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July 8, 2014

News & Features

Cars really stand out in camouflage

New York Times News Service

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The 2014 Ram 1500 Mossy Oak edition (Chrysler)

Hot competition among pickups has inspired automakers to seek every possible edge, in style as well as technology. So like such disparate trendsetters as downtown club kids and "Duck Dynasty" fans, trucks are now stepping out in camouflage.

For instance, the Ram 1500 Mossy Oak, a camo-accented version of the Crew Cab, is aimed at hunters and other outdoorsmen who may already be familiar with the Mossy Oak outdoors brand, which licenses the pattern for all sorts of products. The Ram's camo covers two strips of the bed and body and is available only on trucks painted black, gold or Prairie Pearl. (The last color, which sounds like the hostess in a Deadwood saloon, is grayish.)
Inside, the Mossy Oak pattern is on the console and door panels, with touches on the seats. The truck starts at $42,800.

Toyota responded with a Tundra truck wrapped in Bass Pro livery, with the Realtree camouflage on the bed grading into a pixelated pattern on the cabin.

Given how fashionable camouflage is in clothing these days, it is surprising there aren't more camouflaged vehicles. A few high-style exceptions come to mind. The Japanese streetwear brand A Bathing Ape, or Bape, was established by designer Nigo.

Camouflage adorns Bape's shirts and shoes, which have been big in the hip-hop world. Nigo has painted several cars in bright, ironic camouflage, including a Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Bugatti Veyron, McLaren 12C and Ferrari 458 Italia.

Still, the best car camouflage may be the black-and-white swirls and swoops stuck on prototypes to frustrate spy photographers prowling for future models. This camo hides shapes and makes it hard for digital cameras to focus. If people saw your plain old car in such garb, they might think it's so new it's still being tested.

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