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In the world of expensive vehicles, the Hummer H1 ranks near the top of the scale even with its short list of creature comforts. While other SUVs offer more luxury and prestige, none exhibit the same tactical aptitude.

Start with a typical H1, add in a war record, a complete restoration with upgrades performed on a television show, and an auction with proceeds going to charity, and CNN’s Warrior One Hummer H1 quickly becomes the most expensive SUV ever sold at auction. 

CNN’s Warrior One Hummer H1

A red Hummer H1 in red.
Hummer H1 | Getty Images

According to information on the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company’s website, CNN’s Warrior One is a 1993 Hummer H1 used by CNN producers and photojournalists embedded with the First Battalion, 7th Marines during the War in Iraq.

Warrior One came “under heavy fire near Bagdad” sometime in April 2003 but returned to the U.S. largely unscathed. In 2006 Warrior One received a “complete restoration with numerous upgrades” at the hands of the team from the Overhaulin’ television series. 

The upgrades began with swapping out the original diesel V8 with a 450-hp 454 cu-in crate engine from GM. From there, the Overhaulin’ team lifted the H1’s suspension six inches to make room for the 37-inch BF Goodrich tires mounted on one-of-a-kind Foose wheels.

Inside, the team installed a custom leather interior and a 7,500-watt Kicker audio system with six LCD monitors and 250-pound subwoofers. The Warrior One’s exterior features “images of journalists and military personnel” painted on by four top airbrush artists as a tribute to those who served and covered the war. 

Most expensive SUV ever sold at auction.

With the Overhaulin’ restoration and upgrades completed, CNN’s Warrior One Hummer H1 sold at the 2007 Scottsdale, Arizona Barrett-Jackson auction for $1 million, with all proceeds going to the Fisher House Foundation, according to Worthly. On top of the $1 million auction price, another person donated an additional $250,000 to benefit the Fisher House.

The Fisher House Foundation’s mission is “serving our military in their time of need” by providing housing where “military and veteran families can stay free of charge while a loved one is in the hospital.” In addition, the Foundation operates other programs to help defer travel and hotel costs of injured service members’ families so they can be near their loved ones. 

Other expensive SUVs

CNN’s Warrior One is on the Worthly list as the most expensive SUV ever sold at auction, but another SUV, a Dartz Prombron Red Diamond Edition, tops it by selling for $1.5 million. The Dartz is bulletproof, including “gold-plated bulletproof windows” and has an 8.1-liter engine. In addition, the interior features upscale trim materials like white gold, rubies, and diamonds. 

At third on the list is the Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris, which sold for a relatively budget-friendly $300,000. The Spyker debuted at the 2006 Geneva Auto Show as a D12. However, an engine change from the planned Audi W12 to an American V8 also necessitated a name change. The Peking-to-Paris moniker is an homage to an early Spyker model that finished second in the 1907 race. 


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