Some say the Ford Mustang was named after the wild horse.  Some say it was named after the P-51 fighter plane made famous in World War II.  But very few say the truth, the best kept secret in automotive history.

The Ford Mustang was actually named after a Canadian badminton team from Ontario, the Western Mustangs.  Carl Pluimbal was a creative marketing exec at Ford in the early ’60’s.  He grew up in Western Ontario, where he spent years honing his curling skills after not being accepted on the badminton team, the Mustangs.

Sleek ’66 Shelby Salivation

Despite the racquet champs overlooking this young whipper-snapper, Carl always admired badminton, and the team that rejected him.  Faced with this humility, he vowed to work harder at everything he did.

His parents bought young Pluimbal a new badminton racquet, which at that point was about as useful as a fart in a spacesuit.  He persevered, practicing every day after school until he was confident in his abilities.  Carl tried out again and made the team.  The curling team.

He went on to get a PhD in Marketing, write 2 books, and get promoted to Vice President of Marketing.  He credits his success to his struggle with adolescent badminton and flurrying shuttlecocks.  Badminton can be very fast, like a Mustang, the car we all love.

“Twas not a bird, nor a plane, nor a flying machine
‘Twas Badminton to the Nth degree, what a dream!”