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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Special Mustang to aid flight nonprofit Experimental Aircraft Association

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Special Mustang to aid flight nonprofit Experimental Aircraft Association

BY BRENT SNAVELY

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Ford and two automotive icons -- Carroll Shelby and Jack Roush -- hope to raise more than $500,000 tonight when they auction off a one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang inspired by the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

Both the famous spy plane and the Ford Mustang were first introduced in 1964.

Ford's matte black and gray SR-71 Mustang has a glass roof and red seats with the embroidered signatures of Shelby and Roush, as well as a spoiler that reflects the airplane's signature curves.

Shelby, a racing and car design icon, is planning to attend the auction at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture aviation show in Oshkosh, Wis., tonight, said Ford Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak.

But Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and chairman of Roush Enterprises, remained hospitalized Wednesday in serious but stable condition after his plane crashed Tuesday at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, according to a company statement.

Proceeds from the auction will go to EAA Young Eagles, a nonprofit that provides educational airplane flights to children.

Pericak said Shelby and Roush provided performance and design advice for the SR-71 Mustang and were in Ford's design studio together on multiple occasions.

"It was almost surreal," Pericak said. "They have so much history and experience and respect in the racing world."

Adapting the Mustang to reflect the styling of the supersonic spy plane was a challenge.

"The difficulty is trying to honestly make the car look like the plane has sort of wrapped itself around the car," Pericak said. "Anybody can just bolt things on and make it gimmicky. You want to really make the car become the aircraft."

To create the Mustang SR-71, the team added a supercharger to a 2011 Mustang GT, which has a 5.0-liter V8 engine, giving it an additional 100 horsepower, lowered the car an inch and added special performance wheels. The car should generate 512 to 530 horsepower.

To give it an extra touch of authenticity, Pericak said the team added streaks to the paint of the SR-71 Mustang to reflect the fuel streaks that were often visible on the sides of the SR-71.

"That's one of the things that makes the SR-71 stand out from any plane," he said.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100729/BUSINESS01/7290489/1210/Mustang-to-aid-flight-nonprofit

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