A modified Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 to benefit education for young pilots has crossed the auction block for almost $300K.
Every year since 2008, Ford has donated a breathed-on Mustang to benefit the Experimental Aircraft Association. The $295,000 that this Mustang “Ole Yeller” generated will go to fund the EAA’s youth program. The gavel went down at a Gather of Eagles charity event last week.
One of those programs is the Young Eagles, which has given more than two million introductory flights to aviation up-and-comers. Exposing kids to the thrill of flight apparently goes a long way toward encouraging some of them to pursing a career as a pilot.
Previous Mustangs donated for this cause had names like “Dearborn Doll” and “Blue Angels”, and “Ole Yeller” is an homage to the legendary P-51D Mustang prop fighter, which became a fearsome tool for the Allies in WWII.
The starting point for “Old Yeller” is a 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350 packing a 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 engine with Flat Plane Crank. It’s the most powerful non-turbo engine Ford has ever produced, and it takes off with 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque.
Trim-wise, it’s hard to miss Ole Yeller’s accents. The flat wing out back expresses seriousness by not corresponding with any of the Mustang’s many contours, and carbon fiber accents continue the edgy vibe. The lucky bidder will be held in place by special Recaro seats, and the gauges are aviation-inspired.
Tasteful? Nah, but that’s not the point. This Ole Yeller Mustang affirms so much of what people like about Mustangs – brute strength expressed in a splash of American patriotism. And it’s a reminder that those young pilots funded by Ole Yeller’s sale are standing on the shoulders of WWII giants.