We’re in article of a aureate age for automotive restomodding, and into a exciting mix that includes Singer’s reimagined 911s, Icon’s adorned off-roaders, and lots of adapted Land Rovers. The latest aggregation with ambitions to become a top-tier custom car cast is Mil-Spec, which aims to do what the above companies do, but with the big, brash, edgeless Hummer H1. And in particular, the aggregation is aiming to accomplish its Hummers a acute another to a acclimated Hummer H1 Alpha. The Alpha is about advised to be the best of the brand with the best able agent agent offered, beyond brakes, and a nicer autogenous compared with its predecessors. To acquisition out whether the company’s aboriginal efforts alive up to that ambition, Mil-Spec arrive us to drive their third completed vehicle, Mil-Spec 003.
It started activity as a 1995 Hummer H1, and as with all of Mil-Spec’s vehicles, it was absolutely disassembled, and the anatomy and anatomy media-blasted bottomward to metal. The anatomy and accompanying apparatus are again powder-coated with a atramentous actualization finish. The truck’s aluminum body, in this case a four-door auto auto variant, but is coated in a airy bedliner-like actual advised for accessible care. $.25 of Kevlar are alloyed in with the actual for strength, and it can be brave altered colors and accept rougher or bigger textures.
Underneath the body, one of the bristles altered engines that were accessible on the H1, usually a agent V8, is replaced with a 6.6-liter Duramax LBZ turbodiesel V8. This agent was accessible on abundant assignment Chevy and GMC auto trucks, and a accompanying agent was acclimated in the Hummer H1 Alpha. Whereas the agent in the H1 Alpha fabricated 300 application and 520 pound-feet of torque akin to a 5-speed automatic, the Mil-Spec’s LBZ has had turbo upgrades and a altered ECU tune acceptance it to aftermath 500 application and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. It’s additionally accompanying to an Allison 1000 6-speed automated transmission.
The automated upgrades don’t stop with the agent and transmission. The inboard brakes are accustomed accomplished and vented discs, and an ARB Air Locker locking rear cogwheel fitted. Dual abetting manual coolers additionally accomplish an actualization and can be switched on as needed. The 003 accustomed 20-inch auto with 38-inch mud area tires, but beyond tires can be added if desired. These auto and tires aren’t accordant with the Hummer’s aboriginal axial annoy aggrandizement system, which accustomed drivers to collapse and aerate tires at the cast of a switch, but was additionally accepted to be unreliable. As such, the arrangement was removed, but the air compressor for the locking rear cogwheel can be acclimated to reinflate tires at the valve stem, so alteration air burden in the acreage is still possible. On the 003, these tires are additionally covered by billowing t-on fender flares that add 7 inches of amplitude to accomplish the barter over 7 and a bisected anxiety wide. A custom snorkel was additionally added for deep-water fording.
The autogenous gets a absolute transformation, too. Every autogenous apparent is covered in a marine-grade covering that’s weatherproof and appearance affection emphasis stitching. The dashboard is awfully simplified compared with the cluttered, plasticky branch job. Classic custom gauges sit advanced of a baby council wheel, and in befitting with the waterproof theme, the SUV has a marine-grade stereo. Mil-Spec additionally blimp the autogenous with endless of complete and calefaction insulation, as able-bodied as two upgraded air conditioning units, one up advanced and one in the back.
That’s an acutely continued account of absorbing aural work, but how is it as a package? The powertrain is apparently the best hasty and agreeable allotment of the truck. The turbodiesel delivers effortless dispatch that feels like abracadabra because this affair weights over 7,000 pounds. Mil-Spec says it can do 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and while we weren’t able to time it ourselves, it abiding acquainted like it was aural the branch of possibility. The burke is responsive, too, actual little lag, and the manual is cool smooth. Having the six apparatus absolutely helps booty advantage of the torque, authoritative it fun to hustle this behemothic from ablaze to light. Thankfully, its brakes are sufficient, endlessly the Mil-Spec like a approved truck.
2018 Mil-Spec 003
The dispatch isn’t the alone affair that feels effortless. The accomplished car is as accessible to drive as any full-size auto truck. Council is ablaze and accessible to use, and its absolutely analytic absolute and tells you a acceptable bit about what the tires are up to. As a result, you can confidently punch in council bend and adviser it forth accustomed burghal streets with hardly a additional thought. Tighter adjacency streets may accord you pause, because the truck’s width, but you sit on the actual bend of the larboard side, and the bend of the appropriate ancillary is actual accessible to see acknowledgment to the Mil-Spec’s shape, so it’s not too bad alike back it’s actuality squeezed. The annealed abeyance jars a bit, but added chiefly it lets you backpack a bit of acceleration through corners.
Mil-Spec’s cloistral autogenous does an admirable job befitting the berth quiet. The alone absolute babble intrusions are some casual rattles from the body, wind babble (because this is one of the atomic aerodynamic cars in history), and the mud-terrain tires. All you apprehend from the powertrain is candied turbo blare and some V8 rumble. And as we mentioned, Mil-Spec did a actual nice job redesigning the interior, and abnormally in putting it together. The upholstery feels great, and the bond is high-quality: compatible and laser-straight. The audio arrangement in accurate is accurately chip on a shelf abaft the rear seats. And aggregate is adequately simple and functional-looking, which fits the spare, bent angel of the Hummer H1.
Besides artlessly actuality a well-executed machine, the Mil-Spec 003 additionally has austere presence, like an alien sports car. It’s aloof as unmissable, with massive tires, Etch-A-Sketch styling, and accommodation architecture size. It helps that this affair has absolute off-road cred, back it’s the H1, not the arrant alarm H2. And with busline Detroit apparently the better client of V8 Mopars, cipher is too afraid about it actuality a ammunition guzzler. Of course, the affection of your assemblage may alter if, say, you’re active through city San Francisco.
2018 Mil-Spec 003
As acceptable as the all-embracing amalgamation is, what the Mil-Spec doesn’t feel like is one of the abundant machines from Singer or Icon. It doesn’t accept that added bit of ability – a character that takes one of those custom cartage from artlessly actuality a customized 911 or FJ40 into actuality article absolutely special.
That’s partly because the 003 and Mil-Spec’s added off-road cartage mostly resort to t-on genitalia that don’t attending or feel appropriate to the company. They’re the aforementioned kinds of off-the-shelf $.25 we’ve apparent on bulk of Jeeps and pickups at SEMA the aftermost few years: t-on flares, off-the-shelf wheels, LED lights and tubular action confined and annoy racks. The autogenous suffers the aforementioned issue. The air vents are from a Ford Cool Duty, the switches for the altitude ascendancy are plasticky abetting accessories toggle switches with sticker labels, the gauges are accepted annular examples with custom faces and the arch assemblage is an off-the-shelf abyssal unit. There’s additionally no acumen you couldn’t booty your Hummer H1 to a trusted restorer or custom car boutique and ask them to accomplish best of the automated upgrades to it.
But alike if it doesn’t feel absolutely as different and appropriate as article from Singer or Icon, it has a extenuative grace. Stock Hummer H1 Alphas, the adaptation Mil-Spec is benchmarking, go for amid $150,000 and $220,000. That makes the Mil-spec, with its adequate frame, way nicer interior, abundant added able agent and lots of add-ons that add up, assume like a acceptable amount at $239,000. As such, it’s all appropriate that the Mil-Spec isn’t the different reimagining of its abject that Singers and Icons are, because what the aggregation is absolutely doing, business advertising aside, is creating the best Hummer H1s about at a reasonable price.
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