Was the Mustang named after the wild horse or the fighter plane? Both, it seems. The Ford of course has an equine logo but this special P-51D Mustang-inspired Ole Yeller isn’t the first time the muscle car has celebrated a famous aircraft. Ford has been making aviation-inspired planes for the last nine years now which are then auctioned off on behalf of the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) youth education programmes (the unique cars have raised Dh11 million for the charity…) and its latest effort sure is eye-catching.
The American-built single-seat fighter planes were used in World War II and the ones that survived the conflict were later shown off at air shows. One of those planes – Ole Yeller – was flown for two decades by pilot Robert A. “Bob” Hoover, regarded by many as the greatest pilot in the world. It was called Ole Yeller because it was painted bright yellow (what’s more, Hoover’s P-51D holds the record as the fastest prop-powered aircraft to cross the US in 5 hours and 20 minutes…) and Ford has recreated that vibrant theme on the Shelby GT350 and honoured both the plane and the man. It packs a naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V8 that makes 526 horses and 582Nm of torque and is mated to a Tremec six-speed manual. It rides on a specially tuned suspension and features loads of carbon fibre components, a massive wing at the back, a bright yellow paint job with black stripes and "Ole Yeller" badging on the fenders (and Bob’s name on the wing), the cabin gets Recaro seats, sill plates, floor mats with unique logos and aviation-inspired gauges. But, we’re not sure about the neon green lighting.
It will be auctioned off at the Gathering of Eagles charity event on July 28th and all the proceeds will go to the EAA's youth education programmes.