We write about cars, sure, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate other high-octane-fueled hobbies, like aviation. And there is no bigger aviation extravaganza than the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s massive annual fly-in held in Wisconsin. Just like we say “Hershey” and other car guys know exactly what we’re talking about, pilots and aviation enthusiasts need only say “Oshkosh.”
When there is a tie-in between Oshkosh and our hobby, we’re more than happy to share it. Ford Performance has teamed up with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his RTR Vehicles to create a special one-off Mustang. The creation is a tribute to the Eagle Squadrons, three Royal Air Force squadrons staffed by American volunteer pilots in the years before America’s entry into World War II.
The Eagle Squadron Mustang features not only unique, RAF fighter-plane-inspired paint and graphics over its RTR wide-body kit, but also some pretty sweet kit under the hood. A Ford Performance supercharger boosts output of the 5.0-liter “Coyote” V-8 to a ground-pounding 700 horsepower. An RTR Tactical Performance suspension package helps keep the grip where it needs to be. The look, particularly with the wide fender flares, certainly looks intimidating.
Gittin, perhaps America’s best known drifting champion (Yes, he gets paid to do smoky burnouts while navigating race tracks. Yes, he does burnouts way better than you. Yes, I am jealous of his job and his talents, too.), also runs RTR Vehicles, a Mustang-focused operation that offers modifications for Mustangs that are available directly from select Ford dealers.
Gittin recently drove the Mustang at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, giving it at least some English street cred to go along with those Spitfire looks. But that’s not the true purpose of the Eagle Squadron Mustang.
Each year at Oshkosh, the EAA holds “The Gathering,” an evening dedicated to fundraising for the youth and education programs of the organization. This year, the Eagle Squadron Mustang will be auctioned off at The Gathering with 100 percent of the proceeds going to those programs. This year marks Ford’s 20th supporting The Gathering. Ford has donated 11 custom vehicles and helped add some $3 million to the EAA’s youth programs.
If you are interested in bidding on the Eagle Squadron Mustang or have more interest in the EAA or its youth programs, the EAA asks that you call 920-426-6573 or email gathering@EAA.org.