• Vehicle number 4
  • Vehicle number 4
  • T and W Industries
    Providence, RI
  • Safety chevrons

1986: Foreshadowing Telstar Logistics

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This was the vehicle that started it all...

I bought this 1974 Dodge Tradesman 200 van in 1986, for $700. Parking challenges in Providence, Rhode Island inspired the experiment in corporate camouflage seen here. The first fake-company name was "T and W Industries" -- a reference to Todd and Wally (my college roommate).

This van, which also featured a deluxe interior covered in fake wood paneling and green shag carpet, served as a crucial testbed for the development of vehicular camouflage techniques, including fleet unit numbering and rear safety chevrons.

This vehicle was deactivated in late 1987, following catastrophic mechanical failures resulting from a very fun summer road trip to Boulder, Colorado.

T and W Industries, meanwhile, was acquired as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telstar Logistics in 1994. Substantial synergies have been realized from the merger, resulting in significant value being returned to shareholders.

superterrific, and 8 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. retrOKC ages ago | reply

    Great story.

  2. TunnelBug ages ago | reply

    HA HA. Love it! Nice Satire! I really need one of those vehicles to explore closed military bases.

  3. doctor health ages ago | reply

    perfect story

  4. Triborough 120 months ago | reply

    When I saw this:
    Dodge Ram Van

    I of course thought of this van instantly!

    Ever think of getting a newer Dodge van and attaching the old doors?

  5. Seven Morris 103 months ago | reply

    Hey, I recognized the van in a thumbnail of a video someone posted on Facebook. Did you know they used your photo?

    Here it is. The photo shows up 6 second in:


  6. akush55 102 months ago | reply

    in other terms, The Party Wagon Broke down

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