Ford Motor Co.’s one-of-a-kind, aviation-themed 2011 Ford Mustang raised $375,000 for the Young Eagles at an auction Thursday evening during AirVenture in Oshkosh. The vehicle, a first-ever collaboration between legendary automotive icons Jack Roush and Carroll Shelby, was auctioned during the Gathering of Eagles event at the show. A man from Texas purchased the vehicle, according to Ford officials.
Ford brought together Shelby and Roush to create the SR-71 “BlackBird” Mustang specifically for the Gathering of Eagles event. To date, Ford vehicles sold at auction during AirVenture events have raised more than $1.3 million to support the Young Eagles. The Young Eagles organization has provided free introductory flights to nearly 1.5 million youth since 1992.
“Ford Motor Company’s historic tie to aviation is no better represented than by the company’s commitment as a continued partner of EAA and AirVenture, a celebration of flight here in Oshkosh that is unmatched anywhere else in the world,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman and president. “Ford’s generosity in donating the Mustang SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ to the Gathering of Eagles further demonstrates a dedication to supporting aviation and inspiring aviation enthusiasts of all ages.”
The “SR-71” designation holds a dual meaning for the one-of-a-kind, fully-customized Mustang. “SR-71” refers to the car’s design and performance-inspired connection with the SR-71 Blackbird, the aircraft that holds all official airspeed and altitude records and is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular planes ever produced. “SR” also represents the first collaborative project between Shelby and Roush.
“Bringing together true automotive legends like Jack Roush and Carroll Shelby with the leading minds on the Ford Mustang design and engineering teams has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford’s board of directors. “This year’s SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ pays tribute to the original SR-71 aircraft that took its first flight in 1964, the year the first Ford Mustang came off the line. This project is a tribute to significant moments in aviation and automotive history and a nod toward the young innovators of the future.”
The SR-71 “Blackbird” Ford Mustang is Build #1 of 1 and is based on a 2011 Mustang GT 5.0. Ford racing performance modifications (Supercharger performance enhancement, Track Pack Handling Package) also were added to further enhance the exclusivity of the car and generate 100 additional horsepower from the all-aluminum 5.0l 32-valve V8 engine. The special racing Handling Pack optimizes the performance experience and lowers the ride height by 1-inch. From interior to exterior, the SR-71 Blackbird was inspired by the original aircraft. The Mustang’s design includes black and gray matte exterior paint and graphic treatment, performance wheels, front and rear fascias and an integrated spoiler/wing to mirror the car’s namesake. Reflected in the exterior paint treatment, the “Blackbird” nickname takes center stage with markings that look like the plane’s fluids streaking its exterior after takeoff. With seating for two, the interior includes a roll-cage, racing seats, embroidered signatures of Jack Roush and Carroll Shelby and special instrument cluster graphics.