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Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t shy about his affinity for the Hummer. However, his relationship to the Hummer H1 is more than enthusiastic; it’s foundational. That’s right, the former California Governor and Hollywood superstar had a hand in getting the first civilian Hummers into the hands of car shoppers. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger is more than a Hummer H1 fan; he’s responsible for the civilian models getting their start

Years ago, I listened to a PR specialist describe the H1 as more attention-grabbing than “a man driving a Lamborghini with his hair on fire.” Sure, that was a bit of an embellishment. I mean, I know I wouldn’t give a Hummer H1 another thought as an immolating lunatic goes screaming by in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder. But the H1’s mass alone is enough to dominate a parking lot. 

Unsurprisingly, five-time Mr. Universe, former California Governor, and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger would likely love the Hummer on appearance alone. However, fans of the vehicle and the man might not know that the “Governator” was integral to getting civilian market Hummer H1s on public streets.

Arnold Schwarzenegger out for a drive in one of his Hummer H1 trucks.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his Hummers | BG004, Bauer-Griffin via GC Images

In the early 1990s, Schwarzenegger developed a penchant for the military’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). You might recognize that acronym by the colloquialization popularized by soldiers and U.S. Marines: “Humvee.” Consequently, Arnold Schwarzenegger contacted AM General, the military vehicle’s manufacturer, per Essentially Sports. He was adamant that there was a place in the civilian market for the brute. By 1992, the first Hummer H1s were reaching customers. 

Rightfully so, Arnold Schwarzenegger received the first H1. Since then, the “Predator” and “Terminator” star has reportedly owned as many as seven Hummers at once. Better yet, the former California Governor had a Humvee (not a Hummer, mind you) with a thirst for vegetable oil.

Fans of the monster off-roaders have Schwarzenegger to thank for the ridiculous rides. After the H1’s questionable success, the H2 and smaller H3 hit the roads. However, the last Hummer-badged vehicle of the early millennium rolled off the line in 2010. Today, the nameplate is back and bigger than ever. Bigger in a literal sense. The latest crab-walking Hummer EV is wider than the military-inspired H1 by 0.2 inches. While that doesn’t sound like much, the H1 is already a massive truck.