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Readers Respond: Was the Ford Mustang named after a horse?

Responses: 28


Was the Ford Mustang named after a horse? John Najjar, the original designer of the Mustang I Prototype, is said to have named the vehicle after the legendary P-51 Mustang fighter plane from World War II. Although this is the "official" story, many people believe the Mustang was named after the horse. In fact, Lee Iacocca is said to have stated this several times while discussing the vehicle in interviews.


The horse has been around for hundreds of years,The plane almost 70 years. The plane,named after the horse,beautiful,fast,nimble,sturdy,& long ranged like the horse. The car was named after the plane because of the simularities, but because of the war in Viet Nam, Ford toned down the relations between agressive Waqrbird, and a car designed more as a secretary's vehicle, thus the pony car/horse. Now we've come full circle. But, no matter how you look at them, they're all Beautiful,Strong,Fast,Nimble, and we love them all because they're Ours, they're American, and there will never be anything else like them. Long Live the Mustang, no matter which one you own.
—Guest P51Markstang

Mr. Mustang

Obviously it was named after the Wild Mustang Horse from the plains of the USA. Why else would Phil Clark, the designer of the Mustang Grill Emblem, design a horse? Just ask his daughter, or Lee Icocca, from his article in Mustang Monthly Magazine a few months back.
—Guest mrmustang


The mustang is named after the P51 Airplane, (ever here of the cobra jet mustang duh) not a pony, horse or any four legged animal.. for you PC people out there!!! Also, for the Pinto remark... geez! Most of these cars got there names from the engines! Allison engine , etc.. clearly most of you do not know your Ford history! Short version... John Allison: Ford motor Co. built the engine later building the Mustang car.... without wings, landing gear, and dumb people! :)
—Guest Penny1972

Mustang named after a horse?

No...it was named after some type of fighter plane....just don't remember the exact name.
—Guest Mustangmama

Ford Mustang Named After P-51

The Ford Mustang was named after the P-51 Mustang fighter. If you look at the car next to the plane you can see the similarities. Note the center canopy, with a short distance to the tail, and the long distance to the nose. Also notice the overall shape of car's grille area in comparison to the plane's air intake. Without a doubt they look similar. The horse was used because Henry Ford loved the great outdoors and all Ford vehicles were inspired by the wide open country.
—Guest Tom B.

Mustang Dilema Resolved

The Mustang was named after the plane because it was the designer's favorite fighter plane. The reason it has a horse is because it was known to all as a pony car along with the rest of the HIGH "HORSE POWER" vehicles of that time

Both are Correct

I have done several reports on Ford for school. The name Mustang came from the plane but the name gave the engineers an image of Mustangs running across the American countryside which is why they picked the name.
—Guest BOSS

Airplanes and Horses?

The P51 Mustang was obviously named after the horse, probably because the designers saw something in the plane that reminded them of the wild horses that roamed the western plains of America. So even if the Mustang was named after the plane, isn't it in effect also named after the horse? Oh, also a Mustang isn't a horse, it is a pony; which is a different animal the same way that a mule isn't a horse or a pony. And since all 1966 Mustang models, sans the GT fastback, came with the pony car interior, I would have to say that it is more likely the namesake of the pony than a plane.

What Was the Ford Mustang Named After?

Just look at a picture of a P51 Mustang fighter and look at a horse. Use your heads. Does it look like a horse or a fighter aircraft? Sleek, fast, and determined.
—Guest pilot

Mustang named after a horse

I think one reason the FORD Mustang was named after a horse is because FORD MOTOR COMPANY also use to make a car called "Pinto". A Pinto is also a type of horse. I don't know of any airplane called Pinto. FORD did make a limited addition Mustang that was based on the best WW2 fighter plane. Because the Mustang is the bestof it's kind for the money. And just look at the front of your everyday Mustang, you will not find an airplane
—Guest Richard Jones


If they really designed it after the plane, why would they then put the horse on the grill? It really wouldn't make sense to do that so it has to be designed after the horse and not the plane.
—Guest Mike


I think the designer maybe thought of the plane, but it came to be the horse.
—Guest ryan


Change is ongoing, maybe the "Prototype I" was inspired by the P51. But after seeing the final product the horse won by a ?.(pun)
—Guest John

Truth in the logo

I don't know where they got the name but the logo is from SMU. I mean just take a look at the SMU logo, it is identical sans the horse is facing the right not left. Ford payed SMU to use the horse on the condition that the horse would gallop in the opposite direction. It's coincidence that SMU is also called the mustangs, Ford already had a name, they just needed a logo.
—Guest Tim


No doubt in my mind the Mustang was named after the wild mustang from the plains. Why else would Phil Clark design the Mustang emblem as a horse? I also believe Lee Iacocca was there. He says the horse. End of story.
—Guest RAE

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