow that has been GM’s past couple of years, Hummer was one of the first brands on the chopping block. Things seemed to be leveling out when it was announced that the brand would be sold to Sichuan Tengzheng, a Chinese automaker. But the deal fell through, and on February 26, GM announced that they would be cutting off the Hummer’s life support, allowing it to pass on to the Great Junkyard in the Sky, gracefully.
An open casket service will be held on Friday, March 5, for all models except the H3, whose physical deformities couldn’t even be fixed by a crack team of morticians and mechanics. The Hummer’s bodies will be buried beside their close friends, the DeLorean, all of Pontiac, and the Batmobile.