You’re looking at the most track-ready, road-legal Shelby GT350 Ford Mustang ever.
This is “Ole Yeller” and it’s Ford’s latest aviation-themed muscle car. It will be auctioned off to raise money to support programs that grow the next generation of pilots.
The Mustang pays tribute to two aviation greats. One is of course the iconic P-51D Mustang fighter plane. The other is renowned pilot Bob Hoover. Hoover, now 94 years old, is a highly decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, test pilot and air show performer. He is considered the founding father of modern aerobatic flying and is referred to by many as one of the greatest pilots ever to have lived. He piloted “Ole Yeller” in airshows for more than twenty years.
The Mustang’s custom yellow exterior finish comes with“Ole Yeller” accents and badging. There are also unique carbon fiber components and mirrors that project images of the aircraft. Inside, you find Recaro seats, sill plates, floor mats with unique logos and aviation inspired gauges.
Under the hood you have the power of the Shelby GT350’s 5.2-liter V8. It’s Ford’s most powerful, naturally-aspirated engine ever. It delivers 562-horses and 429 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and features specially tuned sport suspension.
The Mustang will be donated and auctioned off during the Gathering of Eagles charity event at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016. Proceeds benefit the Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth education programs. It’s provided free introductory flights to 2 million young people since 1992.
The Ford “Ole Yeller” Mustang joins eight other one-of-a-kind Mustangs created by the Ford design and engineering teams for the auction. Previous years’ aviation themed Mustangs include:
- 2008 – Mustang AV8R, taking cues from the F-22 Raptor. It helped introduce the glass-roof canopy and sold for $500,000.
- 2009 – AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll” Mustang, crafted in honor of the World War II aircraft.
- 2010 – The late Carroll Shelby, 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, created to celebrate 100 years of U.S. naval aviation
- 2012 – Red Tails Mustang, paying homage to Tuskegee Airmen. The courageous squadron of P-51 Mustang pilots were the United States’ first African-American military airmen.
- 2013 – U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang, paying tribute to the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team.
- 2014 – F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang, featuring design cues from the world’s most advanced multirole fighter jet – the F-35 Lightning.
- 2015 – Apollo Edition Mustang, paying homage to the Apollo spaceflight program.
Photo Credit: Ford