So the Hummer is dead, they say. GM’s deal to pawn it off on the Chinese has failed, and operations are set to be liquidated. But we’re willing to bet that the Hummer will ride again. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the vicissitudes of fashion, not to mention George Soros’s theory of reflexivity, it’s that today’s lemon/clunker/eyesore is tomorrow’s hipster status object.
In the course of history, it’s been the case that the most flamboyantly awful trends, those that we instantly recognize as regrettable — bell-bottoms, acid-washed denim, Showgirls — are the ones that eventually go on to have the most robust second lives. Look at cheesy greaser cars like the Pacer, the El Camino, and the Thunderbird—in their dotage, their corniness has become familiar, classic, almost noble, much like the members of Bon Jovi. The fact that the Hummer was strongly reviled almost immediately by sophisticated people practically guarantees its eventual ascendance as some kind of vintage trophy. To be sure, its abysmal gas mileage is something of an impediment, especially considering that oil prices are marching back toward triple digits. But for only 30 grand or so you can get them retrofitted for biodiesel. It’s hard to believe, but one day, we will be nostalgic for the aughts, and nothing quite stands for our just-passed decade quite like the ol’ High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. Especially that one somebody redid with a hot tub and a stripper pole.