Ford has taken the wraps off of the latest in a line of exclusive one-off vehicles created to the help support the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program. The 2013 Red Tails Edition Mustang GT will go on the block at this week's Gathering of Eagles charity auction at the EAA's annual AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 -- aka The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration held each year in Wisconsin.
The fifth such Mustang to be designed in support of the Young Eagles operation that seeks to inspire and motivate the next generation of aviation industry leaders, the Red Tails Edition was themed to honor the legendary Tuskegee Airmen who constituted the 332nd Fighter Group. Best known for flying P-51 Mustangs during World War II emblazoned with signature red tail markings, the country's first African American pilot group provided escort for U.S. heavy bombers that proved stunningly devastating to the Luftwaffe.
In crafting the Red Tails Edition Mustang GT, Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer, Design Manager Melvin Betancourt and Chief Nameplate Engineer Dave Pericak came up with a car that matches distinctive visual cues with well-focused performance-pumping mechanical elements. The exterior of this exclusive glass-roof coupe features a non-production polished-aluminum paint finish set off with Race Red and School Bus Yellow accenting and other markings reminiscent of the original Red Tails motif. A set of 20-inch Forgiato alloy wheels and a Shelby GT500-spec rear diffuser round out the look.
Inside, the Red Tails Edition gets Recaro sport buckets with a Red Tails logo up front and a rear-seat delete along with a modified instrument cluster and navigation screen, embroidered floor mats, "Red Tails" script in the illuminated sill plates and puddle lamps that project Red Tails imagery on the ground. As a special touch, this exclusive Red Tails Edition also carries a custom "00051" VIN plate.
As for its literal performance boosting, the 5.0-liter V8 in the Red Tails Edition Mustang GT is fortified with a 2.3-liter twin-screw Whipple supercharger, a performance quad exhaust system from SVT with unique side exhaust outlets. Chassis tweaks include a full handling package and Brembo brakes from the GT500.
"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' edition 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."
To qualify for participation in the auction, contact Elissa Lines in the EAA Development Office at 800-236-1025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by July 23. Additional details are available at www.airventure.org/gathering.