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Hummer

General Motors’ Hummer was an SUV based on the design of the military vehicle known as the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or “Humvee.” During the early 2000s, the Hummer was a popular vehicle, as well as a frequent target of criticism.

People in smaller vehicles that shared the road with the metallic behemoths felt menaced by their enormous size, a fear that was justified when a study from the Quality Planning statistical information firm in San Francisco showed that Hummer drivers got five times as many tickets as drivers of other kinds of cars. When asked why this was, Quality Planning President Raj Bhat said that “perhaps Hummer drivers, by virtue of their driving position, are less likely to notice road hazards, signs, pedestrians and other drivers.”

Ultimately what did the Hummer in was the recession. In 2008, the commercial viability of such a masterpiece of conspicuous consumption was in doubt, particularly one that got famously substandard gas mileage. GM tried to sell the brand, but there were no takers, and in 2010 it was discontinued.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images