OSHKOSH — The one-of-a-kind “Red Tails” edition 2013 Ford Mustang developed by the design and engineering teams at Ford Motor Co. sold for $370,000 at the Gathering of Eagles charity auction Thursday evening at AirVenture.
All proceeds will benefit the EAA Young Eagles organization, which has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.6 million young people since 1992 while helping inspire and motivate the next generation of leaders, aviators and innovators. This year’s auction raised about $3 million for the Young Eagles.
The “Red Tails” edition joins four other one-of-a-kind Mustangs created by the Ford design and engineering teams for the EAA Young Eagles Auction in recent years. Ford vehicles sold at EAA AirVenture auction events have collectively raised more than $2 million to support Young Eagles.
“The perseverance and excellence displayed by the Tuskegee Airmen are qualities we also celebrate at Ford,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford’s board of directors. “With this year’s beautiful ‘Red Tails’ Mustang, we’ve captured the recognizable symbols in honor of their important role in our history, and paired it with the innovation our Ford design and engineering teams build into all of our products. Through this project, we take great pride in continuing our support for EAA and the Young Eagles organization.”
The Ford “Red Tails” Mustang commemorates the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen, comprised of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group, during World War II. This courageous collection of pilots was the United States’ first African American military airmen. Known for the red tails of their planes, the Tuskegee Airmen saw combat in more than 1,500 missions in World War II.
This one-of-a-kind car is secured under VIN 00051 in honor of the P-51 Mustang planes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen.
The exterior design showcased a unique aluminum nonproduction finish paint, accented with Race Red and School Bus Yellow, consistent with the P-51 fighter plane’s red tail cues and the logos and markings of the United States Army Air Corps, 332nd Fighter Group and Squadrons.
The car’s Recaro seats include the embroidered “Red Tails” logo, red inserts, custom seat belts, and floor mats embroidered with the 332nd Fighter Group logo. Additional features include a “Red Tails” script in the illuminated sill plates and puddle lamps that project “Red Tails” imagery when the doors open, in addition to a Boss Laguna Seca front splitter. Many added touches have been integrated including a modified navigation screen, instrument cluster and rear seat-delete to add to a cockpit environment.
With a Ford Racing 2.3-liter twin-screw Whipple supercharger, pushing output to 624 horsepower, Ford Racing handling kit, unique side performance quad exhaust, Forgiato 20-inch aftermarket wheels, GT500 Brembo brakes and rear diffuser, the “Red Tails” Mustang will exude power and performance.
The Young Eagles Auction is part of the EAA Gathering of Eagles at the EAA AirVenture Museum. The Gathering of Eagles annually draws more than 1,000 aviation enthusiasts in support of Young Eagles and other EAA programs that inspire young people to become engineers, aviators, astronauts, scientists and innovators – the aviation pioneers of tomorrow.
Other unique vehicles produced by Ford in support of EAA Young Eagles include the 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. In 2009, Ford’s AV-X10 “Dearborn Doll” Mustang was crafted in honor of World War II aircraft. In 2010, two automotive icons – Carroll Shelby, formerly a U.S. Air Force flight instructor, and Jack Roush, a longtime P-51 pilot – collaborated for the first time to create the SR-71 “Blackbird” Mustang inspired by the legendary reconnaissance jet. Last year, the Ford “Blue Angels” Mustang paid tribute to 100 years of naval aviation, part of AirVenture 2011’s Tier 1 event status from the U.S. Navy tied to its yearlong Centennial of Naval Aviation festivities.
While EAA officials wouldn’t release the name of the person who won this year’s raffle, they did say it was the same person who won the auction for last year’s Mustang.