Mini Hummer Is Big Attention Getter
Ed Brown gets lots of attention with his mini Hummer look-a-likes. Built on Toyota truck frames, the rigs have all the looks of the real thing but at considerably less cost. After building three of them, he's now exploring selling do-it-yourself kits.
"I got the idea after seeing a story about a guy who put a Hummer front end on a Chevy Suburban," explains Brown. "I realized that all the metal on the Hummer is flat, and would be relatively easy to work with."
Brown drew up plans and went to work on an old Toyota, stripping away all the sheet metal and cutting the cab down to the dash in front and the chassis in the back. All the lines and wires had to be re-laid.
He used fiberglass for the front end, 1.28-ga. steel for the metal panels, and 16-ga. steel for the box floor. He constructed a rollbar cage out of 2-in. steel tubing.
Building the first 2-door model took him 14 months while employed full time. After being laid off, a second one took only six weeks and allowed him to make improvements to his basic plan. Building a 4-door station wagon-style took him about 8 months. He had to stretch the frame to allow for the rear seating compartment and lengthen the gas line and any electrical wires.
"One reason it took so long was that I also built jigs for all the pieces so if I wanted, I could produce kits to sell," explains Brown. "After building three of them, I have it down pretty good. I know the Toyota trucks backwards and forwards."
Brown is now thinking of building a fourth version. It would be a 2-door with right hand drive. He thinks it would be ideal for mail carriers and easy to build since it wouldn't require stretching the frame.