The Mustang I Designer - Phil Clark
© Holly Clark , Wolfgang Kohrn - 2005, Last update October 5th. 2010
discovered dad's journals in my grandmother's attic in 1985. I spoke to Jack
Telnack a year later, but unfortunately didn't take detailed notes. I didn't
know dad was so influencial in Ford until much later. I am in the process of
organizing his things. I have also collected letters from his friends and my
family over the last 25 years trying to piece the puzzle together.
biggest thing going against me, is the fact that he is mentioned so little
in History and in Ford's history. I feel like it is just a lack of record
keeping before his death in 1968, but the powers that be in the computer
world seem the think that I am a fake...it has been very hurtful...however.
Ford Benson Research Center online records have saved my face...literally
many times... along with Randy Leffingwell and Gary Witzenburg ...and I have
so much more to add to the story.
I feel as though I am part of the Ford Family Heritage.
An early drawing of Phil Clark, when he was 11 together with one of the very first casts of the Pony Emblem
Tears in my eyes... daddy drew this when he was 11. It was a present to his Grandma. By 15 he was bedridden with an unknown urological disorder... and by 16 Mayo clinic said that he would not live to be 30. We now know..since I too inherited the disorder..that the treatment options they used along with childhood illnesses that confined my father to the bed...destroyed his Kidneys... he would live to be 32.
He wanted to be a Doctor. He wanted to find a cure. He wanted to live...and he wanted to be free from his Body... Once accepted to Vanderbilt University, he found out that he could not ever physically pull the needed hours to be a Doctor... so he decided to do what he could do and loved to do...be an artist...
He sent his vehicle designs to Chrysler. They said he had talent..but suggested he go to school to sharpen his ability. He enrolled, and was accepted into the Prestigious Art Center School in California.
On the way there in his 1953 Studebaker...they (mom and dad) passed through Nevada. Mom said he was amazed that the horses (Mustangs) ran WILD on the plains of Nevada.
He wanted to be free from the fences that fenced his body in, and the Mustang's became the symbol of freedom for him. He drew them on everything.
To my knowledge, the horse he used to draw...surrounded by fences and domestic props..were no longer. Dad was forever drawing Mustangs... running wild and free... a symbol of great importance for his life, freedom.
Upon his death... the whole idea behind the running horse was almost forgotten..except for my finding the original documents in the attic.
This is an example of the Horses Phil Clark drew before his trip to California.... He was barely 11, and not yet sick when he drew this picture for HIS grandmother...
Phil Clark...the REAL Man Behind the Pony... it is not a plane...but a creature of the plains.