In 1962, Phil Clark began his career at Ford Motor Company after working on the Car of the Future for the 1964 World's Fair at GM. The timing was most beneficial for both Phil and Ford as he was assigned to the team developing the Mustang I concept car. He worked closely on developing the body that would sit on the tube-framed, mid-engine, two- seated sports car and is credited with designing the running pony logo that has become synonymous with the Ford Mustang. He was 27 years old at the time. He was right handed, and naturally drew all his renderings from left to right. That is why he drew the pony facing left. For decades, the legacy of Phil Clark had been forgotten.
Ford sent Phil to England to manage the design studio there but he returned to the United States in 1967 due to an unknown kidney disease. He was on dialysis most of his adult life. He died in 1968 at the age of just 32, four short years after the release of the Mustang to the public in April 1964.
In 2002, J. Mays, Ford Motor Company Vice President of Design, said that Bill Ford asked that research be done concerning Phil Clark's work on the Mustang. During that research, they discovered that a legacy of Clark's styling was the Mustang logo. Today, more than eight million Mustang's have been produced, each sporting Clark's emblem in four or more places. Mustang emblems are found on virtually everything possible, from T-shirts to car mats. Companies and magazines are created with the equine's name and likeness. The Mustang emblem is a wonderful legacy.
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 its launch. He had considerable influence on the total design with the early prototype Mustang concept vehicle that he [Clark] directed."
When you see the Mustang emblem of chrome, remember the legacy of Phil Clark, the man behind the pony.