Carefree H1 thinks it's a Fiat.
The "beach car" occupies a curious corner of automotive culture. These seashore cruisers are typically painted in pastel colors, fitted with whicker seats and teak trim, and left almost entirely open to the elements, save (in some cases) for canvas awnings for shade. And they're typically based on something like a classic Mini or Fiat 500. But not this one.
This, as you can see, is a Hummer H1 that's been retrofitted as a beach cruiser, taking a decidedly different approach from the military application for which it was originally designed. That's what brought it to our attention, and in turn, to yours.
A 1987 model, this Hummer not only predates GM's acquisition of the "consumer" component of the business, but was made before AM General even started marketing them to civilians – just a few years after it started making them for the military. Like most of the other nearly 300,000 other Hummer H1s that have been built to date, this open-top HMMWV M998 is fitted with a 6.5-liter diesel V8 and an automatic transmission. What makes it stand out are the (largely aesthetic) modifications.
For starters, it's been resprayed in a decidedly un-marshall shade of aqua blue and the windshield frame, tubular superstructure, brush guards, and other trim look like they've been powder-coated in white.
The doors have been replaced with wood (real or otherwise), the interior upholstered in weather-resistant tan with floral-print inserts, the wheels capped with solid white discs, and the steering wheel wrapped in whicker and its hub inscribed with the words "beach bum for life." There's a couple of surfboards on the roof, too, as well as a plethora of auxiliary lighting, an upgraded audio system, and a pair of gas cans with beer taps on 'em.
It looks more like an overgrown Fiat Jolly than a military vehicle, and it's quite unlike any other Hummer we've ever seen. And if you like it, you can buy it. Mecum will be auctioning it off on Sunday, January 5, in Kissimmee, Florida.