Who doesn't enjoy a bit of gratuitous destruction now and then?

The Motor1.com staff loves cars. We couldn’t be ambassadors for all things automotive if we didn’t have a genuine passion for things with wheels and engines. Yes, tanks ride on steel tracks, but wheels make those treads go around, and there’s definitely an engine in there. As for the hapless Ford cargo vans featured in this clip, not all things can have a happy ending, right? 

For reasons completely unknown to us, WGN News in Chicago decided to give a couple of its work vans a dramatic send-off. The event took place back on November 14 during a primetime special for the station’s morning news show. Apparently the morning crew at the station is a rambunctious bunch, so much so that they even get primetime billing for special events involving gratuitous mechanical destruction. We don’t see anything wrong with that.

We’ll assume the work vans were past their prime and slated for sale. Instead of offering them up on the used market, however, the station obviously decided to opt for some killer ratings. Old work vans can actually be rather lucrative in the used car world, and with these appearing to be extended-length Ford E-Series models, the pair could’ve fetched upwards $12,000 or more depending on mileage and condition. The question then becomes this: Did WGN manage to gain $12,000 worth of advertising by crushing them instead of selling them?

Had the vans simply been pummeled with pianos or even smashed by a monster truck, we’d be tempted to say no. However, busting out a freaking Chieftain main battle tank from the UK to do the honors is definitely a game-changer here. We suspect Drive A Tank – the company that supplied the green metal monster – was keen to get in on the publicity as well. And what can we say? We love vans, but we also love the destruction so the ploy worked.

This is what you might call inspired marketing. It's better to burn out than fade away.

Source: WGN News, 2