Ford and Aston Martin

Two automotive majors commemorate legendary Second World War fighter planes with a take of their own…
By Dejan Jovanovic, Features Writer
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July 22, 2016
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Gaydon looked at this with some respectful maturity. After all, it’s a big deal paying homage to the twelve cylinders that helped win a war for your home country.

Aston Martin’s new special-edition V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80 comes out to commemorate the legendary Second World War fighter Supermarine Spitfire powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine, and just in time for the plane’s 80th birthday. Suitably, the two have cylinder counts in common and Aston Martin also thought carefully about the details. The job’s been handed over to Aston’s Q bespoke department who will build just eight examples of the Spitfire 80 priced from $240,000 (Dh882,000).

In the name of authenticity and tradition, every Spitfire 80 gets parts such as exhaust tips and a cabin chassis brace made by the Aircraft Restoration Company, a British specialist that also does historic planes for Hollywood movies.

Naturally, you can only have it in green, specifically Duxford Green with yellow pin striping just like the plane had on its wings. Other bits like the rear diffuser and spoilers are in carbon fibre, while the interior gets special commemorative logos, and saddle leather and sheepskin floor mats influenced by classic bomber jackets.

In fact, optionally you can spec up with a proper Irvin flying jacket complete with helmet and goggles, and opt for a special vehicle handover at an air exhibition in England this October. The best part is you get to meet Spitfire pilots, blast up and down the runway in your new V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80, and watch the real thing in action in the skies.

Otherwise the Spitfire 80 is a regular V12 Vantage S, meaning a 565bhp V12 engine and 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds. The fellas in Detroit, meanwhile, have a completely different take on remembering the Yanks’ national hero of the clouds. Which is mainly gaudy neon lights…

Still, Ford’s special-edition Ford ‘Ole Yeller’ Mustang Shelby GT350 celebrates the legendary North American P-51D Mustang fighter plane. Specifically, the car celebrates a Mustang actually named Ole Yeller, the one made famous at the Reno National Championship Air Races by US Air Force ace Bob Hoover who is regarded as the greatest acrobatic pilot of all time.

With its 526bhp flat-plane crankshaft 5.2-litre V8, carbon fibre exterior accents and special paint theme, the Ole Yeller on wheels will be auctioned for charity later this month, with proceeds going to an education programme geared to school the next generation of engineers and aviators. Teach them to go easy on the neon, yeah guys?