Back in 1992, when gas was cheap, discretionary income flowed freely, and Hollywood-like excess was just becoming trendy among average citizens, AM General brought to the civilian market the H1 Hummer, modeled after the military Humvees seen on televisions across the world from the Gulf War and in A-list celebrities driveways. They were big, they were slow, and they guzzled an obscene amount of diesel and gasoline. And anyone that wanted one was going to pay a princely sum for the honor of stopping at a fueling station every other block.
At 7,000 pounds curb weight, with the aerodynamics of a barn door, and with engines that, early on, produced somewhere between 146 and 190 horsepower, they didn’t get anywhere very fast. In fact, the top speed from the factory was only a touch over 80 mph, meaning successfully passing a truck on the interstate was questionable.
But just how quick could one get down a 1/4-mile dragstrip when called upon? As you might’ve guessed, pretty damn slow.
Automotive journalist Doug DeMuro owned, drove, and beat the crap out of an original H1 Hummer for a full year — and in the interest of determining where it performed in relation to other road-going vehicles, drove it to the Atco Raceway in New Jersey and put it in the beams.
DeMuro fully expected the Hummer, which is among the heaviest non-commercial production vehicles ever built that isn’t technically a truck, to run somewhere in the 25-second range. Surprisingly, it ran three seconds quicker than anticipated, at 22.2 seconds and a blazing speed of 61 mph. Yes, that means the H1 goes 0-60 in roughly 21 seconds. DeMuro later ran again, improving to a 21.60 at 63 mph — an improvement that was probably the result of several gallons of fuel being burned in the mile or two it took to make the first run.
The way we see it, if someone could indeed cut a light in the H1, they could make life pretty difficult for the competition in a bracket race. Good luck with that finish line driving.