It’s got style. It’s got speed. It’s got heart. It’s the adrenaline-pumping, track-destroying vehicle of your dreams. It’s the infamous UPS Package Car, and you can’t have it.
Really, you can’t.
The shipping company has a policy strictly prohibiting the resale of their trucks. Not only do they not sell them, but they make it nearly impossible for an old truck to slip back to the streets in full-UPS livery.
Once UPS Package Cars have concluded their lives of being beat to hell on crowded city streets and rural dirt roads for hours on end, they get repainted white to assure that only in-service trucks can pass for official UPS vehicles.
Some are then repurposed for internal jobs, moving things around UPS facilities or transporting workers. These are the so-called “albino UPS trucks” that are occasionally spotted in the wild.
But not all Package Cars make it to internal service. If there’s no need for them internally, the retired packaged cars get sent to the scrapper. Even those that briefly experience an afterlife at a UPS facility will eventually meet the same fate, as the rule is simple: when the company is done with them, UPS scraps every one of its package cars.
Not only that, but they’re scrapped under UPS supervision to make sure no car gets out. There’s something sadistic about watching every truck meet its end, but that’s the kind of Fort-Knox style security you need to protect something so valuable.
No, I’m not talking about those baller Package Cars. UPS doesn’t really care about those, per se. What the company is protecting, a spokesperson confirmed to Jalopnik, is its brand.
Those trucks, because they’re exclusive to UPS, represent the company. For the same reason that a Domino’s franchise would sue someone using the Domino’s brand in a way that doesn’t represent the best interests of the corporation, UPS doesn’t want people blowing red lights and speeding through school zones in big brown vans that say UPS on the side.
The risk that secondary-market buyers would misuse them isn’t worth the relatively small price these high-mile industrial vehicles would fetch. Plus, with such an old and expansive fleet, spare parts are never in short supply.
As for the inspiration of this policy, some have heard a compelling rumor that a crafty robber used the borderline-invisibility of a parked UPS truck as part of a series of bank robberies. This flagrant abuse of the brand, the story goes, sparked suspicion and distrust of real UPS trucks and forced the company to stop reselling their Package Cars.
Truly a great story, but unfortunately not true. Not only could we not find any record of this, but a UPS spokesperson confirmed its an urban myth. That’s believable, as it’s hard to imagine a robber would struggle to find alternate means of procuring a package car.