ROYAL OAK, Mich., Aug. 18, 2018 – Drift superstar Vaughn Gittin Jr. stopped by the Ford booth at the Woodward Dream Cruise today to officially hand over keys to the 700-horsepower Eagle Squadron Mustang GT to its new owner Brayton Williams.
Williams’ bid of $420,000 was the highest last month at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s The Gathering fund-raiser and auction in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
2018 marks the 20th year Ford has supported the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture fly-in and the 10th one-off Mustang the company has provided for auction. All proceeds are donated to the association’s youth education programs, which encourage and support the next generation of pilots. To date, Ford has worked with the association to raise more than $3.7 million.
“Our thanks to Brayton for his support of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the next generation of pilots,” said Darrell Behmer, Ford Mustang design chief. “It’s been a great honor to work with Vaughn and his team to support this great organization, and to honor the pilots of the famed Eagle Squadron.”
Vaughn’s RTR Vehicles built the one-off Mustang with the Ford design team before the drifting superstar took the car to the summit at Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. last month. The Eagle Squadron Mustang GT was designed as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force and the heroes of the Eagle Squadron – volunteer U.S. pilots who flew combat missions alongside British pilots over Europe prior to the United States entering World War II. The centennial of the Royal Air Force was commemorated at the AirVenture event.
“This entire experience has been incredible – from the design collaboration and build of the Eagle Squadron Mustang GT, to being buzzed at speed by a real Spitfire and blasting up the hill at Goodwood and, now, handing the car off to Brayton,” said Gittin. “I’m honored to work with the Ford Performance team and the Experimental Aircraft Association to help the next generation of pilots keep their dreams alive.”
A powerful work of art
Visually stunning and unmistakably aggressive, the Eagle Squadron Mustang GT – painted in a camouflaged design to match the original Eagle Squadron Spitfire aircraft – features Gittin’s Mustang RTR carbon fiber wide-body kit and complete design package, including front chin spoiler, rear diffuser, upper grille with integrated lighting and a Gurney lip added to the Performance Pack rear spoiler. Front turning vanes, dive planes, rear flow conditioners and rocker splitters are also fitted.
Under the hood, a Ford Performance supercharger kit first introduced at the 2017 SEMA show helps the Ford 5.0-liter V8 churn out its 700 horsepower and 610 lb.-ft. of torque at 12 psi of boost on 93-octane fuel while maintaining the factory warranty. The car is fitted with an RTR Tactical Performance Suspension Package – with adjustable MagneRide dampers, Ford Performance lowering springs and RTR adjustable sway bars. The one-off Mustang wears staggered RTR Aero 7 two-piece forged wheels with 285/30-ZR20 front and 305/30-ZR20 rear Nitto NT555 tires.
Inside, a custom leather interior features Recaro racing seats with embroidered Eagle Squadron logo. A hand-engraved shift knob made from metal melted down from an F-35 Lightning carries over the logo, and a one-of-one hand-engraved badge made from genuine Spitfire aluminum adorns the dashboard.
Keeping the dream of flight alive
Aside from becoming the owner of this one-off Eagle Squadron Mustang GT, Williams was invited to attend the 2018 Ford Woodward Dream Cruise where he celebrated by taking the car for an inaugural cruise up the famed Woodward strip.
Jack Pelton, CEO and chairman, Experimental Aircraft Association, thanked Williams for his support of the next generation of pilots in their quest to find new pathways to flight. “We very much appreciate Brayton’s winning bid, because these proceeds allow EAA’s inspirational and supportive programs to keep the dream of aviation alive for the next generation of pilots and those in other flight careers,” said Pelton.
The Gathering is the annual charity event hosted at the Experimental Aircraft Association Aviation Museum in support of the museum and youth aviation programs. To learn more about the Experimental Aircraft Association, its youth programs and The Gathering, call 920.426.6573 or email [email protected].