I can’t tell you how much it cheers me up to learn that the number 2 result for ‘hummer h2‘ at Google is a marvelous bit of brand mischief called Fuck You and Your H2. So far, 845 people have taken the trouble to give the finger to a Hummer, take a photograph and upload it to FUH2. How’s that for engagement with the brand? It’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that the H2 is the world’s stupidest car: 3,500 kilos of bog standard 4×4 wrapped in a brutalist pseudo-military suburban assault vehicle skin that resembles the original Hummer, as popularised by macho celebrities after the first Gulf War.
There’s one round the corner from our house – black with black glass, natch – sporting a set of bling bling chrome wheel rims that keep spinning even after you’ve stopped the car – perhaps the most childish aftermarket car accessory in history – “Look! My wheels keep spinning even after I’ve stopped! It looks like I’m driving along really fast even when I’m at a red light!”
Anyway, the H2 must surely represent the high water mark for the 4X4. Although it’s been a big hit and is already spawning clones from half a dozen manufacturers (and they’re assembling the damn things in Russia now), sales of the three-and-a-half tonne school run device are down by a quarter since the invasion of Iraq.
The H2 and its ilk are the contemporary equivalent of the muscle cars of the early seventies – killed off by that other oil crisis – only with less charm. Steve McQueen could drive a Mustang in Bullitt and Warren Oates a GTO in Two Lane Blacktop but only a cartoon villain (Emissions Man?) would drive a Hummer. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a lot to answer for.