HomeCar CultureGale Halderman, designer of the Mustang 1933-2020

Gale Halderman, designer of the Mustang 1933-2020

Preferring to remain in the background, he was the last survivor of the original Mustang team


Gale Halderman, the original designer of the Ford Mustang, died April 29 near Dayton, Ohio. Halderman has suffered from liver cancer, according toGale Halderman, Gale Halderman, designer of the Mustang 1933-2020, ClassicCars.com Journal his family. He was 87.

His iconic Mustang design sold more than 8 million units, inspired 6 model generations of design and has been continuously built for more than 50 years.

Jimmy Dinsmore, author of Mustang by Design: Gale Halderman and the Creation of Ford’s Iconic Pony Car, and spokesman for the Halderman family said, “To have lived 87 years and to have designed something that is part of pop culture and automotive history, he had such an impact.”

Most people consider the late Lee Iacocca as “The Father of the Mustang.” However, Iacocca wasn’t the man who put the pencil to the paper. Gale Halderman, however, remained in the background.

Dinsmore added, “He did it in such a humble way that has touched the heart of every Mustang enthusiast out there. As great of a designer as he was, he was an even better human being. The most striking thing about the 40-year Ford employee was Halderman’s humility. For many years, Halderman did not receive much attention for being the Mustang’s original designer, preferring to let others take the credit.”

Halderman was a member of the Mustang Hall of Fame for his design. He received the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award for the design of the 1990 Lincoln Town Car.

Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.


  1. A True Hidden Figure at Ford Motor Company because of the Legendary Icon you create it “ U will always be loved & Never forgotten “ for the 56years of lives you touched, I own 2 04 Mystic-13 BOSS & working on #3 my life has been nothing but fun because of you RIP my friend…

    • Nicely said.
      I am a fan of the BOSS versions you collect as well. Last year I also rode on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a 2014 Holman Moody TDF Mustang and was thrilled too. This car when tested pulled more g’s than the Boss if you can believe that, and shares the engine tune chip in yours.
      Super sized HM sway bars and adjustable links can be installed on one of your Boss cars too.
      Just saying.
      They only made 26 TDF’s by the way.

  2. My condolences go out to the Halderman family. The Mustang is truly an Automotive icon and inspirational in a multitude of ways; for over half a century.
    As in many product design efforts a simple and straightforward solution does not reflect the complex R&D path standing behind it.

  3. I have the 1966 convertible version of his work in my garage now. Awesome design. I’ve loved it since it came out. I was 5 years old, and I knew I had to have one someday.
    What more can I say. RIP Gene!


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