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Reports of the death of sport-utility vehicles are...

June 04, 2005

Reports of the death of sport-utility vehicles are premature. But in a nation well-divided between SUV owners and SUV haters, gas prices have been shrinking the ranks of the former, while the rest cheer that maybe they'll be able to see farther down the freeway than the square back of the vehicle immediately in front.

Sales are way down for U.S. automakers that have built their lines on SUVs, The Times reported Thursday, and a GM executive said the company will cut its production of the larger ones.

America has been so in love with the SUV that it's hard to imagine a time when they were a rarity on the road. It's even harder to imagine a return to such a time. What would we do with all the SUVs if they were unceremoniously turned out of U.S. garages?

Our 10 top suggestions:

10. Convert them into condos for Great Danes.

9. Take off the wheels and doors for children's playhouses. Stack and weld for play towers.

8. Fold down the seats and add blankets for guest quarters.

7. Take out the seats and voila: room for all your garden tools.

6. Open the sunroof and fill, for a super-sized frontyard planter.

5. Swap the hoses and pipes for plumbing and finally get that extra bathroom

4. Caulk them to create the first aquariums with privacy glass for shy fish.

3. Sink them offshore as artificial reefs.

2. Donate them to the Bay Area so Northern Californians will have the metal, if not mettle, to build a new Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.

1. Imagine: hot tubs with comfortable seating.

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