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Truck Thursday – 2003 Hummer H2

hummer

Not even Finland is safe from Hummers. Every now and then, it’s pretty easy to run into a H2. H1:s are rarer, but they too do exist here, even if straight off the top of my head I can’t think if a more cantankerous machine to manoeuvre in Finnish town traffic.

In my mind, the typical Hummer driver is a perma-tanned, short-haired (hair can only be seen with a microscope), tattooed bodybuilder/bouncer with a gold chain in their neck and a Finnish flag on their hoodie. But what do I know? Perhaps this one is driven by a little old lady, who’s gotten tired of never getting the right of way in her lavender-coloured Nissan Micra.

hummer3

Six litres of Vortec power. You could do worse. The black box-ness is exaggerated with the blacking-out of the chrome grille.

hummer2

hummer1

This H2 has travelled to Finland via Estonia, according to the plate holders. The truck has been made to conform with some of the light regulations here, and the taillights have been replaced with what seem to be caravan taillights. The side markers have also been blacked out.

Hummers without underbody coating don’t really do Finnish winters, it seems. Let’s add a couple of shots of a similar truck shot in 2009:

image0019c

image0018vm

image0020fl

Uhh. Pesky rust. When these were taken, this truck was five-to-six years old.

But of course, maybe the truck I saw and shot just recently has been better taken care of. A Hummer does still set you back 20k eur used, so it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye at the undercarriage. It’s not like it’s not clearly visible.

[Photos: 2013 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen except underbody shots frankiess]

Currently there are "42 comments" on this Article:

  1. stigshift says:

    So apparently there are under-endowed men in Finland, too.

    • FuzzyPlushroom says:

      It's a Finnish joke here in the States, at least among the self-deprecating Finns themselves.

  2. Jay_Ramey says:

    Oh hey, didn't they assemble these in kit form in Kaliningrad?

    How would this thing be taxed in Finland, by the way? Not like a Mercedes Actros 8×8 dump truck, I hope?

  3. 5keptic says:

    i have a soft spot for them – not because i think they are good trucks, I have no idea i have never driven one – but because they have such a terrible image problem. i mean are they really that bad? IIRC they got good off road reviews at least initially.

    Edit- ok i looked up what the used ones are going for on CL and am dumbfounded by their resale. $22k for a 2004! with 82k miles? nevermind – they suck.

    • jeepjeff says:

      Wow. They are listed for that much in CL. I'm shocked, actually. They were enough of a fashion accessory/show of wealth that I thought once the marque died and they went out of production, the resale would tank completely. I certainly don't see many on the road around here anymore (the prestige crowd has dumped them for the most part).

    • MVEilenstein says:

      They do score well in off-road test, but so does the Raptor, and I have yet to see one around here with actual mud on its fenders – not the vinyl decals.

    • Mad_Science says:

      Great chassis, terrible body.

      Had I decided to build a big 4×4 project, I'd start with a wrecked H2 chassis and Clean Wagoneer body.

    • Maymar says:

      They're sort of atrocious on the road – vague steering, no visibility, and cheap interiors. Plus, there's the whole rolling statement and every single implication it makes.

      If it was wearing the Tahoe's body, I'd be a lot more tolerant.

      • Mad_Science says:

        Yup. Would've loved to have a 3/4 ton Tahoe, which is basically what these are…with the unfortunate addition of a robotic pregnant sow for a body.

        Similar deal with the H3: great drivetrain, terrible body atop it.

        • Vavon says:

          "a robotic pregnant sow" Whahahaha!!!

        • dukeisduke says:

          Supposedly the running boards are so strong you can place a jack under them, and are unaffected by sliding over rocks and boulders (except for the paint, of course).

        • danleym says:

          My dad has a Tahoe, 03 or 04. He loves it, but I think it's awful. The whole interior just feels cheap and tacky- and that's coming from someone who owns a mid 80s Chevy Blazer and an AMC Spirit. The gas pedal didn't respond as expected, the brakes were spongy (could be maintenance on that one, but my dad's pretty good about all that stuff). Steering was vague in the Tahoe, as well. On top of that, it just felt massive driving it, and again, that's coming from someone who drives a K5 everyday.

          It has been very reliable, though- I certainly can't fault the mechanical function. And they do look a lot better than an H2. But I'd have to pass on everything else about it.

          That's from an experience with only one of them, sure, but based on that I'd be very hesitant to buy anything from that platform.

          • Mad_Science says:

            In my family, I grew up with a 95 3/4 ton (2500) Suburban,
            which got replaced with a '99ish Tahoe,
            which got replaced by a '04ish Tahoe,
            which got replaced by a '10 4Runner,
            which was replaced with a '13 Tahoe.

            Original Burbo was the Best Truck Ever. The 99 was a total lemon (despite being of the same generation), the '04 Did 135k miles of towing a family truckster duty, the 4Runner just couldn't cut it for towing a 5000 wakeboard boat, and the '13 Tahoe has largely kicked ass so far (even with the "lesser" 5.3L).

            Agreed the '04 interior was lousy…the '13 is much better, but still feels very GM.

            The bigger deal being that (at least in the mid-to-late 90s), 1/2 trucks just didn't have the drivetrain beef for a life of towing ~5k lbs. They could do it, but every one of our friends with a half ton truck and a boat needed a new transmission at ~40k miles (4L60E for the loss).

  4. mallthus says:

    Actually, frame surface rust on an American body on frame truck isn't anything to be concerned about. It's not like rust on body parts. In fact, they usually come from the factory with a little bit already.

  5. BobWellington says:

    These things suffered from being downright ugly and cheap looking. And half of them have 24s on them with rubber bands, so there goes its only purpose for being. Few things annoy me more than ridiculously huge chrome/gaudy wheels on an SUV/Truck/Anything.

    • dukeisduke says:

      And add chrome trim over the side markers, taillights, door handles, etc. A rolling testament to bad taste.

      • danleym says:

        Sadly, I think the 4 door Wranglers have replaced the H2 as the "let's put tacky chrome shit all over" vehicle of choice. I see so many of those all tarted up with big, overly aggressive wheels.

        • BobWellington says:

          Are you referring to really big wheels with rubber bands on them? I don't ever recall seeing any like that here, and this is the land of ghetto cars with huge wheels. Most Wrangler owners here have off road tires (even if they don't off road), but what bothers me is when I see eyelashes on the headlights of Wranglers (and Beetles, but that's not that surprising).

          I have a friend with a Wrangler. He thought the traction control button turned off the electronics so you could ford through water. No joke. Something tells me the majority of Wrangler owners share this lack of knowledge (not all of them, and this also applies to most car owners).

          • danleym says:

            Yeah, most owners don't know a thing about them, or driving off road. We bought one for my wife 8 months ago. It was an 02 with less than 40k miles, always garaged- just in great shape, and a good price, too. It was the guy's baby. He told us to make sure to not tell him if we ever took it off road. Now I love my vehicles, so I get the guy's attachment (he was selling it because he just got a new Boxster, btw), but it's a Wrangler. It was built to be taken off road (of course, we haven't taken it off road yet, so I suppose I can't say too much, but there are loose plans for a trip to Colorado this summer).

            I think the 4 door ones have really become the next cool soccer mom car though.

            • BobWellington says:

              The fact that he told you to never tell him if you go off road in a WRANGLER makes me sick. It's quite sad, really.

              I wish I had trails to utilize a Wrangler on. There are no trails at all where I live. I get excited just going on unpaved roads. ha

              The Colorado trip sounds like fun. I would absolutely love to go to there and experience some sweet trails, but it's probably 1500 to 2000 miles from me.

              • jeepjeff says:

                No, this is all a part of the life cycle of a Jeep Wrangler. A significant fraction of the people who buy them new can't imagine flogging something down a trail that they just lost so much money on (depreciation hit). It's the sunk cost fallacy.

                That's ok, as they'll often go to good homes with the second or third owner, who, now that the depreciation curve isn't so bad and they're possibly their own mechanic, will take it to use as intended.

                This also seems to play out in Jeep Wave rates. JKs generally won't wave back at me (because they don't know), TJ owners wave most of the time, and YJ and CJ owners wave nearly every time.

                There is one wrench in this process though. The minivan engine. My current feeling is that people who want a Real Jeep™ that's relatively new are still looking at the '05 and '06 4.0s primarily. The 4.0 is just better than the 3.8. The folks who don't mind the 4-banger TJs will eventually start buying the early JKs, but not until they come down in price a lot more. Once the Pentastar JKs start getting closer to $10,000, they'll start getting flogged.

                • danleym says:

                  When we were looking, I flatly refused to even consider a Jeep without a 4.0. And I don't think I would have been interested in a JK, even a 2 door, no matter the price or engine.

                  I actually didn't know anything about the whole Jeep wave thing before we bought it. I'm still adjusting to it, but yeah, I almost never see anyone in a JK wave.

                  There's no trails around here (St. Louis), either. There's lots of mud, but mud doesn't interest me in the least. My wife's from Colorado and her folks are still there (I lived there for a while, too), so we get out there once or twice a year, just haven't gotten out there in the new (used) Jeep yet. Her dad has a well built XJ Cherokee, we've all been wheeling before with his XJ and my K5- it's beautiful out there. He's done trails all around that state- he's got some book of the best 100 or so trails in Colorado, and he's working through crossing them all off.

                  • jeepjeff says:

                    The Pentastar may end up being a great Jeep engine. The reputation that the AMC I6 has gotten over the decades they've been putting them in Jeeps makes for big shoes to fill, but the Pentastar might be able to do it. It has some balls, and hopefully some longevity to go with 'em. I might possibly consider owning a 2012+ 2-door some day, but the unthinkable would have to happen to my TJ first.

                    EDIT: I can see the Pentastar turning into a favorite swap candidate for older 4-bangers.

                    • danleym says:

                      I've heard good things about the Pentastar. But all of those were out of my price range and in a JK body, so that point was moot for us. I'm sure in time most of these changes will be largely overlooked. People already debate about whether a TJ or YJ is better, 258 vs. 4.0, so I'm sure that once they're old enough to be more affordable and on the radar of the average enthusiast, the JKs and Pentastars will merit some serious discussion. In 10 years, a lot of the Jeeps being thrashed on trails will be JKs, I'm sure. I just don't care for the JK body style, same way some people don't like square headlights (for the record, not a big fan of those, either). My wife doesn't like the JKs, either, so we didn't even bother looking at them. Her first car was actually a 79 CJ5 with a 350 her dad swapped in (I don't think I've ever told her that was a reason for marrying her, but it certainly factored in), so I think she always looks at that as a "Real Jeep," and compares others to it. The JK is just too far off.

                • BobWellington says:

                  I can understand not wanting to beat the crap out of them, but you can still do some light off roading, have fun, and not beat the car up. It's just crazy when it's an 11 year old machine and the previous owner worries about it. But it's definitely good for the buyer.

                  Another thing about my friend that makes me laugh. He (his parents) bought a 2010 Wrangler. The next year brought the new interior and then the next brought the much much better Pentastar. He really got jipped (if you ask me), and I find it hilarious. He also put a 4×4 badge from Autozone on it. It's a Wrangler for Christ's sake, you don't need to tell anyone that it's a 4×4. This guy also tries to talk to me like he knows something about cars, but he doesn't.

                • longrooffan says:

                  And we MJ owners only wave to each other. HA!

  6. Dean Bigglesworth says:

    Saw a black one in Helsinki yesterday, it was parked next to a turquoise Fiat Panda 4X4 of all things. Further along the street was a black Mustang convertible and a green Lada Samara. Then a beige Chevrolet Sportvan pulled up next to me at the lights.

  7. dukeisduke says:

    It seems odd how they black out side marker lights. I mean, the point of them is to increase visibility at night to other cars, and improve safety. The clearance lights are there because it's over 80 inches wide (Raptors have them, too, only theirs are more discreet).

    • Perc says:

      They probably blacked them out because they weren't ECE approved. It's fine to have side markers here, there are also some cars and many vans etc that come with them as standard, but any lamp on the outside of the car needs to be ECE approved.

      The exception is working (flood) lights, I think. You can have those. But there are probably rules and regulations for how they can be used.

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