Featured: USAF Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang
For the last fourteen years Ford has partnered with EAA AirVenture, “the world’s greatest aviation celebration” in Oshkosh, WI. The Blue Oval plays a large role in the event, providing platinum sponsorship support and putting on a large display with the latest automotive technology. For the last six years, Ford has also offered up a unique one-of-a-kind Mustang for auction, with the proceeds going to the Young Eagles program that inspires young people to become the engineers, aviators, astronauts, scientists, and innovators. Previous iterations for the aviation-themed Mustangs have included the AV8R, the Dearborn Doll, the SR-71, the Blue Angels, and the Red Tails.
For 2013 Ford is back once again with yet another one-off Mustang that will go up for auction, this time with a USAF Thunderbirds theme. Known as the “America’s Ambassadors in Blue,” the Thunderbirds have been doing air demonstrations since 1953 and have performed over 4,000 shows in both the United States and around the world. The squadron has been using various versions of the F-16 since 1983 and are based at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV. The Mustang was designed by Ford to reflect the Thunderbirds well known red, white and blue theme, with SoCal-based Creations n’ Chrome taking on the task of putting the project together.
We recently visited Creations n’ Chrome at their Valencia, CA facility to check out the Thunderbirds Mustang in person, and needless to say, the car is just as impressive as the shop’s other builds. The car has an ultra-aggressive appearance thanks to a widebody kit by Topo, similar to the one found on the Hero Car Mustang from the upcoming Need For Speed movie. The car also features a 3dCarbon front fascia fitted with a carbon fiber splitter from APR Performance, 22-inch Forgiato Maglia wheels and a rear wing that is unique to the AirVenture Mustangs.
Creations n’ Chrome projects have always had a special focus on the paint job, and the Thunderbirds Mustang is no exception. While most might mistake the white for a factory color, it’s actually a White Toner from PPG. “I don’t think you can get any more white than this,” CnC’s Gary Watson told us. Watson did the paint job by hand including the Ford Racing stripe and the Thunderbird graphics and stars at the rear of the car. The only items not painted are the flag stickers on the front fender and the vinyl stripe over he glass roof.
Inside the Mustang has received the Thunderbirds treatment as well, with a custom set of Recaro seats embroidered with the Thunderbirds logo and red piping. A closer look reveals a set of red-striped seat belts, special AirVenture and Thunderbirds gauges, and a Thunderbirds sill plate. A Ford Racing rear seat delete with cross-bracing finishes off the look of the cabin.
What truly sets the Thunderbirds Mustang apart from the rest, though, is the custom aluminum belly pan specially fabricated by Creations n’ Chrome. The panel is hand-painted with the Thunderbirds logo, mimicking the look of the graphics on the bottom of the squadron’s F-16A Fighting Falcon. A look at the underside of the car also reveals the upgraded Ford Racing Handling Pack suspension system and the 15-inch Shelby GT500 front brakes. A 624 horsepower Ford Racing supercharger system will eventually be installed as soon as the car finds its new owner.
The USAF Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang will be on display at the Ford Hangar at the EAA AirVenture from July 27th to August 4th. It will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on August 1st at the Gathering of Eagles charity event. To participate in the auction, candidates must pre-qualify by contacting the EAA development office at 800-236-1025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos © 2013 MustangsDaily.com