Mil-Spec Automotive seemingly burst on the scene last July, and since then, it’s continued to capture the imaginations of off-road enthusiasts with every Launch Edition SUV it’s built.
Jay Leno’s Garage delves into how the company came to be on its latest episode. Like so many of the best companies, it all started with a dream. Ian Broekman, Chris van Scyoc and Adam Mitchell were three college friends who happened to share a similar passion for cars.
Today, Broekman serves as chief innovation officer, van Scyoc as company president, and Mitchell as CEO and founder. The three young entrepreneurs retell the story of how the company dedicated to building modern-day Hummer H1s came to be.
Van Scyoc reached out to Mitchell and explained the idea for a Hummer built as if it had never been discontinued. Hummer was axed from General Motors in the automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy restructuring. His plan called for slightly reimagined bodies, modern powertrains and suspension components, and a touch of luxury to boot.
He also noted a gap in the industry. Numerous companies have restored and created turn-key Ford Broncos and all sorts of other pickups or SUVs. No one had really tried Hummers yet.
The Mil-Spec president then reached out to Broekman, who graduated from college with an degree in automotive. He took responsibility for helping create the modern package each Mil-Spec Hummer features.
That includes a totally redesigned suspension geometry, GM’s 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 (the same found in modern heavy-duty pickups), and more. Today, production continues of Launch Edition models that either the company builds or customers commission from the firm based in Detroit.
The trio’s goal wasn’t just to provide a “factory” Hummer experience but to help clean up the brand’s name. The Hummer infamously became a poster child for gas guzzlers throughout last decade. Mil-Spec’s use of the 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 doubles fuel economy from the original civilian H1, and it can even run on biodiesel.