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Ford and Roush built a Mustang inspired by a legendary WWII fighter plane

The Ford Mustang logo may be a horse, but this particular car is inspired by a very different kind of Mustang. The North American P-51 Mustang was one of the most legendary fighter planes of World War II, and Ford and tuner Roush have teamed up to build a one-off 2019 Mustang GT inspired by that plane. The car will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to an aviation education charity.

The P-51 Mustang earned its reputation as a great fighter plane thanks to its performance and endurance. It was able to escort Allied bombers all the way from England to Germany and back, protecting air crews from German fighters and ensuring a crucial aspect of the Allied strategy could be carried out. One of the most famous Mustangs was Colonel Bud Anderson’s “Old Crow.” Anderson flew 116 combat missions during World War II, including during the D-Day invasion of France. He earned more than 25 decorations for his service.

The Old Crow Mustang GT features a paint scheme inspired by Anderson’s fighter plane. Getting the paint scheme right was nothing new for Roush founder Jack Roush, who commissioned a re-creation of the Old Crow fighter plane in 1994. The car also features a Roush grille and 20-inch Roush wheels, wrapped in Continental ExtremeContact tires. Other exterior changes include a Ford Performance front spoiler, the rear spoiler from a Shelby GT500 Mustang, heat extractors in the hood, and blue-rainbow tinted exhaust tips meant to replicate the look of a P-51 Mustang’s exhaust. The interior features some military-inspired details, like green leather and canvas trim. The stock seats were replaced by Sparco buckets with four-point harnesses, while the rear seats were removed entirely.

The P-51 Mustang was powered by a massive Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine, built under license in the United States by Packard. The Mustang GT doesn’t pack quite as many cylinders, but its 5.0-liter V8 does sport a Roush supercharger, allowing the engine to produce 710 horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque. The V8 breathes through a Roush cold air induction system and Ford Performance exhaust system.

The Old Crow Mustang GT will be displayed at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, before being sold at the on-site auction known as “The Gathering.” Proceeds will benefit EAA “youth and adult aviation programs,” according to a Ford press release. Ford has built and donated 11 custom vehicles for EAA AirVenture, including cars inspired by the World War II Supermarine Spitfire fighter and the Apollo space program.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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