If you've dreamed of having real army vehicles in your garage, there's good news. Forget all those auto shopping sites online; they might offer a pretty good selection of Chevrolets and Kias, but do any of them sell an up-armored version of anything? Does Nissan offer an "air superiority" package on the Versa? Did Tesla suddenly start offering depleted uranium armor piercing cannons for the Model S?
When you're in a hurry, what you really need is a used military vehicle that can surface just off the coast and launch a couple tactical nukes at all the speed cameras in your way. True, you might get pulled over at some point anyway, but odds are good you'll walk away with a warning when The Man realizes how close he is to watching a JDAM land on his Taurus. That's what we call "diplomatic immunity."So, which of the following are right for you? Vote up your favorite used army vehicle you can actually buy... because at the end of the day, it's all about spreading democracy.
And you though military vehicles couldn't get manlier than the original Humvee. The Humvee's replacement from Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense takes the best parts of the H1 and combines it with lessons learned from the last generation MRAP (Mine-Resistant AmbushProtected vehicle). It's also about halfway in size between the two, and that's no accident. The MRAP was hefty for taking the kids to soccer practice. As of right now, Oshkosh hasn't introduced a civilian version; but it's definitely coming, and will probably cost around $250,000. Don't count on getting the first one, though; you know the Governator's already got dibs.
The Renault Sherpa is the Hummer for people who love Hummers, but don't vote Republican. Ride of choice for French and NATO forces, the Sherpa is Europe's take on the Hummer H1. At a quarter-million dollars new for the civilian version, it's not too far off of a civilian H1, but you can find used Sherpas for a fraction of that. With its snazzy sportback roof, angled nose, and decidedly Lamborghini-esque wheel arches, the Sherpa looks a bit more Dakar Rally than Afghanistan battlefield. Don't let that fool you, this European is plenty tough enough to handle every pothole America's roads can throw at it.
Forget that sad impostor known as the "H2." Old Hummer H1s are all over the place now. The government has so many, they're literally giving them away to anti-terrorism police forces with nothing but pumpkin festivals to protect. For those of us without badges, surplus Hummers are available for between $8,000 and $40,000 depending on year, engine, armor, and presence of bullet holes.
F16 Fighting Falcon
Sometimes, air superiority is all that matters. Really, how else are you going to get to work in the morning? This is one of those cases where anything is for sale if you have the money, especially if you don't live in the United States. Right now, the U.S. military isn't selling surplus F16s because they're still in service. And even if you owned one, there isn't a chance the FAA would allow you to fly it over U.S. soil. But, in places like Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, F16s are readily for sale and legal to both own and fly.They're actually not too expensive at around $150,000 for an older model in flyable condition, but good luck maintaining it and finding spare parts, especially since General Dynamics sold production to Lockheed and stopped making replacement components for the F16. That's exactly why so many of our allies have put their older Falcons up for sale on the private market.