Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren -- car manufacturers that conjure up fantasies for boys of all ages. For the select few who can afford such amazing supercars, confetti rains from the heavens, velvet ropes part, and red carpet is rolled out under their feet. Athletes are one such group whose talent translates into dollars and whose bank accounts can support these lofty works of automotive art. For Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s second baseman Howard Kendrick, talent provided the means, but his tastes in cars pushed him into a different direction than the typical ballplayer. Behind the wheel of this incredible Hummer H1, no off-road trail is too treacherous, no Hollywood premier is too elite, and with 1,000 lb-ft on tap, he can blast towards the horizon with sports car-like speed.
When searching for his next project truck after enjoying his last project, The Show (featured in Volume 36, No. 10), Howard came across Predator Motorsports, and his dream of owning the ultimate Hummer H1 began to come to fruition. After locating a low-mileage donor 2001 Hummer H1, the massive off-roader was transported to Predator Motorsports, in Vista, California, where the crew immediately pulled the old diesel powerplant and transmission and started working on a high-performance heart for the Hummer. In between the framerails went a 6.6L Duramax diesel engine and Allison six-speed transmission. To handle the H1’s new power, Predator installed their six-piston caliper brake upgrade for the inboard brake system. The results are a smooth and linear pedal feel. A 2-inch body lift and Predator’s own remote reservoir shocks allowed 22-inch American Force Recon SS wheels with CTIS mounted inside 37-inch Nitto Trail Grappler tires to be inserted under the H1’s fenders. The look completely sets off the H1 and instantly helps you realize this thing was built to be enjoyed.
An H1 on its own looks intimidating, but Howard wasn’t interested in a stock-looking people-mover, so he had Predator deck out the Hummer with the best parts at their disposal. This list is longer than an 18-inning baseball game, so we’ll cover the highlights, which include Predator direct-flow hoodscoop, D-ring II brushguard, huge roof rack, LED headlights, LED marker lights, search and rescue bumpers with winches, and rear ladder rack. What made the biggest statement to the Hummer’s appearance was definitely the Lamborghini Aventador Silver paint in a matte finish. The matte perfectly accentuates the bold body lines of the H1. To help Howard see the terrain when off-roading at night, a Baja Designs 50-inch LED lightbar was added.
Inside the cavernous cabin, black leather now covers nearly every surface, including the dash, door panels, center console, and seats, which are also fitted with black suede inserts and seat heaters. While the interior was being worked on, a Level-Two wagon sound deadening and insulation kit was installed to help occupants enjoy normal-volume conversations. A double-din JVC head unit handles the audio signal and navigation, while a Kenwood backup camera ensures Howard doesn’t accidentally run over any Priuses.
When we asked him what his favorite part of the Hummer H1 was, he laughed and said, “The Duramax is so strong, and when you need the power, it’s always there.” After driving the beast around for a week for this photoshoot and feeling like the king of the road, we can attest to the Duramax’s incredible power, the H1’s unbeatable off-road capabilities, and the feeling of being 10-feet tall and bulletproof when behind the wheel.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model: 2001 Hummer H1
Owner and City/State: Howard Kendrick • Anaheim, California
Type: 2007 6.6L LLM Duramax
Induction: Factory Hummer H1 airbox with K&N filter
Cooling: Predator Motorsports intercooler and radiator
Exhaust: 4-inch Kore by Predator Motorsports
ECU: Raptorq computer tuning
Built by: Predator Motorsports
Output: 550 hp and 1,000 lb-ft
Transmission: Allison six-speed auto
Transfer case: Predator 2WD/4WD selectable
Front suspension: Predator remote-reservoir shocks, 2-inch body lift
Rear suspension: Predator remote-reservoir shocks, 2-inch body lift
Brakes: Predator six-piston calipers and upgraded rotors
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 22x10 American Force Recon SS
Tires: 37x13.50R22 Nitto Trail Grappler M/T