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The stretch Hummer

     With Lou Rawls in town, when a few people ran out of the front gate at the Festival at Sandpoint last week, dozens of others soon followed to see what there was to be seen. Then word spread, and more and more people made their way out the front gate. They weren’t going to see Rawls, however. Instead, their attention was taken up by the shiny, black, stretch Hummer H2 limousine parked near the front entrance.
    Can you say, “consumption?” How about, “conspicuous consumption?” Because that’s what the Hummer limo is all about.
    Hummer limousines, also known as “Hummerzines,” are said to be the hippest new limo in the rental market. They seat up to 20 people and can include such amenities as wide-screen TVs, surround sound, and a fully stocked bar—kind of like other limousines, but bigger.
    Don’t look to buy a Hummer limo at a dealer near you, however, because the car (for lack of a better word) is not something you buy—it’s something you build. Hummers are “stretched” by specialist companies on a customer-made-to-order basis, and can cost anywhere from $95,000 and up, depending on how you choose to accessorize. And the stretching process voids the original warranty on the vehicle.
    The Hummer H2 (before stretching) quickly became the top-selling luxury SUV not long after General Motors launched it in the summer of 2002. If you’re considering purchasing a Hummer, you probably don’t care what kind of gas mileage it gets—11 to 12 mpg according to GM, 9 mpg according to most commentators on websites for Hummer owners. Given the popularity of the Hummer H2, it didn’t take long for people to start asking to get it stretched.
    Most Hummer limos, of course, are purchased by companies that rent limousines for weddings, proms and any other type of special occasion—like taking 16 of your friends along to a Lou Rawls concert at the Festival at Sandpoint. That’s where this Hummer, in the photo, came from. It was rented in Spokane to bring a group of friends out for a night of music under the stars. Cost? $200… an hour.

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Landon Otis

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Festival at Sandpoint, stretch Hummer, Lou Rawls, limousine

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