- Written by webmin
In recognition of our March Military Campaign, let’s take a break from considering the collector-worthiness of all those namby-pamby civilian passenger vehicles from 1986 and look at a vehicle that has surely earned its stripes, the AM General HMMWV, a.k.a. the Humvee.
Designed in 1979 to replace a number of vehicles then in the U.S. Army’s motor pools – including the M561 Gama Goat and the M151 Mutt – the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle was one of three designs submitted, the other two coming from Chrysler and Teledyne Continental. In 1983 – the same year AMC sold AM General to LTV Aerospace and Defense (following the purchase of a controlling interest in AMC by Renault, then owned by the French government) – the Army awarded the first of a number of contracts for HMMWV production to AM General. With the M998 designation, it went into production in the fall of 1984, and has remained in constant production since then, evolving over the years to meet changing field requirements – variants include pickups, ambulances, armament carriers and the more recent uparmored versions. With full-time four-wheel-drive, independent suspension front and rear, a GM-sourced 6.2L diesel V-8 engine, along with a host of other goodies, it proved plenty capable in off-road conditions, enough to directly inspire a civilian version, the 1992 Hummer H1, as well as a couple of Chinese knockoffs. According to AM General, more than 190,000 total HMMWVs have been built. Only in recent years has the Army moved to find a replacement for the highly extensible HMMWV.
So, as we ask of each of our Class of 1986 candidates, would you include a HMMWV, in any configuration available in 1986, in your garage dedicated to vehicles from 1986? Would you pass on it and wait for the civilian Hummer H1? Or would you pass entirely on the Humvee and its derivatives?