The “Ole Yeller” Ford Mustang is a special breed of Mustang that was developed from the Shelby GT350 by Ford engineers and is considered the most race-ready street legal Mustang ever produced. On July 28th, it went on the block at the Eagles Charity Auction and when the gavel fell, the final bid was for $295,000. This money will go to benefit EAA youth education programs that include the Youth Eagles. Ford is proud to be part of the benefit auction; over three million dollars has been raised through the auction of cars that the company has donated in recent years.
“Ole Yeller” Is a Homage to Two American Aviation Greats
The original “Ole Yeller” is a North American Aviation P-51D that was made famous by pilot Bob Hoover. For 20 years, Bob piloted the aircraft as the official pace and safety plane of the Reno National Championship Air Races Unlimited Class. The two are probably more famous for their over 1,000 air show appearances across North America. That’s where I was first introduced to them as a boy.
About the Gather of Eagles Charity Auction Event
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and is a great of aviation enthusiasts dedicated to all aspects of aviation: flying, fixing, and even building aircraft. The auction is held during the association’s annual AirVenture Oshkosh event which is billed as the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.
The winning bidder was Hank Menke who is the president and CEO of OFS Brands, a maker of fine (mostly office) furniture in Huntingburg, Indiana. The auction is held to benefit the youth education programs of the EAA, including Young Eagles. This is a program that provides free introductory flights to kids who would otherwise not be able to afford it. In operation since 1992, Young Eagles has taken over two million young people up on flights that keep inspiring tomorrow’s next generation of aviators.
About the “Ole Yeller” Mustang Donated by Ford
Including the “Ole Yeller” Mustang, Ford design and engineering teams have donated nine one-of—kind vehicles to the EAA for auction. As stated above, these nine vehicles have raised more than three million dollars in total to benefit the educational programs of the EAA.
“Ole Yeller” is a masterpiece. The custom yellow finish is a one-off shade of yellow that was created by the Ford team specifically for this car. She’s also got badging and accents that were designed specifically for her and no other car. Walk around the car and you’ll find several components that were fabricated using carbon fiber for weight savings and added strength, instead of aluminum, fiberglass, or plastic.
The mirrors also project images of the original “Ole Yeller” P-51D of Bob Hoover. The custom design features continue on the inside. The Recaro seats were specially-designed. The interior also has unique logos on the floor mats reminiscent of the aircraft, as well as gauges that are aviation-themed.
“Ole Yeller Has Her Roots in the Shelby GT350”
The design team responsible for creating the car started out with a “basic” Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. The Shelby Mustang is equipped with a 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 engine that has a Flat Plane crankshaft. This engine is the most popular naturally-aspirated (no forced induction) engine that Ford has ever produced and generates an awesome 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque.
That power and torque is channeled through a Tremec six-speed manual transmission. Keeping the driver in control of all that power is a suspension that is specially tuned. The combination of the powerful drivetrain and the custom sport-tuned suspension make this the most race ready street legal Mustang ever built.