Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Each year since 2008, Ford has created a one-off Mustang to celebrate military aviation, and the cars have been auctioned off at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Gathering of Eagles charity event to raise money to inspire the next generation of aviators. This year's charity car is the 2014 Ford Mustang GT US Air Force Thunderbirds Edition, which also helps celebrate 60 years of Thunderbirds air show excellence.
Of all the EAA charity cars, this Thunderbirds Edition is the most in depth. Painted to match the F-16 Tomcat fighter jets used by Thunderbirds, this Mustang also gets a widebody kit and 22-inch Forgiato wheels to go with the cockpit's Recaro bucket seats, rear-seat delete and modified navigation screen and gauge cluster. Even the Mustang's projector puddle lights have been changed to show an aircraft silhouette - rather than the Mustang's galloping horse logo - when the doors are open.
Themes for previous EAA charity cars include the Blue Angels, SR-71 Blackbird and the Red Tails as well as the F-22 Raptor-inspired AV8R and AV-X10 "Dearborn Doll" models. Scroll down for the press release for the 2014 Ford Mustang GT US Air Force Thunderbirds Edition, and be sure to check out our galleries for all six aviation-themed Mustangs.
Ford's been a supporter of EAA AirVenture, a huge, annual air show held in Oshkosh, WI, for several years now, with one of its most notable contributions being a modified Ford Mustang, designed to look like one of America's great fighting aircraft. There was an SR-71 Mustang, based on the legendary spy plane, a Red Tails edition, which honored the ground-breaking Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, as well as Blue Angels and Thunderbird Mustangs, based on America's two great military aerial demonstration teams.
Each car is auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the EAA Young Eagles program, which introduces kids to the joy of flight. For the 2014 AirVenture, which runs from July 28 to August 3, the one-off pony car is based on the new-for-2015 Mustang, and America's latest fighting aircraft - the controversial F-35 Lightning II.
The unique Mustang sports titanium paint scheme, with both glossy and matte sections, as well as yellow-and-blue trim and decal elements inspired by CF-1, the first F-35 test plane. A carbon-fiber front splitter and rear diffuser add some visual eye candy, while the interior boasts a set of Recaro seats. Ford also opted to fit unique wheels and a brawnier rear spoiler, to tie everything together.
Here's a math problem: if Tanner Foust has a 24 hours to kill in Germany and one blue Ford Raptor, how long will it take him to decide he wants to lap The Nürburgring? Extra credit if you can get your answer precise to the millisecond.
A very truck-like and slidey lap of the 'Ring is exactly what happened when the Ford-sponsored rallycross driver took time off from set-up duties for his 'day job.' Thankfully no one even thought to worry about posting a time, but you can watch some Raptor skid marks getting laid down between the kerbs in the video below.