"I recently retired and was given a $32,000 vehicle as a gift from the company" sure sounds like an employee achievement award to me. I'm not sure how the taxpayer would convince an IRS auditor that it isn't.
I absolutely concur. Considering the language in the IRS publication, I am virtually certain the argument that the non-taxable status of the length of service award (or whatever term one would choose) would be a loser.
Also, as @TomD8 sort of implied, isn't reporting the value of this "gift" (as other income or otherwise taxable) the safe and conservative route in this scenario? It seems to me that not reporting it would be ill-advised and sort of playing the audit lottery.