Photos courtesy National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum

Unique half-1965, half-2015 Ford Mustang on display this week in Las Vegas

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It was in 1976 that country music legend Johnny Cash released one of his bigger hits, “One Piece At A Time,” which told the tale of an automotive assembly line worker in Detroit who spent more than 20 years building a one-of-a-kind Cadillac, “borrowing” parts that he snuck out the factory after each day’s work in his lunch box.

The Cadillac was indeed unique, with two headlights on one side of the front end, and one light on the other, along with just one tail fin.

No, it’s not trick photography or an optical illusion, this is actually a unique ‘split-model’ Ford Mustang that is half from 1965 and the other half 50 years later from 2015. (Photo: NIHF and Museum)

Now, the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Museum and Ford Motor Company have taken a page from Cash’s playbook by building a one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang that is half of a 1965 model and half of a 2015 model – both on the exterior and interior, which features two dashboards and steering wheels (right).

On loan to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the so-called “split-model” ‘Stang has been traveling throughout 13 states en route to the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from Tuesday, January 8 through Friday, January 11. Those attending the show can view the custom-built ride at Booth 51510 in Eureka Park.

The exhibit, which had previously been on display at the NIHF, will showcase the differences in the 50 years between the two models, how car design has evolved and how intellectual property impacts the design of an automobile, according to a NIHF media release.

“As one of our most popular exhibits in the NIHF Museum at the USPTO, we are excited to have it displayed at the largest and most influential marketplace of technological innovation,” NIHF CEO Michael J. Oister said in the release.

The museum already had a strong connection with Ford: company founder Henry Ford was inducted into the NIHF in 1982.

Once its run in Vegas is over, the car is expected to return to the NIHF Museum in Alexandria, Virginia.

For more information, follow the NIHF social media accounts using #FordMustang or visit the museum’s website at Invent.org/museum.

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Penske won’t discuss if Castroneves returns to Indy in 2020

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Bruce Martin Photo
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INDIANAPOLIS – NBC Sports.com asked Indianapolis 500 winning team owner Roger Penske if three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves would return to the team in 2020?

Penske immediately brushed off the question.

“We’re not going to talk about that right now,” Penske told NBC Sports.com. “I’m just not going to talk about it. We’re going to have a meeting about it before we decide, but I’m not going to talk about that right now.

“Simon won the race and that is what I’m focused on right now.”

Simon Pagenaud, gave Penske a record-extending 18thIndy 500 win on Sunday. Penske confirmed that Pagenaud will be back with the team in 2020 after he scored his first win in Sunday’s 103rdIndianapolis 500.

Castroneves was an NTT IndyCar Series regular at Team Penske from 2000 until the 2017 season. After that, Castroneves was shifted over to the team’s Acura IMSA Sports Car program, but the three-time Indy 500 winner was given a ride at both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the past two years.

The popular driver from Brazil is trying to join AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as four-time Indy 500 winners.

But the whispers in Gasoline Alley indicate his future with Team Penske at Indy remain uncertain.

“I’ve heard the rumors, too,” Castroneves told NBC Sports.com on pit lane after his disappointing finish in the Indy 500. “I will definitely give it a good, hard think about coming back in 2020. I want to be the rest of the season, here.”

But, will Castroneves run the Indy 500 again?

“Who knows?” Castroneves told NBC Sports.com. “Let’s see what happens.”

Castroneves’s bid for a fourth Indianapolis 500 was derailed in a pit road incident after his first pit stop when he ran into James Davison’s Chevrolet on the team’s first pit stop on Lap 30.

The front wing of Castroneves’s Chevrolet was damaged and INDYCAR officials gave him a “Drive Through” penalty for “Avoidable Contact.” Castroneves would ultimate drop three laps down but finished one lap down in 18thplace.

Castroneves explained what happened to him earlier in the race and how it affected the rest of his Indy 500.

“The accident that happened in the pits hurt us for sure,” Castroneves explained. “We had a problem with the fuel mapping, and I couldn’t go over 200 miles an hour for four or five laps. We lost 35 seconds. There was a bug in the system.

“Then, we went back out and that was it. I wasn’t able to recoup after that. I was excited. The car was very, very good entering the race.”

Castroneves spoke with second-place finisher Alexander Rossi, who was furious with the driver from Brazil earlier in the race for not moving out of the way, even though he was three laps down at the time.

The two drivers hugged, and Castroneves walked back up pit lane.

“I did what the team told me to do, and they told me to go as fast as I could,” Castroneves explained after talking to Rossi. “It’s racing and everybody is upset they didn’t win.”

Castroneves hopes his walk up pit lane is not the final time as an Indy 500 competitor.

But it could be.

“I hope I can come back next year,” Castroneves said. “I’m really upset as a competitor, but extremely happy for Team Penske and for Simon Pagenaud for winning the race.

“The good news is I go back to the Acura sports car, but I will be dreaming about coming back here again.”