AM General Offering Humvee Kits

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Still want a Hummer? GM can't help you, but AM General can. You'll just need to build it yourself.

The saga of the Hummer is a long one. It dates back to 1984 when the US military commissioned the original High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) program from AM General, which lead to the civilian-spec Humvee championed by a pre-gubernatorial Arnold Schwarzenegger. General Motors bought the Hummer brand from AM General in 1998 and expanding it to a full range of rough-and-tumble SUVs. GM eventually shut down the division, but the original manufacturer is gearing up to bring the Humvee back to market.

According to reports, AM General has reacquired the rights to sell the go-anywhere trucks to civilians once again. But rather than marketing the vehicle that became the Hummer H1 Alpha, or the GM pickup-based H2 and H3 that followed, AM General will begin selling the original, bare-bones, military-grade Humvee. As a kit car. That means that survivalists and commando wannabes will soon be able to acquire the basic building blocks for a paramilitary Humvee they'll have to build themselves - or commission a professional mechanic to build for them, much as you would with many Cobra, Ford GT40 and Lotus Seven replicars.

It also means they'll have to buy an engine and transmission to install in a vehicle that will have no doors, roof, interior trim or even much of a floor to speak of, really. Only the four-door convertible version with canvas doors and roof will apparently be offered, so don't expect to get your hands on a new Hummer wagon, slantback or pickup. The kit will reportedly cost $59,000, but once you buy a GM Duramax V8 diesel and Allison transmission to install, you're looking at $75,000, plus assembly. Which is still a far cry from the $140,000 fully built H1s were selling for before GM ceased production, but it still strikes us as a lot of money for a kit car.

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