Gale Halderman, designer behind the first Ford Mustang, dies

Gale Halderman, designer behind the first Ford Mustang, dies-Auto Guides
Gale-Halderman

Gale Halderman was based on the exterior design of the original Ford Mustang and died on Wednesday, based on a sketch he had drawn about 21 months before the car’s public appearance in April 1964. He was 87 years old. “Auto Guides News” quoted family members as saying that the cause of death in a hospital in Troy, Ohio was cancer. Halderman is a young designer. His early Mustang sketch won the championship in a secret project, which became the first so-called pony car.

The Mustang, with a long bonnet and an elegant body, turned out to be a sensation overnight when it went on sale in April 1964. It remains one of the last cars in the current Ford Motor Co. range and one of the few car names to be continuously produced for over 55 years.

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Halderman attended the Dayton College of Art in Dayton, Ohio, where he studied art with comedian Jonathan Winters. However, he struggled to become a commercial artist or a car designer. At the Dayton School of Art, under the research of Read Viemeister, Read Viemeister played a role in designing Tucker cars and helped him persuade him to work in the automotive industry.

After graduating in 1954, he was hired by another Ohio-born designer Gene Bordinat as the designer of the Ford Lincoln-Mercury studio. He soon moved to Ford Design Studio.

Halderman designed the Ford from 1957, in particular the folding hard tops, as well as the concept car Mystere. He was soon promoted to project manager at Ford Design Studio, under the direction of Joe Oros. In July 1962, Oros gave Halderman a new task: come up with a college competition, inspired by Lee Iacocca, to create a sports car that was created during secret meetings of the Fairlane Committee.

Iacocca and others wanted to create an affordable sports car that would challenge Chevrolet Corvair Monza. When Henry Ford II opposed the new product programs, so soon after Edsel collapsed, Iacocca had to secretly work on the Mustang.

“We were so busy making Ford cars that the only time I had to work on it was home,” said Halderman in an interview with the Henry Ford Museum in 1985. “So I came home and sketched this project. In fact, the car was modeled from clay based on a sketch made on the veranda. “