Dr. Donald N. Frey, one of the creators of the Ford Mustang, died on Friday, March 5, in Evanston, IL. He developed the prototype for the Mustang in 1962 and was instrumental in getting the Mustang into production.
The following is an excerpt from his obituary in the Chicago Tribune:
An industrial engineering professor at Northwestern University since leaving the corporate suite, Dr. Frey, 86, died on Friday, March 5, at NorthShore University HealthSystem Evanston Hospital after suffering a massive stroke, said his son Christopher. He lived in Evanston.
At Ford, Dr. Frey was the product planning manager for the Mustang, a two-seat sports car launched with equal parts fanfare and trepidation in 1964. He conceived the prototype in 1962 and squeezed a go-ahead for production out of Henry Ford II.
"He told me, ‘I’m going to approve your Mustang, and it’s your ass if it doesn’t sell,”’ Dr. Frey later told a writer for Northwestern magazine.
The Mustang, of course, was one of the great successes in automotive history, and Dr. Frey became a revered figure among its many devotees, alongside more widely known automotive legends such as Carroll Shelby.
Dr. Frey left Ford in 1968, in part because of differences with fellow Ford executive Lee Iacocca. He worked as president of General Cable Corp. before joining Bell & Howell as president and chief executive officer.
To read Dr. Frey’s entire obituary on the Chicago Tribune website, visit http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/ct-met-0324-frey-obit-20100323,0,1648660.story.