If you are a fan of automotive media, chances are you are familiar with Matt Farah. The host of the popular “The Smoking Tire” YouTube channel and podcast, Farah has been making car-related content for over a decade now. More recently, the team over at Hagerty picked Farah up to do a new show called “Modified”, which is right up his alley of expertise. In the most recent episode of the show, Farah makes his way down to the Motor City to visit one of the area’s most interesting aftermarket companies: Mil-Spec Automotive. Our readers are likely familiar with these Metro Detroit madmen, who transform early Hummer H1’s into something very special. Think Singer and the work they do with the 911, and you’ll be on the right track to understand the Mil-Spec MR-1. Farah especially came to Detroit to learn two things however: how do you “uns**tbox” a Hummer H1, and can it drift?
A Serious Hummer H1 Build
For anyone who knows Mil-Spec Automotive, you know the answer to that first question is unequivocally yes. These $300,000+ machines start life as a civilian-spec Hummer H1 produced between 1995-2001. From there, The Mil-Spec MR-1 receives the company’s 6.6L Duramax diesel V8 powertrain, which produces a ludicrous 800 horsepower and 1,300 lb-ft of torque in top-spec. That engine is mated to an upgraded Allison 1000 T6 automatic transmission and a unique transfer case. Former Team Hummer driver Rod Hall provided a long-travel racing suspension system, with upgraded Wilwood brakes on offer as well. Combine this with the entirely reworked interior, and you’re left with something much more livable than the Hummer H1 is known for being. Matt Farah would know after all, as he did daily drive a stock example back in the day.
Drifting A MilSpec Hummer Is Something Special
After getting a chance to tool around downtown Detroit in the Mil-Spec MR-1, the Hagerty crew made their way on out to Flat Rock Speedway. This .25 mile oval features a nice figure-eight section, which proved perfect for the second test on the menu. Mil-Spec Automotive created a ludicrous powertrain mule for their production line of vehicles, which is known as the Drift Hummer. This 1992 Army surplus model has been outfitted with the same 800 horsepower Duramax, but weighs a respectable 1,500 pounds less. Combine this with a lowered coilover suspension, lightweight alloy wheels, and Pirelli P Zero tires, and the recipe looks promising. The truck looks the part too, thanks to the Wilwood brakes, Sparco race seats and a Momo steering wheel. As Farah demonstrates, the Drift Hummer lives up to its namesake as on the track.
So then yes, you can certainly uns**tbox a Hummer H1. Furthermore, this military vehicle can also be a solid drift machine if you so choose. Just be prepared to spend a ton of cash on tires. Farah didn’t make it through too many slides before the rear lost their will to live, but you have to pay to play we suppose. Considering the trucks are nearly half-a-million to begin with, we’re sure some Pirellis won’t be too much of an expense.