If there’s one thing we know about Americans, it’s that they love trucks. But even one of the top producers of pickups in the world knows that, sometimes, even pickup drivers want some wind in their hair.
Which may be why Ford has filed a patent exploring the idea of a pickup truck with a removable hardtop. That’s right: a pickup truck convertible.
Published last week, the patent discusses a new design that would make it easy for riders and drivers to swap to a more “open air experience,” and says that currently available options are difficult to remove and install. Ford would, instead, develop “removable vehicle roof cap assemblies that are equipped with self-aligning mounting systems for simplifying installation and removal.”
Some industry experts believe the patent could be Ford’s way of trying to compete with the new Jeep Gladiator, whose roof is also removable, and they think it’s possible Ford is eyeing the Ranger for a convertible version.
And, while we’re speculating, it’s of course possible the company won’t ever explore the design at all. Many have tried over the years to perfect this concept, but with clunkier transitions and less durable materials, so maybe Ford is onto something here — especially as the market shifts away from cars in favor or larger vehicles. Or maybe they’re just messing with Jeep.