In 1979, the U.S. Army drafted final specifications for a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV for short, better known as Humvee. They released them to firm, hoping to find a company to build replacements for the military’s existing troop transports. A total of 61 companies showed initial interest in the project, but when the deadline for prototypes hit, only three had submissions, Chrysler, Teledyne Continental and AM General. After testing the prototypes, which amounted to more than 600,000 miles of testing in conditions ranging from arctic to desert, AM General was awarded the government contract on this day in 1983.
The Humvee would first see combat during the US invasion of Panama in 1989. After being purchased by GM in 1988, the Humvee would be marketed in a civilian model known as Hummer H1. This would be followed by the H2 and H3 before Hummer was discontinued due to financial difficulty in 2008.
As of January 2020 it appears the Hummer name could make a comeback, as a fully electric truck from GMC. A huge Super Bowl commercial hinted at the truck, which is set to make its official debut on May 20, 2020 with plans to go on sale in the fall of 2021.