If you’re looking for a military hummer, you first need to understand the legal and practical limitations of what you can get. The “High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle,” also called the HMMWV or Humvee, is a vehicle manufactured by AM General primarily for use by the U.S. military. The first models were built in 1983, with full production coming on-line in 1985.
The original was upgraded in 1992 with the A1 model which included heavier drive train components and a larger engine. In 1995 the A2 added a new electronically-controlled transmission. So if you want to find military hummers for sale, you need to understand how these are distinguished from civilian hummers.
What’s the Difference Between Military and Civilian Humvee Models?
The HUMVEE’s civilian counterpart, called the H1, was in production between 1992 and 2006. In 1998, AM General sold the Hummer brand to GM, but continued to manufacture the H1 for the company. Both HUMVEEs an H1s were built on the same line, and are identical aside from some equipment differences.
Military-only HUMVEE equipment:
- 24 volt electrical system with a generator
- Metal dash with a for starting the vehicle instead of a key
- Metal seats with a thin canvas cushion
- Pintle hitch
- Blackout lights designed to provide enough light to drive using night vision goggles
- Deep fording kit, which extends the air intake and exhaust to the roof
- Military-spec winch
Spring and shock rates for the military model are different, but the suspension and drive-train are identical to the civilian model. Cargo and ambulance body styles were built for the military, but never offered to the public. All military Humvees have a naturally aspirated diesel engine, while a gasoline V8 and turbo diesel were offered in the civilian model. All Hummers and Humvees have automatic transmissions, although the military version doesn’t have a “park” mode. If this is the target of your shopping endeavors, you’re certainly not looking for typical 4×4 trucks for sale.
Can You Buy A Military Hummer?
Yes, but sales have been heavily restricted throughout the vehicles history.
Humvees are not offered directly for sale to the public. Decommissioned vehicles are sent back to AM General to be rebuilt or destroyed. Until recently, military hummers for sale were either imported from other countries who bought the vehicles, prototypes owned by military contractors, or vehicles built from the ground up using spare parts.
This changed in 1999 with the U.S. Marine Corps started releasing a few vehicles for resale to the general public. Despite this, only a small number are in civilian hands. This may change in the near future as the HMMWV is due for replacement. MRAP vehicles are being used in its place in war zones, and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle project will replace the rest of the fleet in a few years.
Availability is not the only issue facing those seeking to obtain a military Hummer. The military Humvee does not meet Department of Transportation safety requirements, and cannot be licensed for off-road use without heavy modification. Since the civilian version is almost the same vehicle and is already street legal, there isn’t anyone currently doing “gray market” conversions.