Henry Ford II was just divorcing his wife Anna due to his Italian lover in 1964. The announcement of the Ford separation and divorce followed months of rumor in which Mr. Ford was linked romantically to the Italian-born Maria Cristina Vettore Austin. Oddly, his wife Anna had attended the Grattanelli School in Sienna, Italy.
He wasn't really keen on the idea of naming anything after an Italian anything at the moment, and perhaps bringing that up into publicity was high on his list of things to avoid at all costs.
So the short list of possible names for the new car were scrapped, Torino, Cougar, Monte Carlo, and Monaco. Of course, we known that Chrysler and GM used a couple of them
Instead a new list of names was drawn up, and boiled down to Puma, Cougar, Cheetah, Bronco, Colt, and Mustang.
The runner up names were quickly snapped up by the Cougar, the Bronco, and then Torino in 65, 67, and 68