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We don’t know how long Ford has been sitting on this but it is a couple of great ideas wrapped in a new Bronco. It keeps finding new ways to stab storage into its trucks and SUVs. It just patented a hidden storage compartment for its F-150 tailgates, but then there is this. A Bronco front fender that contains a compartment for storage.

Ford wants more Bronco storage and has an idea

Ford's unique idea for more storage space in a Bronco
Ford’s unique idea for more storage space in a Bronco | MB

The folks at Carbuzz found this patent for a removable outer fender. Once removed, there is a storage area for whatever you can fit into it. We Photoshopped a shovel, as described in the patent filing, into the space. The storage area would be divided into different sections rather than one big hollow area. 

Ford suggests that the storage area would be illuminated so you can see what you’ve packed in there. And it also suggests a phosphorus light source. Ford describes the inside of the compartment as being painted in what amounts to glow-in-the-dark paint. The paint would be fired off from an ultraviolet LED source. 

Ford also wants the Broncos front fender to be a turn signal

Bronco storage
Ford’s unique idea for more storage space in a Bronco | MB

But then it takes the phosphorus material idea much further, which at first seems rather wacky. Ford outlines an idea based around the feature that “long persistent phosphor can emit amber colored light.” From that Ford proposes the “short persistent phosphor stops emitting light very quickly.” Put together, it suggests that the short persistent phosphor paint on a front fender could function as a turn signal. No, we’re not kidding, it’s in the patent. 

Phosphor can be made to glow in different colors. So Ford says one color would represent the vehicle’s color, while another can emit the amber color. So essentially what Ford is saying is that sections of a vehicle’s body would provide illumination, and also act as turn signal indicators. Why not?

In the past, we’ve seen a paint that can be embedded with material that when energized can make it glow. But that would be more involved, more costly, and require electrical current to be applied. The phosphorus idea only requires ambient light to fire it off. There would be no need to run current directly to each painted panel. 

One idea practical, and the other…

A blue Ford Bronco is on display.
A blue Ford Bronco is on display | Getty

While the patent lays out a very practical idea for extra storage, it goes into uncharted territory with the phosphorus paint spitballing. Whether this ever comes to fruition we’ll have to wait and see. As for the extra storage idea, we’re all for it. Ram has done well with its storage compartments for the rear fenders of its trucks. 

This is sort of the same idea but with removable front fenders. Maybe not quite as convenient, as the fenders would need to be removed to access the storage. Still, we’d like to see more unique thinking like this that definitely adds value to the Bronco.


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