“Ole Yeller” Mustang Raises $295,000 at Gather of Eagles Charity Auction

 

Ole Yeller Mustang
Profile shot of the “Ole Yeller” Ford Mustang. All images courtesy Ford media.

 

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.

Ole Yeller Mustang
The car was originally presented during a video presentation by Ford execs. This image shows the instrument panel that takes its inspiration from old school aircraft gauges.

 

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 Mustang
The viewer is able to start seeing the differences between the production Shelby GT350 and “Ole Yeller” in this image.

 

“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 Mustang
The custom-crafted one-off Recaro seats are more obvious in this image.

“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.

About Mike Aguilar 199 Articles
Mike's love of cars began in the early 1970's when his father started taking him to his Chevron service station. He's done pretty much everything in the automotive aftermarket from gas station island attendant, parts counter, mechanic, and new and used sales. Mike also has experience in the amateur ranks of many of racing's sanctioning bodies.
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