An outrageously expensive and expansive mark of "SUV," originally made by AM General but now under the umbrella of General Motors.

Originally commissioned for the U.S. Army as the High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) in 1979, the Hummer entered mass production in January of 1985. Five years later, work on a civilian model was started. In 1992, the first civilian-class Hummer was delivered. Produced in limited quantities with diesel and later gasoline-powered engines, the Hummer became something of a curiosity. With pathetic gas mileage and breadth that dwarfs even a Ford Excursion, the Hummer did not win many fans from the Sierra Club. A Hummer cost about $80,000 brand-new (plus luxury tax), but many celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger proudly showcased their souped-up Hummers whose price tags far exceeded $100,000.

Hummer was never a consumer brand: while a typical model could easily seat eight people in two rows, most soccer moms grew queasy at the thought of parking such a monstrosity. General Motors acquired the brand from AM General in 1999, and in 2002 unveiled the newer model Hummer H2. The H2 is smaller than the Hummer but bears many of the same squarish exterior styling cues that defined the original. At around $52,000, the H2 is also more affordable than the original. In addition to these two models, GM has hinted at two more in the future: a less-expensive H3 and a Jeep Wrangler-like H4. If successful, GM could do the unthinkable and bring the previously medium-duty Hummer line into the mainstream.

The Hummer H2 became a status symbol and sold well in 2003, particularly among wealthy young men. Hummer even started a television ad campaign in 2003 -- its largest ever -- that placed the H2 into such youthful activities as a soapbox derby and a game of Asteroids.