With inspiration from the Apollo Program and a 2015 Mustang GT as a canvas, Ford Design manager Melvin Betancourt needed to create a road-going rocket ship dedicated to this massive engineering accomplishment. He definitely succeeded. The car is ready to takeoff with its supercharged 5.0-liter V8 pumping out 627 horsepower and 540 pound-feet of torque. The orange LEDs underneath make it look ready to blast into orbit, too. The exterior mixes patriotic imagery with lightweight carbon fiber performance parts, and on the interior, additional embroidery pays homage to the whole project of reaching the moon.
Each year Ford returns to AirVenture with a new, customized 'Stang. In 2014, the car took inspiration from the F-35 Lightning II. The US Air Force Thunderbirds tribute car in 2013 and the Navy Blue Angels version in 2011 both raised $400,000 for the EAA charity. The SR-71-inspired example from 2010 went for another $375,000.
• U.S. Apollo spaceflight program inspired one-of-a-kind 2015 Ford Apollo Edition Mustang sold at charity auction July 23 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
• 100 percent of proceeds benefit EAA youth aviation education programs, including Young Eagles
• Unique Ford vehicles have raised approximately $3 million for EAA youth aviation programs, including Young Eagles
DEARBORN, Mich., July 30, 2015 – The one-of-a-kind Apollo Edition Ford Mustang, developed by Ford Motor Company, raised $230,000 at the Gathering of Eagles charity event July 23. Proceeds from the auction – held during the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration – benefit youth aviation education programs, including the Young Eagles.
The Young Eagles has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.9 million young people since 1992, helping to grow the next generation of aviators.
The Apollo Edition Mustang joined seven other unique Mustangs created by Ford design and engineering teams in support of EAA youth education – each generating excitement among aviation and automotive enthusiasts alike. Ford vehicles donated at EAA AirVenture events have collectively raised approximately $3 million.
"The Apollo program is one of our nation's greatest technological achievements, and we wanted to represent it with a car that salutes that spirit of American ingenuity with the quintessential American automobile – Ford Mustang," said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors. "We're thrilled this year's stunning Apollo Edition Mustang raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars to support the freedom of flight for future generations."
Based on a 2015 Mustang GT, Ford designers and engineers transformed the 5.0-liter pony car into the Apollo Edition Mustang.
Led by Ford Design Manager Melvin Betancourt, the exterior features a one-of-a-kind glossy pure white and pure black non-production paint scheme that delivers a creative connection with the NASA Apollo program. The Apollo Edition Mustang sports a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, rocker moldings and accent treatments – along with unique LED underbody lighting to symbolize atmospheric re-entry.
Enhancements include a performance package, Ford Performance supercharger, X-pipe with side and rear exhaust, sport-tuned suspension, six-piston Brembo brakes and custom Forgiato 21-inch performance wheels. This Mustang delivers a heart-pounding 627 horsepower and 540 lb.-ft. of torque to provide an exhilarating, controlled launch.
The theme carries into the cabin with exclusive interior details, including performance gauges, modified instrument cluster, unique sill plates, and embroidered elements in seats, trim panels and floor mats.
The auction of the Apollo Edition Mustang serves as the pinnacle of the EAA Gathering of Eagles gala taking place during EAA AirVenture each year. The event annually draws more than 1,000 aviation enthusiasts in support of EAA youth education programs, which inspire young people to become engineers, aviators, astronauts, scientists and innovators – the aviation pioneers of tomorrow.
"Ford has been a committed sponsor of EAA and AirVenture for more than 15 years – bringing incredible value to those who make Oshkosh the highlight of their aviation year," said Jack Pelton, EAA chairman of the board. "With its eighth Mustang donation, Ford continues to excite with its specialty vehicles, which reflect the depth of the company's commitment and which allow EAA to provide support to its valuable programs and dedicated members in helping us grow the next generation of aviators."
The unique vehicles that support EAA youth education programs, including Young Eagles, are:
• 2008 – Mustang AV8R, with cues from F-22 Raptor, which helped introduce the glass-roof canopy and delivered an auction contribution of $500,000
• 2009 – AV-X10 "Dearborn Doll" Mustang, crafted in honor of the World War II aircraft
• 2010 – Two automotive icons – the late Carroll Shelby, former U.S. Air Force flight instructor, and Jack Roush, longtime P-51 pilot – collaborated for the first time to create the SR-71 Blackbird Mustang inspired by legendary reconnaissance jet
• 2011 – Blue Angels Mustang, created to celebrate 100 years of U.S. naval aviation
• 2012 – Red Tails Mustang, to pay homage to Tuskegee Airmen – courageous squadron of P-51 Mustang pilots who were the United States' first African American military airmen
• 2013 – U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang, built to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team
• 2014 – F-35 Lightning Edition II Mustang, which featured design cues from the world's most advanced multirole fighter jet – the F-35 Lightning
The Apollo Edition Mustang was modified by Mad Industries, led by Chris Mangum. Interior enhancements were designed by Ford's Betancourt and Nicole Rush – and created in-house by Ford's design fabrication team. Additional contributors to the project include Ford Performance, Eibach Springs, Carbon 2 Carbon, BASF Automotive Refinish, Gibson Performance Exhaust, Pirelli Tires, Forgiato Wheels, Rigid Industries LED Lighting, SourceSE by sPod, 3M Window Film, PIAA Corporation, Brembo, APR Performance, FOCAL/The Source AV and Odyssey Battery.
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