Jay Leno’s Garage goes Mil-Spec with a pair of first-gen Hummers
Jay Leno has featured just about every type of car on his show, but the new Humvees that fill the frame in this latest episode sure seem like the largest. The pair of first-generation Humvees come from Mil-Spec Automotive, an aftermarket tuning company that specializes in early Hummers. In an interesting counter to the regular selection of gleaming classic cars, Jay features these rough and tumble creations and talks to three of the young guys that compose Mil-Spec Automotive.
The reborn workhorses from Mil-Spec are not trucks snagged from some government auction with a fresh paint job. Quite the opposite, according to the team behind the Icon-style recreations. The only items reused from original trucks are the body and frame. Everything else is new.
For instance, the 500-horsepower, 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine and Allison transmission are sourced from General Motors. The team cites that the goal was ease of service, and a bespoke engine sounds sexy on paper, but the first time parts or service are required, that sweet engine is no longer so sweet. The use of parts that the end user can service allows the end user to use the truck unashamedly.
The interiors are also custom, from scratch, allowing for the use of materials and functions that fit the $218,500 starting price. According to the team, the goal was to enhance the character of the truck, rather than removing from the heritage or iconic design of the H1.
Of course, the driving experience is the big change. The H1 commands the road in the way only a highly-capable, eight-foot-wide, 7500-pound truck can. The truck easily fills every square inch of a driving lane, and those sitting inside seem to have a birds-eye view into passing cars.
To recreate and luxury upfit one of the most iconic stripped-down and function-oriented vehicles seems odd at first, but after looking at it for a bit, maybe they aren’t so bad. If you want all the folks in your neighborhood to know you are ready to bug out at a moment’s notice, but don’t want to give up the air conditioning and plush seats, this might be just the rig for you.