Friday, October 1, 2010

Ford Mustang 1

The original Ford Mustang was a product of the Fairlane Group, a committee of Ford managers led by Lee Iacocca. The Fairlane Group worked on new product needs and, in the summer of 1962, the Group laid out the framework of a new sports car to counter the success of GM's Corvair Monza sports coupe. Designer Gene Bordinat envisioned a low-cost sports car that would combine roadability, performance, and appearance in a radical layout. A 90 in (2286 mm) wheelbase, 48 in (1219 mm) front and a 49 in (1245 mm) rear track, width of 61 in (1549 mm) with an overall length of 154.3 in (3919 mm) were the working dimensions. The body skin was a one-piece unit that was riveted to a space frame. To increase rigidity, the seats were part of the body. The driver could adjust the steering column and clutch/brake/accelerator pedals.
Roy Lunn was put charge of building the car as he brought racing-car design experience and together with his engineering really brought the concept to life.[2] An "off-the shelf" German Ford Cardinal 1500 cc 60 degree V-4 powered the Mustang I. It was mounted in a power pack of engine and 4-speed transmission in a common housing with an axle and conventional clutch. Lead designer John Najjar favored a mid-engined configuration, cooled through two separate radiators on the sides of the car. It was said that Najjar also proposed the name "Mustang" for the concept vehicle. As an aviation enthusiast, he was familiar with the North American P-51 Mustang fighter and saw some design similarities in the diminutive but sleek profile of the new sports car.
Najjar was an aviation enthusiast who saw the sleek lines of the original Ford Mustang I concept car as similar to that of the P-51 Mustang. After public relations and the legal department vetted the project name (they particularly liked the connection to the wild horse of the same name), the name continued onto the Mustang II showcar and later was applied to the production version of the Ford Mustang. However, the discovery of Phil Clark's original diaries and from his time with Eugene Bordinat, along with confirmation from Ford, now tells us that Phil Clark was the artist under Bordinat that drew original Mid-Engine Designs that later made it up to the executives and met their approval for Mustang I. Bordinat is also known for his design of the 1963 Mustang II prototype.
The Mustang name was kept under wraps by the Code Name "Allegro" for the entire project. Allegro was a musical term and Clark and all of the designers he worked with were involved with various musical Instruments. This gave the young group who originally were with GM a way to speak about the Mustang project in a code that no one to this day can decipher except for the original designers. Phil Clark suggested the Mustang Name to the executives after traveling from his hometown in Nashville, Tennessee to The Art School of Design in Passedena, California where he passed the wild Mustangs in Nevada and was hooked with their beauty.
Clark Graduating with honors as a designer and stylist from Art School with a double Major in Art Transportation and Design. Clark had been drawing the Mustang design in variation for years before the final car was produced. His drawing of the Mustang Coupe, or Fastback can be seen signed by him, in the Spring 1963 MotorBook Magazine. Note: Clark was with Avco Aviation where his father was the Vice President of Avco and his Father in Law was also a Machinist with Avco Aviation. Clark had been an engineer for Avco before he became ill with Urological issues and decided that Transportation Design would be a better fit for his health. Clark died at 32 from an ulcer, but to this day is best known for his design of the Mustang Running Horse emblem.


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