Independent AMSOIL Dealer Jon Caudron, in his own words.
“My girlfriend one day was just like, ‘You need to find something to do working for yourself. Start your own company,'” said Caudron. “She said, ‘Well, how about this? Why don’t you build Humvees?’ What? What do you mean, build Humvees? She’s like, ‘Yeah. They’re selling them all over the Internet.’
“So I start looking. Well, they just repaint them, fix them up, make them run and sell them for big money. I was like, ‘Okay, if they’re doing this, I can do one up. I’ll put a Cummins in it. I’ll drop a Cummins 12-valve in there, put a three-inch lift on it, put some 40-inch tires on it, leather seats, LINE-X the interior and the underside, make it cozy, put a radio in it, convert it to 12-volt. I can do this,'” said Caudron.
Let’s start the bidding
“Now I needed to find one. So we ended up bidding. And I was working – I was on my way to New York, and all of a sudden this ‘bing’ came on my phone. ‘You won!’ I jumped up and down. Heck, yeah! I’ve got my first Humvee!
“So, anyway, that’s how the first Humvee came along. I knew it was going to take quite a bit of work.”
“Once I started tearing it apart, I’m like, ‘Wow, this is a little more time-consuming than I thought it was going to be.'”
“I’m going to touch every bolt, every rivet, every wire. I’m going to touch it all by hand and make sure everything’s good. So, once I build the first one, I’m going to take it back apart. I’ll have all my templates. So, once the first one is down, the rest of them are just going to be duplicate, duplicate, duplicate.
“Now, if you want a different brush guard, I’ll build you whatever you want. If you want winches, I’ll put winches on them. Light bars, I mean, any modification you want, I will make it happen. I’ve got a notebook. I’ll just start jotting stuff down. Brush guard that does this. Or I’ll be on Facebook and I’ll see someone post something about a Hummer out in California or something, and it’s like, ‘Oh, look at that upgrade. That’s cool. I’ll write it down.’
That’s the fun part for me – picturing, visualizing what I can do with these things
“The main reasoning behind the Cummins – and it actually worked out for several good reasons, but the main reason is it’s one of the best motors, best diesels ever made. The Cummins motor is actually three inches taller than the 6.5 and 6.2s, so it’s getting a three-inch body lift right off the bat. So you can fit 44-inch tires under it right out of the gate.
“They’re all mechanical for the 12 valves. So for the doomsday guys, we hit it with an EMP, that motor is still going to run. It’s mechanical, no electronics. That’s why I’m putting the 47RH Dodge transmission in – all mechanical.”
“You know about torque specs?”
“My girlfriend is very helpful, not afraid to just get down and slide underneath the truck and start helping. And she learns fast, remembers what it is, remembers what this part is, what this part does. She just jumped right in there and started taking it apart, and I was like, ‘Wow.’ Just didn’t have to ask, didn’t have to tell, did nothing. She just looked over and said, ‘Oh, that’s an oil catch pan.’ Drug it over there, drained the differentials out.
“She did ask me what the torque specs were, and I was like, ‘You know about torque specs? Wow!’ I’d say I’d rather work with her than anybody else.
Working on history
“It’s so cool that this truck was just such a huge part of American history. It’s a vehicle that, without it, what would we have not accomplished without the Humvee?
“How old will I be when I quit working on things? The day they put me in a casket, so whatever day that is., I’ll never stop working. I won’t. I don’t want to stop.”