Did the SMU Mustangs Inspire Ford to Call Their New Car Mustang?
Mustangs in Vinyl
While checking out the Klodt Family’s collection of Shelby and Boss Mustangs, Brad Klodt showed us these record albums in his memorabilia collection, from the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs and one from the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He got the albums from a friend named Steve Auen whose in-laws were good friends with Hayden Fry, the former head football coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes. As Brad told us, “Hayden and his wife sold their home and Steve helped them move. Hayden, knowing that Steve was a Ford Mustang fan, gave the albums to him and told him the story behind them.
“In the early 1960s Hayden was coaching football at Southern Methodist University. During the 1963 season after a game, two or three men in suits came into the locker room to congratulate Coach Fry on the victory and wanted to speak with him. The men said they worked for Ford Motor Company and were developing a new car that was soon to be released on the market. They were having difficulties finding a name that was fitting of this car, but after watching SMU come back from a halftime deficit and fight their way to an unbridled win, they had decided on a name for the car. They wanted to call it the Mustang. One of the gentlemen speaking with coach Fry introduced himself as none other than Lee Iacocca! So that was how the Mustang obtained its name, as the story goes!”
How true that is we don’t really know, but we’d love to put these babies on a turntable (kids, that’s a machine that spins the vinyl record album while a needle picks up sounds from the grooves in the record—we know, it’s hard to imagine). Check out the Nebraska “Number One” album cover with the introduction by Johnny Carson (kids, he was the host of the Tonight Show before Jay Leno or Jimmy Fallon), and the songs Pony Yell and Pony Battle Cry on the SMU Mustang Jazz album.