Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
July 16, 2015

Ford has built dozens of special-edition Mustang and F-Series trucks, but recently, it has created a unique 2015 Ford Mustang to capture our imagination about space and to celebrate the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Apollo human spaceflight program from 1969 to 1972.

If ever a Mustang looked like a rocket, this is it. It commands attention with its stripes, stance, flags, and amazing wheels. The Apollo Mustang will benefit Experimental Aircraft Association youth education programs, including the Young Eagles and ultimately, it 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.

“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.”

As with many of the Mustangs sold for charity, 100 percent of the proceeds from the Apollo Stang will benefit EAA youth education programs, including the Young Eagles, which, according to Ford “has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.9 million young people since 1992, helping grow the next generation of aviators.”

You may not know that Ford has deep roots in aviation. Ford, in fact, built airplanes, the Ford Tri-Motor, from 1925 to 1933. And now Ford is the exclusive automotive sponsor of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, which will take place July 20-26 this year at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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The 2015 Mustang fans will see on display, and on the auction block is truly a work of art. It’s emblazoned with the United States rocket theme with a slathering of American flags, embroidered NASA logos and a neat hood stripe with “UNITED STATES” written in the stripe, similarly to NASA’s rockets. This machine started as a Ford Mustang GT that was treated to a complete makeover from Ford’s design and engineering teams.

Ford Design Manager Melvin Betancourt guided the team and helped lay out the rocket-like exterior paint scheme, that includes a glossy pure white paint design that represents the Apollo theme with real-world performance. The team added a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, rocker moldings and accent treatments, and a Shelby GT350-style rear wing, along with LED underbody lighting that creates a glow to represent atmospheric re-entry.

A rocket-like Mustang needs boost, so the teams selected a Ford Performance supercharger kit, and the rocket blast moves quicker thanks to the X-pipe with side and rear exhaust. Guiding the Apollo Mustang on launch, orbit and re-entry will be a breeze thanks to the sport-tuned suspension, six-piston Brembo brakes and custom Forgiato 21-inch performance wheels.

Total output is increased to 627 horsepower and 540 lb-ft of torque. And we’re sure the winning bidder will create plenty of smoke on lift-off and boosted blasts. Anyone who pilots the Stang will sit in custom-embroidered seats fit for high performance. Other exclusive interior details including new gauges with modified instrument cluster, custom sill plates and rear-seat delete with Apollo mission logos embroidered into the back panel plus, custom trim panels and floor mats.

According to Ford, “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.”

This wild space-craze Mustang is the 8th special edition Mustangs created by the Ford design and engineering teams for the auction in support of EAA youth education. Ford stated its vehicles donated at EAA AirVenture events have collectively raised nearly $3 million dollars!

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The list of Mustangs and other 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 project came together at 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.

For news releases, related materials and high-resolution photos and video, visit www.fordairventure.com. 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.