Hummer vs Rambo Lambo – Pumping iron with the last 4X4 action heroes
Whether you’re a wannabe action-movie star, wary of an impending zombie apocalypse, or simply looking for a new car in which to survey your illegally captured oil fields, you (quite literally) shouldn’t face any problems with either of these four-wheel-drive leviathans – the Lamborghini LM002 and the Hummer H1.
With roots in the military, it was inevitable that these civilianised status symbols appealed to dictators, young and impressionable oil-rich sheikhs, pop stars (Tina Turner had an LM002, and no, we’re not joking), and hard-nosed movie stars such as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Take the ‘Rambo Lambo’, for example – in which other three-tonne SUV is it so acceptable to wear Gucci loafers and mirrored Aviators?
In comparison to the low-slung, sleek and sexy Countach which it was sold alongside, the LM002 was about as radical a departure for Lamborghini as one could imagine. What it did share with its sexier sibling, however, was the rorty four-cam 5.2-litre V12, necessitating that huge origami-esque bulge in its bonnet. It shifted the car from 0-60mph in an impressive 8.5sec, cementing its title of the world’s fastest SUV for many years.
The result of an ill-fated project undertaken in collaboration with a company associated with the US military, at a time when supercar sales had slumped due to a global oil crisis, the LM002 derived from the Cheetah concept that was shown at Geneva in 1977. At five-metres long and over two-metres wide, it is an enormous car, with brutish and in-your-face styling that intimidates and impresses in socking great equal measures. And in this inconspicuous shade of ‘Desert Sand Gold Metallic’, it really would look at home in any sandy state, be it Libya or Los Angeles. No other Lamborghini, before or since, has resembled a raging bull quite so accurately.
In stark contrast to the utilitarian exterior, the interior was sumptuous and luxurious, with soft leather seats, deep-pile carpets and creature comforts such as air-conditioning that, if you were lucky, actually cooled you down. To give you some context to illustrate just how outrageous this car was in the late 1980s, it was a whole tonne heavier than the equivalent Range Rover, and a staggering 90,000 US dollars more expensive. That said, only around 330 were produced, going some way to explain why good examples such as this car, currently for sale at Classic Driver dealer DK Engineering, are becoming increasingly collectable.
The other heavyweight pictured is one of just a handful of right-hand-drive Hummer H1 pickups. While it lacks the Italian flair of the Lamborghini, it is a gargantuan machine that makes no bones about the fact it was essentially designed to be shot at. And cocooned in the driver’s seat, you really do feel at the helm of a sophisticated military Humvee, with the canyon-like gap between you and the passenger occupied by a huge centre console, filled with operational screens and gadgets that you daren’t touch for fear of launching a missile or ejecting your passenger.
It’s small wonder Arnie had a penchant for the Hummer – it was just the car to get him get into character on his way to work. Despite its brazen appearance, it is actually remarkably easy to drive, as long as you remember that you’re carrying a few extra tonnes and early 1990s brakes don’t quite perform like they do today.
While the Hummer is a novel vehicle, and particularly rare in the UK, we wonder whether it will become as collectable as the Lamborghini in the long run? Then again, would you wage against Arnie in a drawn-out Hollywood brawl with Sly? We’ll grab the popcorn…
Photos: Tom Shaxson for Classic Driver © 2016