Ford debuted a special 700-horsepower Mustang GT at the annual Goodwod Festival of Speed in the U.K., where world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. took it for a run up the famous Goodwood course. The themed one-of-a-kind muscle car pays tribute to RAF fighter pilots with a camouflage-inspired livery reminiscent of the British aircraft that flew during World War II.
The car will later be auctioned off as part of a fundraiser for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), a non-profit organization that helps to get young people interested in amateur aviation. This is the 20th year that Ford has participated in fundraising efforts for the charity’s annual EAA AirVenure Oshkosh fly-in.
The Eagle Squadron Mustang wears a livery inspired by RAF Spitfire fighters, right down to the red-and-blue roundels on the hood and doors. The car also sports an RTR (as in Ready to Rock) wide-body kit, with a new grille that includes a modern take on the classic Mustang fog lights. A front chin spoiler, dive planes, and numerous other aerodynamic aids give the Mustang a more aggressive look.
Ford has a history of some impressive livery schemes for its annual donation, including a Mustang inspired by the NASA Apollo program. Last year, its 545-hp F-150 modeled after the F-22 Raptor turned more than a few heads and sold for $300,000.
Ford Performance and Gittin’s Ready to Rock team used a Mustang GT as the basis for this custom car. The stock 5.0-liter V8 was supercharged using a kit available from Ford Performance, and now makes 700 hp and 610 pound-feet of torque. That power is fed to a heavy-duty rear axle through a six-speed manual transmission. Ford Performance supplied both the axle and a short-throw shifter for the transmission. RTR pitched in its Tactical Performance Suspension Package and Aero 7 two-piece forged wheels.
“Supporting young pilots through the EAA charity auction reflects Ford’s aviation history, tracing back to the company’s early days and the Arsenal of Democracy during WWII,” said Ford in the announcement. “The Eagle Squadron Mustang GT build with Vaughn and the Ford design team is a great way to honor our heroes and keep the spirit of aviation alive for the next generation of American pilots.”
Before the U.S. entered the war in 1941, many American pilots flew for the RAF in what became known as “Eagle Squadrons.” These pilots often flew P-51 Mustangs or Spitfires, many with the distinctive shark’s mouth. America continued to supply P-51 Mustangs to the RAF throughout World War II.
Although the full story has been lost in the sands of time, many accounts say that the original name for the prototype automobile in the early ‘60s was inspired by the iconic fighter, but the horse logo came about because the marketing team didn’t want to name the car after an airplane.
Over the last two decades, Ford has donated 11 different custom vehicles to the EAA, resulting in more than $3 million for the charity. The winner of the Eagle Squadron Mustang also gets a free trip to Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise in August, where they will be presented with the car.
Updated on July 13: Added more details and photos.