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Custom 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha Is a Gas-Guzzling Dinosaur Running on Mattracks

I'm not sure how many of you remember this, given how the world's automotive industry changed over the past decade or so, but there was a time when humans drove around in vehicles so hungry for fuel a special term had to be invented for them: gas guzzler.
2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks 9 photos
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks
Essentially denoting a large vehicle with a very high fuel consumption, the term was first and foremost used to describe the Hummer vehicles of the 1990s and the 2000s. And it certainly contributed to the falling out of grace of the model once it ground down public perception of the vehicle.

The civilian-use Hummer bloodline was born in the stables over at AM General in 1992, when the company thought it could make a buck or two by adapting the military M998 Humvee for civilian use and introduced the H1. For a while, it seemed like it would succeed, but in just 14 short years and just close to 12,000 examples made after production began, the bloodline ceased to exist.

The H1 was an impressive beast in some respects, a four-wheel-drive monstrous, squarish SUV that came as either a soft top, a hard top, and a wagon-style machine. The family was powered by a range of engines, all of them V8s, and not a single one smaller in displacement than 5.7 liters.

The types of engines used, combined with the size of the H1, meant the SUVs were really bad when it comes to fuel economy, many of them averaging around 11 miles per gallon (that's over 20 liters of fuel per 100 km).

For that reason, and for a bunch of others, H1s have never achieved cult status, not during their lifetime, and most certainly not now, decades after the fact. That means Hummers of this variety making a splash at various auction events across the U.S. are few and far between. And it also takes a truly special Hummer H1 for splash to happen.

Someone seems to think they are in possession of an H1 that has what it takes, and they plan on selling the SUV during next month's Barrett-Jackson auction taking place in Scottsdale.

2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
You see, of the 12,000 or so Hummers ever made, 729 of them were of the Alpha variety. They came about in 2006 and were only made for a few months during the year the Hummer H1 officially died out.

The Alpha moniker was used to denote a wagon version of the H1, and it also stood for a Duramax-Allison powertrain being fitted under the body. That meant a 6.6-liter Duramax engine controlled by a five-speed Allison transmission

The H1 Alpha sitting before us is of that rare lineage, and adds on top of that some carefully performed custom touches that make its owner confident the SUV will sell.

Modifications start right under the hood, where the engine was gifted with a billet wheel turbocharger, upgraded up-pipes, and a handcrafted stainless exhaust system. With these modifications on, the setup is capable of developing up to 500 horsepower.

The suspension system of the Hummer, already something to drool over, was taken one step further with upgrades performed on the ball joints, steering box, and arms, and also with the fitting of soft-ride 2-inch lift springs. But what truly exciting is what was fitted at one end of that suspension system.

You see, in normal, road-going configuration this Hummer uses KMC forged beadlock wheels, wrapped in very capable-looking Mickey Thompson MTZ tires. Those would probably allow the Hummer to travel without major issues on pretty much all terrain imaginable. But why not take things one step further, and give the H1 the ability to move in very deep snow as well?

2006 Hummer H1 Alpha on Mattracks
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
And here is where the Mattracks track system comes in, easily trading places with the wheels thanks to the inclusion of a quick-change hydraulic system.

Then come the visual and functional upgrades that add a touch of uniqueness to the whole thing. All of the original H1 lights, for instance, have been replaced with LEDs – and by all I mean all, including the turn signals, backup, windshield lights, and even the interior lighting.

In case it needs to get out of some nasty spot, the H1 can rely on a Warn recovery kit, comprising a 16,500-pound rear winch, but also another one at the front. A Mod Mafia Special Ops brush guard is there to protect the front end of the Hummer.

The interior of the vehicle is no longer stock either, as it now comes with heated seats in diamond stitching, a reversible jump seat in the rear, and a touchpad that controls the interior lights of the thing. Full sound-deadening has been included in the build.

The 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha dinosaur is selling with close to 20,000 miles (32,200 km) on the odometer, and with a fair warning that it might not be emissions-compliant in all American states. There is no mention as to how much it could fetch as it is selling with no reserve.

Update: sold for $275,000.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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