Donald Nelson Frey, was widely known as the Ford Motor Company product manager who, along with Lee Iacocca and others, developed the Ford Mustang into a viable project â€” and who ultimately supervised the development of the car in a record 18 months.
At times besieged by autograph seekers for his role with the Mustang, Frey, a third generation engineer, was "one of the few auto executives with experience in all three of the industry's essential areas: design, manufacture and sales." He had nonetheless been most proud of assisting Ford in introducing safety improvements to their lineup, including disc brakes and radial tires. In 1967, TIME called Frey "Detroitâ€™s sharpest idea man".
Frey went on to a successful career as an innovator in manufacturing and information systems and as chairman and CEO Bell & Howell. In 1990, he received the National Medal of Technology in a White House ceremony.