Today, the Humvee might be as associated with the dead automotive brand from General Motors as it is with the hard-working truck that has long served as one of the backbone vehicles of America's military. But Autoline host John McElroy is showing off a practically unknown part of the model's story by digging out some old photos from his personal archive.
The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle project, better known today as the Humvee, can be traced back to a US Department of Defense request for bids to build a new military truck. According to McElroy, he was invited to the Chrysler proving grounds in 1981 to check out the bid from the brand's defense division. The company's concept was that it might be able to build an inexpensive, capable vehicle by using off-the-shelf parts.

The angular body panels gave the truck a look almost like a modern, stealth vehicle. However, the flat look was actually just to make the tooling as cheap as possible to produce. Still, this Chrysler looked surprisingly futuristic for the early '80s. It's actually not too far away from the famous Lamborghini LM002, itself intended as a possible military-spec machine.

Obviously, Chrysler's proposal never made it to production, but it's interesting to think that if history had gone differently, this could have been America's military vehicle rather than the Hummer. Fast-forward to the 3:35-mark in the video to get the full scoop on this forgotten piece of automotive history.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 11 Months Ago

      Looks like a Power Wagon on steroids.

      • 11 Months Ago

      Looks like it should have stayed forgotten. The right vehicle definitely won that competition. 

      • 11 Months Ago

      " It's actually not too far away from the famous Lamborghini LM002, itself intended as a possible military-spec machine."


      Not surprising, since Chrysler did own Lamborghini during the late '80's and early '90's.  They weren't about to let this go to waste.

      • 11 Months Ago

      I don't think the Humvee had anything to do with General Motors.  It was built by AM General.

        • 11 Months Ago

        My reaction, as well.

        Aside from that, it's rather amusing that Chrysler was concocting this idea... if it had gone their way, they might have been able make a civilian version and fold it into the Jeep brand when they later acquired AMC...

      • 11 Months Ago

      Seems pretty obvious after seeing this as to why it didn't win.

        • 11 Months Ago

        Care to elaborate? Looks reasonable to me.

          • 11 Months Ago

          As soon as I saw it, I wondered why they never made it.  Looks cool to me.  No fluff, just the basics, aggressive styling, could have been a standard. The aftermarket guys would have had a great time with it. Maybe that's part of the reason that iteration of Chrysler is history.

      bored daily
      • 11 Months Ago

      A shame that Chrysler sold their defense division to General Dynamics back then.  Seriously take a look at that design -- throw a Jeep grill on it and it's a modern Comanche.  Unfortunately, I don't think FCA has anything off the shelf to design something like this today.

      welcome butch
      • 11 Months Ago

         CARS   JUNK    NEVER  BE  A   HUMMER

      • 9 Months Ago

      To small for Infantry. I do not think it would be rifle friendly. I like though. 

      • 11 Months Ago

      Looks like Halo Warthog prototype to me :) 

      • 11 Months Ago

      Looks cool, but I doubt Chrysler's concept woulda made it very far in a combat setting. 

      • 11 Months Ago

      perhaps the fact it was a only an armoured pick up is what killed it, even the old Willy Jeep could carry five adults. At least the hummer has room for more than two to three adults to sit in the cab.

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