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Prowler’s last prowl coming in February

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DETROIT — Chrysler plans to end production of the Prowler in February, less than five years after the introduction of the head-turning two-seater with a retro hotrod look wrapped up in modern technology.

The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG made the announcement recently, saying about 11,000 Prowlers have been sold through November. The suggested starting price is about $45,400.

"We anticipated a five-year run for Prowler when we started production in 1997," Tom Marinelli, vice president, Chrysler/Jeep Global brand center, said in a statement.

"While we're discontinuing Prowler production, I can assure you that we've got even more head-turning vehicles in our pipeline," Marinelli said.

Unlike most vehicles, the Prowler is hand-built alongside the Dodge Viper at the Chrysler Conner Avenue plant in Detroit.

It's a plum assignment for assembly workers, who build just 14 Prowlers a day.

"We really handle these cars with kid gloves," assembly worker Philip Rolack said following a ceremony last June, marking production of the 10,000th Prowler.

"How do I put it into words? We take personal care of these cars," Rolack said.

The Prowler was originally introduced to the public as a concept, or show car, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 1993.

But public reaction was so strong, the company said, it decided to build a low-volume production version for the 1997 model year.

The first Prowlers were offered only in a color called "Prowler Purple," but the last 300 will be painted Deep Candy Red.

The paint will feature a new technology in its pearl coat that will make the car sparkle in bright light, Marinelli said.