Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Auction Watch: 1988 Hummer H1 HMMWV

Here is a fat car for Fat Tuesday -- checkout this 1988 Hummer H1 HMMWV here on eBay bidding for $12,100 reserve-not-met with auction ending on Wednesday.


  1. Fat indeed. Hard to see these as descendants of the original GP (Jeep). No further comment.

  2. Replies
    1. Amen. Hard to understand why anyone would want one of these. Slow, inefficient, unreliable, expensive to fix/maintain, too wide for most decent off-road trails, too heavy to do anything fun in the sand or mud. Also, uncomfortable, cold in the winter, hot in the summer, wet in the rain, no such thing as keys (control locks are easily defeatable with a pair of bolt cutters), and don't get me started on those frigging seat cushions. Oh and these things leak everything fluid like a bastard if you look at them funny. Underpowered, can't tow much, poor visibility, zero foot/leg room, turning radius of the USS Enterprise (your pick aircraft carrier or space ship both apply, see also: SR71 at speed). These things are such freakin' garbage.

    2. Hi RyanM - thanks for sharing all that info. I had no idea if these things were good or not. My late father was an Engineer with the Canadian Army. He fixed everything, right up to tanks. But he had a special place for the Jeep. Nothing but good memories for him. Sad that the eventual replacement left you with such bad memories.

    3. Warning: I can be verbose at times. This is one of those times.

      Bobinott - there's a reason why ISIS uses these things as VBIEDs (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices aka car bombs), because that's about all they're good for. Our IA (Iraqi Army) / ANA (Afghan National Army) counterparts used to park them at checkpoints behind t-walls (tall jersey barriers) and sandbags and use them as stationary armored fighting positions while they went on patrols in regular, soft-skinned pickups (and one late 80's Lada Niva in the case of the Afghan National Police, which I thought was both awesome and terrifying at the same time).

      Practically every one of these I drove lost power steering at some point. On a 16 hour convoy moving at an average speed of 5mph on garbage roads and in traffic that sometimes shoots at you, that got tiring quickly. I have a special kind of hatred reserved for these things.

      Back stateside, we had one old CUCV (think diesel 1980's K-5 Blazer) in our motor pool that nobody could find on their books, and yet nobody had come by to collect and dispose of yet... Kind of a "glitch" in the system, if you will. So every time we'd do an extended duration convoy, myself and one of the mechanics in my unit would come in 4 or 5 weekends in a row prior-to movement in order to make sure it was up to the task. This worked out well, and I spent many an hour in relative comfort while my fellow Soldiers hated life in their HMMWVs. When it came time to deploy, we were even scheming ways to drive it into a shipping container and take it with us (we failed). When we returned from deployment, our rear-detachment Officer In Charge proudly exclaimed that he had "fixed the glitch" and had the CUCV sent to DRMO (kind of like a liquidator for excess Gov't property). Had he not outranked all of us, I'm pretty sure we'd have sent him to DRMO too, via Abu Dhabi of course.

      Anyway, back to the HMMWV: outside of the "coolguy" factor, I can't see why anyone would want one of these. I'd have one if for no other reason than to say I did, then I'd offload it as soon as one of the over-complicated under-engineered systems on these things (torsen diffs, geared hub assemblies, hydraulically actuated engine cooling fan, power steering, etc) gave up the ghost.

      Re: the Jeep your father worked on - I so wish we'd get back into the practice of simplifying and adding lightness for our in-garrison, inside-the-wire and non-armored type mobility requirements.

      If you look around at a lot of the forward bases and outposts in the current operational environment, you'll see what in my mind is the spiritual successor to the Jeep your father loved so much - the "UTV" class of vehicles (Polaris Ranger, John Deere Gator, etc). I'd be in favor of UTVs or even civilian Jeep Wranglers as a replacement for 90% of what the HMMWV does currently. I'd go even further and say that the HMMWV is pretty crap at that remaining 10% that these Jeeps/UTVs can't do (armored patrol, outside-the-wire work where protection is paramount to mobility etc). Before anyone mentions "supply chain" "acquisition" "procurement" "parts availability" etc... they fielded a much more complex system (MRAP) in something like 18 months. Sorry for the rant.

      Do you remember what variant of Jeep your dad used to wrench on? There were the "original" WWII Jeeps, then the M38 which looked like a CJ2, then M38A1 that looked like a CJ5 (etc), then the M151 "MUTT". I know I'm missing some, but those are all I can remember off the top of my head that were remotely Jeep-ish before the HMMWV dragged its knuckles onto the scene in the mid to late 80's.

    4. Hi RyanM - my Dad worked on the original Willys throughout WWII. After the war, he continued to maintain a motor pool that included lots of Jeeps. At one point, he and his guys won a team competition that required them to dismantle a Jeep on one side of the parade square, then carry all the bits across, reassemble it, and drive back to the start. He had a very yellowed newspaper clipping from the local paper about that contest. The look on their faces was priceless.

      I guess that is where I gained my appreciation for simplicity in things mechanical.

    5. @Bobinott - I think they still do competitions like that, with old Jeeps, to this day! I'm at work and thus can't check youtube but I'm sure you can find some. Awesome that your Dad was a part of it back in the day!!!

  3. I agree mostly with Ryan - these were way overbuilt, and not in an 80s Landcruiser way, but in a "let's see how heavy we can make these" way. And they do break down, a lot. PMCS (preventative maintenance care and service IIRC) is pretty nit picky, but there were always major issues on every one of these we had in the 82d. I get it: soldiers are very very hard on vehicles, esp when they don't own them, esp when there are mechanics to fix them, but we used to not report major gig items because it would mean we were stuck with a Deuce or 5 ton, and at the lease driving the Hummer was better than driving the Deuce or 5 ton.

    I spent many a night in one of these trying to sleep, reaching over every hour or so to turn it on and soak in what little heat they would offer.

    If someone gave me one (and a connex of consumable parts) I would take it, but I wouldn't buy one on my own.

    However, many many long years out of the military when I smell canvas or diesel lots of memories come flooding back.

    1. ugh. "...at the least" not lease.

      I am pretty sure the Hummer contract riches didn't come in the initial sell of these things, but in replacement parts.


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