The Man behind the Pony - Phil Clark
© Holly Clark , Wolfgang Kohrn - 2005, Last update October 5thl 2010


Some of these 4 Clark designs predate the May 1962, when the prototype was started, says Holly.

One of many Testimonials documented:
"Mr. J.J. Telnack, former Vice President of Corporate Design, for Ford Motor Company said, “Phil was one of our most talented designers and was part of the original Mustang design team throughout its development in 1962 until it’s launch. He had considerable influence on the total design with the early prototype Mustang concept vehicle that he [Clark] directed"
Holly Clark 

What Najjar said about Phil Clark already in 1984:

"Question:  So, Phil Clark did the original Mustang drawing?

A:      That's right. And I have one of the original little metal models of the ornament. There was a Mustang I drawing that Phil Clark did for us at the time, and it ended up in our employee personnel office. I saw it a few years ago before I left. 

One guy was visiting Jay Dulls' office, and he was from World Headquarters, and he said, "Gee, I like that drawing." Jay said, "Well, you know, it's our policy to move it from office to office." 
So, he gave it to the guy at World Headquarters to put in his office. I tried to track it down. Seems like the guy at World Headquarters, whose name Jay can't remember, which I'm surprised at, has it in his home."

The full Najjar interview can be read here
More from David Ash here

The Ponymaker story has just begun
The volume of documentation about Phil Clarks work in the Ford Design from April 62-late 1967 has ever increased ...since we started this topic here on in 2005. 

Box after Box with many a rendering, drawing, photo plus contributing eye witnesses and reports have made the history of the Mustang more transparent and at the same time more colourful.

We tried to let you participate in this ongoing research from 2005 on with a first structuring, a proper timeline and  the building of an organisation diagram to follow the story more clearly. 

Ponysite will continously work on this, but since Holly is going to publish the full story in her books to come, this will be just the icing you might read here. All the proofs, facts and testimonials are presented in those books, as Holly is researching them since 1985.
Keep an eye on the story and follow our Phil Clark SPECIAL, but the only way to support her in
Finding My Father is to buy her books or merchandising items sold by Holly on ebay.

There is so much that has not been published yet about the actual Design of the Mustang and the origin of its european counterpart  - the Capri -plus more elements that went into later Ford USA designs - influenced by Phil Clark. Remember this name and try to get it out to other Mustangers. 

You'll read more and more in other publications (like the 2010 published book Mustang Genesis from Bob Fria), remember this site and 2 others ( and were the first 3 to speak out on the web. The MCA is finally opening its door and more and more institutions are accepting that there was an influcencing factor in the birth of the Mustang idea. Holly Clark will be present at the MCA 2006 meeting. 

And it gets more and more interesting with each bit of information. A storyboard for a thrilling Movie about an american icon and its backstage scenario in the studios. We hope, some higher rank of Hollywood movie makers will make a HollyClark movie around the creativeness of her father. A Man that deserves to be honoured and respected by any Mustanger. 

16 Stylists worked in the Ford Advanced Vehicles Studio. Roy Lunn and a few more engineers are pictured here as well. Clark is pictured as the 3rd from left. Note the Mustang writing, that is a part of Clarks first Mustang Pony emblem!
Picture courtesy Ford

The final Honoring of a talented Designer 
with a vision 

The true story about the Pony origin and the Mustang I design

Most Mustang books relate to John Najjar as the designer of the Mustang I and the galopping horse. While it is true that he might have had his hands and pens on the artwork and designs, there was yet somebody who had the vision and indeed the idea brought with him, before joining Ford. The exact dates have been a long time a mystery, but things are moving on these days with more support given by well-known executives and retired designers. We are soon putting up a more accurate timeline based on personal log books.

It is fact acc. to Holly  Clark after extensive research,  that indeed the idea of a Mustang sports car had been presented once to GM, but due to personal inflictions between an exec and the designer, the designer got fired before the idea made its way through to the management level. After his change to Ford however the idea was promoted and - as confirmed by Chuck Jordan (GM Design Chief) prepared for a presentation to Bill Mitchell. More on this in the GM section of this website.

We are talking about Phil Clark, a young talented designer, whose career ended unfortunately in his young years in February 1968, after having suffered of a severe kidney problem.

"First of all Daddy wanted to leave a car behind with his name on it..."Body by Clark". That was why he was trying to perfect the perfect car.. He said when a person stepped into a Cadillac, it says in the doorplate "Body by Fisher"... he wanted a company to create a car and on the door plate say "Body by Clark"...

  • Dad draw "tame" horses already very early, not like a typical animal drawing, but he was fascinated by horses (several "early artwork" will appear in my book)
  • Dad started the Mustang design -- HIS CAR DESIGN--even before the Design School started
  • On the way to the Design school, he saw the wild Mustangs in Nevada. 
  • He then changed his former "tame horse" drawings..which he was  known for, to WILD HORSES: Mustangs. The lines set it apart and made it an emblem... (no red/white/blue yet)
  • Dad sent out his drawings to various companies like Chrysler ...and publications  
  • He started perfecting HIS CAR DESIGNS at the famous Art Center School of Design... and included the Mustang Running horse on it.... and called it MUSTANG across the front of it.. His school-mates confirm this.
  • Thus the explanation for our's artwork..that pre-dates FORD. 
  • Dad was hired immediately out of art school to go to GM for a nine month lasting job...working on "dream cars"... 
  • Dad tried to get GM to accept HIS Car Design...MUSTANG... in it's entirety..emblem and all... 
    Dad got on the wrong side of a GM exec....
  • Dad was fired from GM after 9 months.
  • Even before mom and dad could lose their apt in Detroit... Ford hired dad... they were looking for a new sports car...
  • Dad came to Ford with the complete MUSTANG idea...
  • It was accepted in late April 1962..and continued to be accepted up the ladder of Ford Design.
  • Then came the time for a name for the car... and the emblem. Several names were thrown out for the car... and the emblem ideas..and names were projected by transparency on a wall for the executives ..
  • It was unanimous: They liked the "horse"... and then said..So how do we know this is an AMERICAN HORSE? (See pic. on left)
    Dad got up.. and with Red White & Blue Marker colored in his lines behind the horse... Red/White/ Blue..
  • It was accepted.... the Prototype was on!
  • The affordable sports car was not going as planned, but the promotion for the Mustang I Prototype was creating the hype expected.. Therefore the redesigned Falcon..of 64 1/2 (Cougar study)... was released with the MUSTANG and the  Emblem and a few other oddities. of the prototype... dad continued to work on the Mustang design...but he JUST got to HIS other MUSTANG designs..didn't come out until later years after the finish of his FIRST Mustang design..... That is why there was such a change in the design...daddy wasn't there for the first production mustang designs...until they were almost complete... his ideas were very different.
  • He tried to take his designs to England, but England ...well that is another story 

I am working on a series of books with dad's designs..and the way I discovered the information. It is called, "The Man Behind The Pony" I found out about my father and his involvement in the Design World."
Holly Clark 

New found proofs of Phil Clarks design influence will shake the Mustang world!

Although Holly Clark - daughter of Phil Clark - got several positive letters & phone calls from Ford regarding the design involvement of her Dad, some people outside are oblivious to the truth. "Due to doubts among supposed Mustang Historians", Holly has continued to prove written family correspondence with further research since 2005. 

She spoke to Art Center School (California) colleagues of Phil; GM executives; a number of retired Ford Designers and other stylists and designers around the world. One contact lead to another. Meanwhile, many of a proof of Phil Clark's "long-term" influence in the Mustang design has been found and will be published in Holly Clark's book. A lot of interviews with famous Mustang historians like Gary Witzenburg, and Randy Leffingwell, and a number of original Design Center and personal letters gave evidence that indeed the Mustang design history should be rewritten in many a book. 

What drives Holly
in getting the necessary respect for her fathers work is indeed respect and acknowledgement only; but what makes her a bit upset these days, is a certain attitude of some institutions who don't want to listen and even turn down honorable mention or acceptance of the facts. The case would be pretty easy solved with the appropriate honoring of a very skilled young talent and influential designer. The reading of all this history bits is a must -  about Phil Clark's presentation of the Mustang idea from Art Center School to his brief nine months with GM, the infliction's at Ford, and subsequent wooing to Chrysler because of his design expertise, beginning with THE MUSTANG. 

You will also see Phil's influence in the design world from Thunderbird's redesign, Lincoln Continental (including Lincoln/Mercury's emblem), european cars like the Capri and many others. Read what J.J. Telnack (Phil's personal friend and confident), John Breeden, William M. Brownlie, Chuck Jordan and other executives in the automobile world have said about Phil's contribution to the Automobile as we know it today. Even though the late Clark died in 1968; according to personal family letters his designs even influenced 69/70 Mustangs. The facts will be in Holly's books available , and then you can be the judge of the facts presented.

More  updates and background  info linked here on and 
Both website keep up interest in this interesting case

Interesting reading on this issue: 
Oct. 2004 Interview with John Najjar (86) on Brad Barnetts former site

See also this Ponysite News Page for updates

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