Iacocca links Mustang's lines to Mark I

With the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, discussion and debate rages anew about the design of the original pony car. Here's a bit more grist for the mill.

In a 2005 interview, former Ford President Lee Iacocca -- boss at Ford Division when the car debuted in 1964 -- said he got the idea for a long hood and short deck while still a college student in the mid-1940s.

"I got crazy about [it] based on the original Continental Mark I. ... The Ford recruiter, came to pick me up at Lehigh [University driving one] and I got stuck with the idea. I had a book called Auto Universum, which had all the cars. I looked at all the cars that had those proportions and I said, 'Wow. If we could get that particular look they'd think they'd died and went to heaven.'

Lee Iacocca said in a 2005 interview that he was wowed by the looks of the Mark I, right, when he was a college student.

"I told [Ford designer Gene] Bordinat, 'Let's get a long hood and a short deck and make it look like a two-seater, but for four passengers -- with enough room in the back so it's not a joke.'

"Then once we got the styling going I used to take Henry [Ford II] over to the studio. I made sure I got him involved, and he put his imprint on the car in a hurry. He got in the back and said, 'Well, sh--, I thought this was a four-passenger [car] but there's not enough room for me. Add an inch or two.'"