The Hummer H3 is a competent off-road vehicle right off the showroom floor. A number of companies are offering very fine suspensions for them already. The big news is that AM General and Tecstar have joined together to form AmStar, a company dedicated to building wilderness-ready H3s that you can order directly from your Hummer dealer, or you can order pieces to install yourself. AmStar's motto, "Chrome won't get you home," gives us an idea of how serious the company is.
That's right. You can get your H3 built and ready for anything right from your dealer. And we're talking built - not with useless garbage bolted on, but with needed parts. Those parts include a front Eaton ELocker (remember, you can get a rear ELocker already), Hutchinson dual (inner and outer beads) beadlock wheels just like on the H1, Goodyear MT/R tires, Rod Hall shock absorbers by Fox, and enough racks and armor to satisfy the most dedicated backcountry explorer.
By now, everyone knows the advantages of a locking differential. The Eaton ELocker, which is an available option on the H3, is a reliable locker that you can engage when it's needed and disengage when it's not. Adding one up front doubles your off-road capability. The front ELocker works with the H3's traction control system and StabiliTrak stability control system, making the AmStar H3 one of the most capable out-of-the-dealer off-road sport utilities ever offered.
The Wilderness Ready H3 also features great storage. Cargo-area drawers give you a place to store all your tools, parts, and other gear safely out of the way, yet easy to access. An onboard compressor is also included so you can air up your tires at the end of a long trip. Available outside racks, both on top of the H3 and over the rear spare tire, are very strong and capable of carrying larger, bulkier items.
Underneath, chassis armor similar to that on the H1 is an available option for the H3 that keeps nasty rocks from stopping you miles from anywhere. AmStar offers integrated rocker-panel protection/steps that work with the underbody protection and are strong enough to actually protect the body. A rearend skidplate protects the differential from rocks. The Wilderness Ready integrated winch bumper and brushguard carries a Warn 9.5xp winch and guards the front from tree branches and bushes.
Let's face it - there is a lot of garbage out there for sport utility vehicles and trucks that's built for profit and not real use. We had a chance to take a close look at AmStar's new Wilderness Ready Hummer H3 and were very impressed. This is a genuine effort of an OEM (AM General) and an OE supplier (Tecstar) to offer strong, reliable products to backcountry explorers. For those neophyte explorers who know they want something that works but just don't know what, the Wilderness Ready H3 can be ordered from their local Hummer dealer, and it arrives ready to hit the trail. For those who want to pick their parts, we understand that by the time you read this, parts will be available from AmStar's website.
Any company that tells us, "Chrome won't get you home," just has to build great products.