Why automakers use car camouflage on prototypes and test vehicles

Here's the history behind these wild-looking zebra patterns and how effective they are at fooling people that are eager to snap spy photos of new vehicles.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole

I know you've seen it before. Certainly in spy photos published on websites like Roadshow, but maybe you've even spotted it on a real car or truck driving on public roads. I'm talking, of course, about vehicle camouflage.

Ever wonder what the story is behind these wild-looking black-and-white patterns, or why automakers think dressing their vehicles up to look like rolling zebras is a good idea? Here's the scoop, the whole scoop and nothing but the scoop.

That video conveniently embedded above explains it all: what vehicle camouflage is supposed to do, where it came from and how effective it is. If you can believe it, the story involves spies, intrigue and even submarines. Yes, submarines. Give it a watch for all the bawdy details.

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