Archive for Saturday, June 21, 1997

HUMMER SEEKS LIMO LICENSE

June 21, 1997

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A new limousine service plans to feature a HUMMER, a wide-bodied four-wheel drive vehicle.

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf had one.

So did Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

And, if the Lawrence City Commission gives its OK, you can call one up for a ride to your favorite action event in Lawrence or Topeka.

"We think it's going to be a big hit for the area," said Richard M. King, Lawrence.

King wants to start a limousine service using a white 1994 HUMMER, a civilian version of the HMMWV military vehicle known as the HUMV (pronounced HUMM-vee).

A partner in HUMV Advertising Platform Inc., St. Joseph, Mo., King will go before the Lawrence City Commission Tuesday night for a local taxicab license.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m. at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts.

Rod Bremby, assistant city manager, said the request appeared to meet the requirements set in the city code.

"I don't know that our code places limitations on weight and size or shape," Bremby said. "I think it just assumes it will be a mechanized vehicle."

Bremby said the HUMMER was the first four-wheel drive limousine the city ever had considered for such a license.

"It has the most horsepower, but I think there's going to be limited seating," he said.

King said the four-door wide-bodied vehicle would be able to seat four people comfortably, including the driver. He wants to use the limousine for advertising, for emergency use and for disaster service.

"We're operating it now in St. Joseph," he said. Tentative plans call for making it available two days a week in Lawrence and three days a week in Topeka.

"It's certainly something that's unique," he said. "We think there's going to be a market for this for weddings and graduations and various company functions and sporting events."

The HUMMER is specially built to go through 30 inches of water or mud or three feet of snow without contaminating its engine, he said. It was developed to withstand a land mine detonation, so it's bomb-proof.

And a special drive-line protection kit makes it bulletproof, he said.

"If you're driving down the road, you can inflate and deflate each tire independently while you're driving," King said. "We've also added an option on it that will allow them to go through 60 inches of water. It will go where other four-by-fours won't go."

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