Jerome Malinowski was a Ford Mustang designer and is an all-around Ford expert. He recently spoke at the University of Louisiana Lafayette about the history of the Mustang, one of America’s most iconic and significant cars. After his speech, Jerome sat down with Autobytel editor and University of Louisiana student Jason Mosery for an interview. Building on Jerome’s lecture, they discussed Jerome’s time at Ford in more depth. Jerome started at Ford in 1961, when the approach in the preproduction studio was to push the envelope although it was also important to keep the brand’s DNA in mind while designing vehicles. A lot of the elements that made it onto the finished Mustang were evolved from the Ford Thunderbird, such as the roofline and proportions. This Mustang became the predecessor to the Ford GT40, which was released in 1964. The name of the Mustang also has a storied history, and Jerome still doesn’t know all the details of how the car got the Mustang name even though another company owned the trademark at the time. Jerome left Ford in spring of 1964, just as the Mustang was released, but he never suspected that it would still be built 50 years later. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Autobytel’s interview with Mustang designer Jerome Malinowski. Also, see the video interview with Jerome about the DNA of the Ford Mustang.