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Which Cars Will Be Discontinued in 2011?

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Take a gander, folks. This is the last you'll see of some of the most recognizable vehicles on the road. Models cherished and decried are being discontinued in the coming year. The engines are shutting down and the WD-40 IV drips are removed. Transmissions will not be resuscitated. Viewings will be held off Exit 13 on the NJ Turnpike, underneath the overpass. Expect major rust damage. Not for the squeamish.

Like a Greek tragedy, Ford is discontinuing its Mercury brand. For the four remaining Mecury models -- the big Grand Marquis, the Mountaineer SUV, the Milan sedan, and the Mariner crossover -- production will cease this winter. of the Chicago Tribune expects a boost in Buick sales from disappointed Mercury loyalists.

In the last few years, Hummer -- the status symbol of the Bush administration -- fared about as well as W's legacy. Along with Saturn, Hummer's life expectancy was thought to be stretched from a buyout, but the deals crumbled before our very eyes. Both Saturn and Hummer have seen the last of their factory showrooms.

Chevy Cobalt is also headed for the junkyard, as are the early-'90s favorite Dodge Viper, the amusing PT Cruiser, the highly niche Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and the superfluous Jeep Commander. BMW is discontinuing its 6-Series, and the Kia Rondo will die as it lived: in total obscurity.

Fare thee well, autos. I'll see you when I need a cheap distributor cap.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.