I had a few hours off in Los Angeles and found myself in the La Brea Tar Pits museum on Wiltshire Boulevard.

DSC_0041 The Tar pit (where oil is forced to surface by geological pressure) dates back to the Ice Age.

Over the last century the pit has been excavated to reveal the well-preserved skeletons of thousands of animals - sabre tooth tigers, giant mastadons, camels, bison, extinct condors and eagles - from between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago.

I couldn't help but see the parallels the following day at the LA auto show. It was easy to imagine the animal skeletons replaced in a future LA museum with the bare chassis and body frames of the giant SUV.

The GM stand was a good place to see a couple of these near-extinct beasts. Hummer's models had a good showing, but it could be the last time you'll see the brand on GM's stand.

GM has put the division up for sale. Not only does it need the money, but the huge vehicles are completely at odds with these dire automotive times.

Another evolutionary dead-end is the Saab 9-7X, also making its last appearance. Based on a GM truck chassis, the quick-fix 9-7X was the first - and probably last - V8-engined Saab.

Next month, the Saab (and sister vehicles the Chevy Trailblazer and GMC Envoy) will be axed and the factory that makes them closed.

And with GM cancelling its planned new-generation big SUV truck chassis, these beasts - which once dominated the North America market - have clearly reached the end of the road.