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The car was given the name “Mus-

tang,” but probably should have been

called “Serendipity” for the many for-

tunate coincidences that later fell into

place. Iacocca liked the concept illus-

tration but it was really just that – a

drawing. When Lunn and his team

tried to fit the intended powerplant –

an in-line four-cylinder motor from an

English Ford – under the mid-engine

roadster’s deck line, it was too tall.

Before McNamara had left Ford to

serve in the Kennedy administration,

he had commissioned a V-4 engine and

transaxle to be used in a new and even

cheaper Falcon replacement, a stodgy

front-wheel-drive compact to be

named the Cardinal. Iacocca cancelled

that project, correctly anticipating a

more sporty, stylish swing to the mar-

ket. Not only did the small orphaned

V-4 fit under the Mustang Concept’s

deck cover, but the transaxle was just

what was needed for the aft engine

layout. (The Cardinal and the V-4 later

found success when the Ford Taunus

was launched in Germany.)

Ford had a group of designers and

engineers just waiting for something

exciting to happen. One of them was

another talented expat, this time a

German named Klaus Arning, who

was head of Advanced Suspension De-

sign and who had patented a radical

independent rear suspension design

way back in 1958. He assigned this

special design to Ford, as it incorpo-

rated anti-squat geometry and a slight

four-wheel steering capability. The

unique design found its first home in

the Mustang I, and it fit and worked

perfectly in the mid-engine tube-

framed car.

Instead of a conventional front ra-

diator, for reasons of front end design,

convenience in packaging and to save

time, Mustang I used side-mounted

radiators with air scoops behind the

doors. These, of course, have become

the signature side sculpture on nearly

every production Ford Mustang since.

The project team made the Watkins

Glen reveal deadline, mostly by sleep-

ing in the shop for the last six weeks.

This forced the blue-collar guys and

the white-collar guys to talk to each

other, which was pretty much unheard

of at the time, and probably insured

the project’s success.

The team held their collective

breaths as Dan Gurney took the Mus-

tang I Concept up to 120 mph around

the Glen, on what was supposed to

have been a slow cruise. It created a

sensation and validated the need for a

fresh, sporty Ford product lineup.

During the thrash to complete the

car, a young engineer named Chuck

Carrig was toying with the idea of

using a computer to do the various it-

erations of suspension geometry. Sus-

pension layouts in the 60s were done

full-size by taping velum drawing

paper to large tables and carefully

plotting all the curves in pen and ink.

Each design took days.

Arning liked Carrig’s idea for his

unique IRS, and authorized the use of

the only computer at Ford World

Headquarters at the time, an IBM 704


Summer 2016 64

Ford’s computer room and all of the people

it took to support their one IBM 704 data

processing system.

Klaus Arning stands next to one of the

company cars he used to get back and forth

to work.

Dan Gurney, driving the new Mustang at

Watkins Glen during the 1962 USGP.