What a better way to show the similarities as well as the differences between Ford’s original 1965 Mustang and its 2015 successor than to split in half and combine them into one display?
Ford and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum (NHIF) spliced the two models at about 60 percent both length- and width-wise to create a permanent Mustang display at the United States Patent and Trademark Office Campus in Alexandria, Virginia – albeit for a different reason.
While most of us will surely place our focus on the changes in design, mass and technological features upon seeing Ford’s automotive equivalent of DC’s ‘Two-Face’, with the sixth gen giving us more of a heavy, 1970s vibe inside and out compared to the much leaner and overall, sleeker 1965 original, the Blue Oval and NHIF want to tell a story of how trademarks, patents, and other forms of intellectual property make modern amenities possible.
Ford says that when the Mustang was launched five decades ago in 1964, no specific styling patents were granted, but after the car proved to be a huge success selling over 1 million units in the first 18 months, the company started applying patents over time. By late 1965, the original Mustang employed more than 100 of Ford’s existing functional patents, including rear-seat speaker, a power convertible top and self-canceling turn signal.
“Everything moved so fast in the design and run-up to production of the original Mustang that there were no styling patents issued back then,” said Chris Danowski, Ford director of technology commercialization and intellectual property licensing. “Now look at the current car; 2015 Mustang Convertible alone was granted 36 styling patents, which ensure the unique look stays with the car. It also has many unique functional patents for things like the airbag structures, 911 Assist and so many other technologies baked right in.”
It’s worth highlighting the fact that, unlike other museum displays of the sort, visitors will be allowed to site in either side of the car to directly compare their styling and features.