By putting a man on the moon, the Apollo Program stands as one of the greatest engineering achievements in human history. Ford is paying tribute to that massive triumph with the company's latest one-off Mustang for the charity auction at EAA AirVenure in Oshkosh, WI, on July 23. This Apollo Edition 'Stang is probably never leaving Earth's atmosphere, but it's going to shoot like a rocket down the road.

The Apollo Edition starts as a 2015 Mustang GT, but project manager Melvin Betancourt from Ford Design comprehensively overhauls the pony car. The exterior is finished in a handsome mix of black and white, and the coupe also shows off some serious patriotism with the Stars and Stripes adorning the outside. In an especially clever touch, orange LEDs underneath are meant to make the bottom look like its heating up under re-entry. Inside, the leather upholstery gets upgraded with embroidery inspired by the Apollo Program.

Whether trying to launch into space or go quicker through the quarter mile, weight is the enemy, and power is crucial. The Apollo Edition boasts carbon fiber parts for the rear diffuser, side sills, and some trim. The 5.0-liter V8 also gets a Ford Performance supercharger to take output to 627 horsepower and 540 pound-feet of torque. A set of six-piston Brembo calipers should help slow this rocket down, and 21-inch custom wheels add some style.

"With this year's stunning Apollo Edition Mustang, we salute that spirit of American ingenuity with the quintessential American automobile – Ford Mustang." Edsel B. Ford II said in the special model's announcement. The coupe is the Blue Oval's eighth charity car to support the Experimental Aircraft Association. The seven before it have raised nearly $3 million for the group's work to get young people interested in flying.

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FORD ANNOUNCES APOLLO EDITION MUSTANG TO CELEBRATE INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION OF APOLLO MISSIONS

U.S. Apollo spaceflight program inspires one-of-a-kind 2015 Ford Mustang to be donated and sold at charity auction July 23 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Donation and sale will benefit EAA youth aviation education programs, including Young Eagles

Unique Ford vehicles have raised nearly $3 million for EAA youth aviation programs, including Young Eagles

As far as special edition Mustangs go, this one is out of this world.

For the eighth straight year, Ford Motor Company has created a unique, aviation-inspired Ford Mustang to benefit Experimental Aircraft Association youth education programs, including the Young Eagles. The Apollo Edition Mustang will be donated and sold via auction at the Gathering of Eagles charity event, July 23, at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 – the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.

All proceeds from the sale of the car will benefit EAA youth education programs, including the Young Eagles, which has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.9 million young people since 1992, helping grow the next generation of aviators.

Ford serves as exclusive automotive sponsor of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, held July 20-26 this year at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

"The Apollo program delivered astonishing innovations in technology and achieved a national goal of landing the first human on the moon," said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors. "The entire program was extraordinary – one of our nation's greatest technological achievements. With this year's stunning Apollo Edition Mustang, we salute that spirit of American ingenuity with the quintessential American automobile – Ford Mustang."

Based on a 2015 fastback Ford Mustang GT, Ford design and engineering teams transformed the 5.0-liter pony car into the Apollo Edition Mustang – a truly unique and highly valued vehicle that will excite enthusiasts and collectors alike.

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 features a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, rocker moldings and accent treatments, along with unique LED underbody lighting to symbolize atmospheric re-entry.

Performance enhancements include a performance package, Ford Performance supercharger and shifter, X-pipe with side and rear exhaust, sport-tuned suspension, six-piston Brembo brakes and custom Forgiato 21-inch performance wheels. This Mustang will deliver a heart-pounding 627 horsepower and 540 lb.-ft. of torque to provide an exhilarating, controlled launch for its new owner.

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 will be the pinnacle of the EAA Gathering of Eagles gala. 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 Apollo Edition Mustang joins seven other one-of-a-kind Mustangs created by the Ford design and engineering teams for the auction in support of EAA youth education. Ford vehicles donated at EAA AirVenture events have collectively raised nearly $3 million.

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 will proudly be on display all week in the Ford hangar at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015. To participate in the auction, interested parties must prequalify by contacting the EAA development office, (800) 236-1025 or donor@eaa.org.

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.

To stay apprised of all Ford EAA AirVenture news, connect with the Ford team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FordAirventure or visit www.FordAirventure.com.

For more information on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, visit www.AirVenture.org.

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