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Early Ford Mustang Design Sketches, Clay Models Give Us A History Lesson

Brett Foote Feb 24 2021


As we’ve seen in the past, the original Ford Mustang could have looked very different than what it ultimately did. FoMoCo experimented with a number of different designs over the Mustang’s years-long development, some of them much more attractive than others. Now, the head of Ford’s archives, Ted Ryan, has shared a few more early Ford Mustang design sketches and clay models that give us a glimpse at what the iconic pony car could have looked like.


1962 Ford Mustang Design Sketch

1962 Ford Mustang Design Sketch


The first Ford Mustang design sketch and clay model were created in 1962 when all three of Ford’s design arms – the Advanced Studio, Lincoln-Mercury Studio, and Ford Studio – were given one month to come up with a design for the Mustang.

This time crunch was necessary given the fact that Ford wanted to get its new “youth-oriented” car to market in just two years. Ultimately, eight different design proposals were created – five from the Advanced Studio, two from Lincoln-Mercury, and one from Ford designers.


1963 Ford Mustang Fastback Clay Model

1963 Ford Mustang Fastback Clay Model


The first clay model (top) was the only submission from Ford Studio, which ultimately won out and wound up becoming the iconic original Mustang. The sketch, on the other hand, looks completely different.

The second clay model and sketch are from 1963 and show that Ford was thinking about applying the Fastback treatment to the Mustang long before its launch, even if one was not available to purchase at that time. The clay model looks fairly close to the production version of the Mustang Fastback, while the design sketch stretches the rear portion of the roof all the way to the rear of the car, like a hatchback.


1963 Ford Mustang Fastback Design Sketch

1963 Ford Mustang Fastback Design Sketch


Ultimately, it’s pretty clear that Ford made the right decision when it came to the original Mustang’s design, even though it was pressing hard to get the car to market as quickly as possible. And in the process, it created something truly special that has easily stood the test of time.








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