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Designer Of Iconic Ford Mustang Dies

Gale Halderman in 2018 at the Halderman Barn Museum in Tipp City.
Jerry Kenney

The designer of the iconic Ford Mustang has died. Gale Halderman, of Tipp City, was 87. It’s been reported that he had been battling liver cancer.

Halderman was born in Tipp City, and graduated from Bethel High School in 1950. He studied design at the Dayton Art Institute, before getting hired by the Ford Motor Company in 1957. Halderman’s first assignment was with the Ford design team.

In a 2018 interview with WYSO, Halderman told the story of how his design for the iconic 65 Mustang was selected by Ford’s Vice President at the time, Lee Iacocca.

“Iacocca gave us 10 days to do a car,” Halderman said. “We worked day and night and we designed the car, even though we had to do it on a Falcon body. I did one side of the car and my boss did the other side of the car. I was the one who sketched the scoop on the side and the long-hood, short-deck proportion and that was favored by Iacocca. Mr. Ford said ‘I’m not approving it but I’m not gonna tell you to stop,’ and so that was the beginning of the Mustang.”

Halderman said he was proud of the work he did for Ford, especially his work on the Mustang. The car’s history is on display at the Halderman Barn Museum in Tipp City. The museum contains thousands of Mustang-related artifacts, and even several red Mustangs - three of them dating back to the 1960’s.