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Autotrader Find: 2002 Ford Advertising Van

When you browse through enough Autotrader listings, the odd seems normal — like, for example, box trucks. Those aren’t vehicles you usually find when you’re searching for a used car, but they’re all over Autotrader, and they aren’t that special. This one, however, is special.

What you’re looking at here is a 2002 Ford E-350 box truck, painted in black, which already makes it kind of special, because these things are always white, or at least "white with some paint transfer from the time Jimmy the delivery guy backed into a Lexus." But that isn’t the special part: The special part is that this truck is a giant roving billboard.

Yes, that’s right: This E-350’s rear box has been modified heavily so that it isn’t just cheap slab sides, but rather mobile advertising billboards. Better yet, they can rotate, so this truck has the possibility of advertising six or eight businesses (depending on whether the frontal area is used) at once. The ad claims that all those cost over $80,000, which seems reasonable when you consider that the box is completely modified and there are a lot of electronics inside the van to work all this stuff — and there are even LED lights on the outside to keep the advertisements lit at night, like a billboard.

With that said, the van can still be used as a regular box van; the interior is hampered a bit by all the advertising hardware, but not dramatically. I’m sensing a business idea here: You could start a moving company where you move peoples’ stuff — and also sell ads on the side of your van. If you do this, I will require a share of the profits.

Anyway, this van is for sale at Thiel Motor Sales in rural De Witt, Iowa, for just $14,997, with just over 16,000 miles on the odometer. Not a bad deal considering all the money you’ll make and all the profit shares you’ll give me. Find a 2002 Ford E-350 for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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  1. My whole presidential platform will be built on banning these. Is there anything worse than being stuck in traffic and seeing one of these? If your business model is built on clogging up traffic for those that need to get somewhere, death penalty. 

  2. Without looking at the listing I would have assumed the truck would actually have 116k or 216k miles on it, since I thought the whole point of those trucks was to drive downtown to, you know, advertise. But no, the truck does have a 6 digit odometer, so unless it’s recently rolled over a million miles, it actually has 16,000 miles. Unbelievable. 

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