Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/09/11 at 06:31 PM ET
From an interview the Ford Performance Group did with Jimmy Howard recently. You can also find a stash of their photos here.
FPG: “Can you tell us what the inspiration was behind the mask’s design? Obviously it has a lot to do with cars and the Motor City, but is there anything in particular you can share with Mustang fans
JH: “I wanted to capture the city spirit and the auto industry being such a big deal here, so I wanted the design to involve that. And when I saw the movie ‘Gone in 60 Seconds,’ I fell in love with the ‘Eleanor’ Shelby Mustang, so I wanted to put that on the mask as a symbol of the Motor City.”
FPG: “So if you were playing for another team in another city, does that mean you probably wouldn’t put a Mustang on your mask?”
JH: “You know what, probably not (laughing), but I really think the car is sharp, so when I had a chance to be here and play in the Motor City, I’m proud to put a Shelby Mustang on it.”
FPG: “With Ray Bishop doing your goalie masks for the last couple of years, what is it about his work that you really like?”
JH: “His attention to detail, just the way he captures everything. We collaborated really well together, so, you know, I can’t take full responsibility for my mask design. We do actually bounce ideas off of each other.”
FPG: “So what is it about the Ford Mustang, or the Shelby Mustang in particular, that really jumps out at you?”
JH: “Just how sleek it was in the movie, you know? It was just an amazing car, the design details of it and the power and everything – it just caught my eye over the rest of the cars in the movie.”
FPG: “You mentioned ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ as sparking your interest in Mustang, but did you have any earlier exposure to the car, perhaps a memory as a kid of the Mustang?”
JH: “Actually, yes – my dad had a Mustang when I was little, it was cherry red, I forget what year it was though. All I can remember is that it sat in our neighbor’s driveway for a year because he wanted to work on it (laughs). But one day, hopefully, I can get a Mustang so that he and I can both drive it.”
FPG: “So even though you’re yet to own one yourself, would you ever consider buying a Mustang of some kind?”
JH: “Oh yeah, definitely! Down the line, when I get all of my ducks in a row, hopefully I’ll be able to get something like that for myself.”
FPG: “If money were no object, what kind of car would you buy?”
JH: “That’s a good question … I’m not sure of all the choices – I would buy a Shelby Mustang though, I know that!”
FPG: “What are you driving right now?”
JH: “A big SUV. Being in Michigan, I figured I needed an SUV with the hard winters that we have here.”
FPG: “Are any of the other guys on the Red Wings big car guys?”
JH: “I’m not sure. Well, all the Europeans, they’re all into that sort of thing. I know the Europeans; they just like to go fast!”
FPG: “Can you blame them?”
JH: “No, not at all (laughing)!”
FPG: “Would you have any interest in possibly attending a Mustang driving event or a Ford Racing driving school in the future?”
JH: “Oh, yeah!—That’d be spectacular! That’d be so much fun!”
FPG: Cool – Let us know if we can help you arrange that! … Well, thanks for your time, Jimmy! And good luck the rest of the way!
We then gave Howard a gift from Ford Racing – a 1:18th scale die-cast model of a red-with-white-stripes 2007 Shelby GT500 – and another 1:64th Shelby die-cast – just to keep that idea of someday owning a Shelby Mustang fresh in his mind.
After all, this is Detroit … with Red Wings hockey, and Ford Mustangs – this is what we do!
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