Back the late 1970’s the US Army began looking for a replacement for Jeep utility vehicles that they had been using since world war 2. Out of this was born the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (aka HMMWV or Humvee). In the late 80’s Humvee builder AM General developed a civilian version dubbed the Hummer for those with more money than brains. As it turned out, not that many people actually needed or wanted a really large, heavy, fuel hungry vehicle with only 4 seats, and a four foot wide tunnel between the seats. In the 90’s General Motors decided they wanted an off-road brand to compete with Jeep (owned by Chrysler). AM General was apparently more than happy to sell them the rights to market the Hummer brand. The original Hummer became known as the H1 and GM proceeded to develop somewhat smaller, cheaper Hummer. They took a Chevy Tahoe chassis and put a on new body with H1 styling cues (if you can call it styling). Thus was born the H2. They sold like hot-cakes. For about 6 months anyway until all the poseurs had one. at which point the sales of H2s went into a steady decline that continues to this day.
So GM went back to the parts bin and took the Chevy Colorado compact pickup truck platform and added a Hummer-like body. The result is the Hummer H3, perfect for the wannabe poseur (you know the guys who don’t quite come up to the level of poseur). Rumor has it that an even smaller H4 is currently in development. Back to the H3, this vehicle is a little bigger on the outside and smaller on the inside than a Ford Escape or Jeep Liberty. If you know these vehicles, you will understand that the H3 is not a particularly large vehicle.
I drive past a place that rents limos on my way to work every day. Typically stretch limousines are built up from larger vehicles as the base such as big Lincolns, Cadillacs or Suburbans. Imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when I saw the latest addition to their fleet. A stretched Hummer H3! Here are a couple of pics I found on-line. The H3 is not particularly wide so it doesn’t really seem like it would be very suitable as a limo. Check out the interior shot to see how narrow the seat cushions are. Sign me up for one of these!