A Brief History Of: The Humvee

Stephen Ferry / Getty

In 1989, the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), or humvee, is used during the invasion of Panama.

The mighty humvee has conquered foreign battlefields, suburban soccer fields and much of the terrain between. But the vehicle has reached a crossroads: With gas prices high and warfare evolving, does it still fulfill the missions--civilian and military--it was built for?

When humvees first debuted in 1985, U.S. soldiers called them "jeeps on steroids." More squat than sporty but superbly versatile, they served as troop carriers, command centers and ambulances. America got its first good look at them six years later during Desert Storm and liked what it saw enough that a civilian model appeared soon after. (Arnold Schwarzenegger was among...

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