For the last six years, Ford has created special versions of the its Mustang pony car adorned in a military aviation theme, and then donated the vehicle to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) be sold at auction at the annual AirVenture event, aka The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. 2013 is no exception, as Ford produced this awesome-looking U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang GT.
In August, the car sold for an impressive $398,000, with all proceeds going to the EAA Young Eagles program whose goal is to inspire the “aviation pioneers of tomorrow”. The organization has “provided free introductory flights to more than 1.6 million young people since 1992.”
The USAF Thunderbirds Edition Mustang seen here is the only one of its kind, featuring a paint job to match the Thunderbirds’ F-16 Falcon jets (white paint with red and blue accents) as well as an assortment of performance parts added for good measure. The one-of-a-kind car, assigned VIN 0001, started out as a 2014 Mustang GT 5.0 with the (may we add, awesome) glass roof. The vehicle then got a unique wide body treatment (courtesy of TS Designs) as well as a handcrafted and painted “belly pan” (Creations n’ Chrome) that emulates the appearance of an F-16 Thunderbird. Massive 22″ Forgiato wheels complement the customized exterior.
On the inside, the one-off model includes a modified navigation screen, instrument cluster and the rear-seat delete, while the two front Recaro racing seats feature embroidered Thunderbirds elements and are complemented by unique sill plates and puddle lamps that project the aircraft’s silhouette when the doors open. A Ford Racing suspension handling pack and Brembo brakes ensure that the driver can control all the power provided by the Ford racing supercharger under the hood.
Including the near-$400,000 sale of the Thunderbird Stang, Ford has helped raise nearly $2.3 million for the EAA Young Eagles charity, with the single biggest contribution being the F-22 Raptor-inspired Mustang AV8R from 2008, which sold for $500,000. The unique vehicles produced by Ford in support of EAA Young Eagles over the years include:
- 2008 Mustang AV8R: with cues from the F-22 “Raptor,” which in 2008 helped introduce the glass-roof canopy and delivered a record auction contribution of $500,000.
- 2009 Ford AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll” Mustang: crafted in honor of World War II aircraft.
- 2010 SR-71 “Blackbird” Mustang: two automotive icons – the late Carroll Shelby, a former U.S. Air Force flight instructor, and Jack Roush, longtime P-51 pilot – collaborated for the first time to create the SR-71 “Blackbird” Mustang inspired by the legendary reconnaissance jet.
- 2011 “Blue Angels” Mustang: celebrated 100 years of United States naval aviation, and last year’s “Red Tails” Mustang paid homage to the Tuskegee Airmen, the courageous squadron of P-51 Mustang pilots who were the United States’ first African American military airmen.
The Motrolix Take
$400,000 is a pretty penny to pay for a Mustang. Heck, we could probably come away with the same car as the one seen here for less than $50,000, including the price of a new Mustang itself. But who are we to put a price on charity?
On a related note, we can’t wait to see what kinds of one-off editions Ford comes up with for the 2015 Mustang.