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"
What Najjar said about Phil
Clark already in 1984:
"Question: So, Phil Clark did the original Mustang drawing?
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
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 Ponysite.de 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
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 (nzmustangs.com and muscularmustangs.com) 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
final Honoring of a talented Designer
with a vision
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
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
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 renderings...dad's artwork..that pre-dates
- 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
- 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/
- 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 FORD...so 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
- He tried to take his designs to England, but England ...well that is
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" ....how I found
out about my father and his involvement in the Design World."
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 www.nzmustangs.com
Both website keep up interest in this interesting case
Interesting reading on this issue:
2004 Interview with John Najjar (86) on Brad Barnetts former site
See also this Ponysite News Page