You know how you’re sitting around a camp fire after a long day on the trail, and as you recap the day’s events, the group comes up with all sorts of crazy inventions that would make the off-roading experience better? Maybe the ideas get wilder and more outlandish as the beverages continue to flow, and pretty soon you’ve concocted all sorts of overly complex solutions for relatively common, simple, and annoying trail-related problems. What about a retractable tailpipe to increase your rig’s departure angle? And how you all laughed, but in all actuality the guy sitting next to you really did smash the smithereens out of his tailpipe on that one technical section. Well, believe it or not, Ford has—in real life, no joke—filed a patent for said retractable tailpipe exhaust system. You and all your camping buddies deserve honorary patents for the idea.
Ford’s retractable tailpipe patent, originally reported on by CarBuzz, was filed in April 2020 but published in October 2021. As you can imagine, the patent outlines an overly intricate tailpipe assembly that sucks the tip in and out, transforming the traditionally less complex circular metal piece (that off-roaders have been know to hack off as their first off-road mod) into a science fair project of epic proportion. If complexity is your thing, then indulge on the fine print of the patent.
Check out the complexity of the project, as stated in the clear-as-mud patent abstract: ” The system comprises an exhaust tube mounted to an underbody of a vehicle, an exhaust tip slidably mounted to the exhaust tube, the exhaust tip having a plurality of extension shafts fixed on a second end, and an exhaust tip retract module positioned on the exhaust tube circumscribing an outer surface, the exhaust tip retract module having an actuator, a gear, and a plurality of bearings that mate with the plurality of extension shafts on the exhaust tip.”
For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.