I graduated from high school ten years ago in the proud class of 2008, a year before Hummer pulled the plug on its ginormous H2 and two years before the brand itself was buried away in a graveyard alongside Saturn and Pontiac. You know those cars that you just don’t want to love, but, you shamelessly do? That’s how I feel about the H2, and honestly I have no real justification or reason as to why. Sure my tastes and lusts in automobiles have I think, well, matured over the years, but yes my almost-30 self still hopes to have my name on the title to an H2 someday.
The inspiration for taking time to sit down and write about one of GM’s most absurd, obnoxious vehicles ever built comes from a realization I had yesterday morning while commuting to work: I have yet to see an H2 that looks like crap, even with some on the road approaching almost 15-years-old now. They’ve aged well, and every single H2 I’ve spotted looks immaculate, free of rust, free of any kind of body damage, free of any loose hanging suspension or exhaust components- all flawless. Compare this to almost any other vehicle that’s seen upwards of nearly two decades worth of road wear and tear, and it’s really surprised me. I’m convinced that Hummer owners are some of the most loyal and dedicated to the tireless upmost upkeep of their beloved boxy gems.
Contracted by GM, AM General built the H2 from 2003 until 2009 on a platform somewhat shared with other full-size, successful badge-engineered giants like the Sierra, Escalade, Suburban, Silverado, Avalanche, and Yukon. Its front half was essentially a tweaked 2500HD frame and back a regular 1500. Power came from a 6.0-liter V8 and later a 6.2-liter that burped almost 400 horsepower. It was wide, tall, heavy, filled to the brim with testosterone, and screamed Amurica’. While it had the pedigree, tech, and swagger to confidently humiliate nearly any off-road environment thrown at it, the majority of the 153,000-ish H2s sold probably found duties strictly adhered to pavement only, which is sad in my humble opinion.
I remember when the H2 first launched thinking they were so, so, so cool. A military-esque, 4×4 warrior wearing refined classy clothing. When I was thirteen, a friend’s parents surprised our middle school friend group and rented a white H2 limo for a Saturday afternoon of cruising around the north suburbs of Milwaukee. I remember thinking how awesome it was that you could recognize a Hummer dealership by its grand “H” out front and off-road test track in the back. I remember at some mid 2000s Chicago International Auto Show, buying a dark blue Hummer hooded sweatshirt and later a yellow die-cast of an H2. In college during my summer jaunts as a valet, I remember driving a customer’s H2 for a few minutes. Apart from it reeking like weed and strong cologne, it roared its way to the parking garage which was absolutely terrifying to fit inside. Ever see a H2 attempt to navigate bumper-to-bumper traffic in rush-hour? It’s adorable. It’s like trying to watch a huge fat, shark hunt its way through a coral reef.
Hummer H2s sold for almost $60,000 brand-new, and today most still have an impressive resale value. A quick search on Cars.com turned up over a 1,000 used H2s on the market, many with high prices linked with high mileage. For example a 2009 H2 with 81,140 commands $39,999 while a 2009 loaded with 210,992 miles calls for $21,770. one of t the cheapest H2s I could find is currently on sale for $8,995 with 222,543 miles and a bad-ass roof rack. To me, that’d be a fun, easy addition to a dream garage.
So to all those lucky to still proudly own an H2; I salute you in awe and appreciation, for keeping a ride that always makes me smile, looking like it rolled off the showroom floor only yesterday.
What relics from the past do you still see driving around and mysteriously continuously look clean?