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The Mark of the Mustang – The Pony

The Ford Mustang symbol, the pony, has become an American symbol for performance. Just about anyone who sees the galloping pony will instantly tag it as the Ford Mustang emblem. It has indeed become an American icon that extends far beyond a car; it is a piece of Americana.

The Mark of the Mustang - The Pony. The history of the pony emblem is as fascinating as the Ford Mustang logo is popular. Phillip Clark was on his way to California. His destination was the Art School of Design. He was in Nashville, Tennessee when he saw wild mustangs running free and was entranced with the spectacle. He began to formulate the first designs for the Mustang two seater car and wanted the running mustang to represent it, to be its icon. 

General Motors Blonder

Interestingly, Clark first attempted to court General Motors with his idea, but GM did not pan out. Clark’s dream car made its way to Advanced Design and Research, which was funded by Grants ETC. From there, it was completed by a team in Clay where it attracted the attention of Eugene Bordinat, division head for Lincoln Mercury.

Clark, in the meantime, had designed several versions of running horses for the car and the Ford Mustang logo was born. A two seater, Clark’s Mustang Coup design, was featured in the Motorcade Magazine, 1963 fall edition, but it wasn’t until 1964 that the Mustangs hit the production line. Clark had been asked to “streamline” the Ford Mustang emblem to make it just one piece. The original Ford Mustang symbol was actually two pieces. This new emblem was placed on the production cars and the rest, as they say, is history.

While some of Clark’s other ideas were incorporated into the final design of the Ford Mustang, it was the pony, the Ford Mustang emblem that has endured all of the many changes to the car. The pony is what is has remained consistent, a symbol that means to many, Made in America.

The Ford Mustang symbol, the galloping pony, was considered the perfect emblem to reflect the rugged new breed of top performance car. The galloping pony, mane and tail flying in the wind, was the symbol for the Ford Mustang, but it was so much more. It represented the most popular car in history. Originally, though, the pony was running from left to right. However, when the artwork was converted to the metal die for stamping, the image was unintentionally reversed. This left the Ford Mustang pony to forever gallop from right to left.

The Ford Mustang logo is an American icon. It has endured the test of time and has remained virtually unchanged despite the numerous changes that the car itself has experienced as well as the nation, the world. The Ford Mustang emblem is the symbol for a car that America fell in love with. It crossed so many gaps because it appealed to both young and old, men and women, conservative and liberal. The Ford Mustang took the nation by storm – and the pony gallops on.




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