Around here, most Ford Mustang stories count as feel-good editorial, but here’s areal feel-good story that’ll probably make you say “Awwww!” and possibly make you do a fist pump at the same time. On Thursday, July 31, one very special 2015 Mustang will be auctioned off at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with proceeds going to benefit the EAA’s Young Eagles program. The program has provided free introductory flights to 1.8 million youths since 1992, according to the EAA, “helping inspire and motivate the next generation of leaders, aviators, and innovators.”
Now for the fist-pump part: Dubbed the F-35 Lightning II Mustang after the fast, if controversial, new F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, this slammed, one-off 2015 Mustang GT fastback will be one of the first Mustangs to be sold anywhere. It looks completely bad-ass with glossy and matte dark-silver paint along with yellow hood stripes, mirror caps, and brake calipers. Blue and yellow rear-end graphics mimic the tail livery of early-production examples of its airworthy namesake, as does the gold tint on its windows. The car sits on lowered Eibach springs and custom black and yellow Forgiato 21-inch wheels, while the exhaust system is modified with larger, ceramic-coated cans. And no car could be named after a fighter jet without sporting one serious aero kit—the F-35 Lightning II Mustang slices through the air with carbon-fiber components including a ground-scraping front splitter, sill extensions, a rear diffuser, and a stand-up rear spoiler. The final touches come in the form of an F-35 badge on the rear panel, and the flags of nine U.S. allies give colorful display on the lower doors.
The interior sports an intense, high-contrast mix of black and yellow bits, with aggressively bolstered Recaro racing seats, a modified instrument cluster, a custom audio system, and sill plates, as well as F-35 Lightning II embroidery on the floor mats, door panels, and seatbacks. All that’s missing is a joystick; the new owner will have to settle for a conventional six-speed manual shifter instead.
This isn’t the first time that Ford has built a special-edition Mustang in support of EAA Young Eagles. Every year since 2008, Ford has whipped out a one-off Stang to be auctioned at the air show, each one commemorating different aircraft, with last year’s Thunderbirds Edition Mustang celebrating the 60thanniversary of the U.S. Air Force’s demonstration team. All together, Ford vehicles have raised $2.5 million in support of the Young Eagles—again, awwww! To see more of them, go towww.FordAirventure.com. If you want to see this one in person—or bid on it—you’re gonna have to catch a flight to Oshkosh.