When is a 2014 Ford Mustang GT also a Thunderbird? When it’s dolled up to resemble one of the F-16C fighter jets used by the United States Air Force’s Thunderbirds air demonstration squadron, of course. The one-off 2014 Mustang GT shown here is the latest in a string of customized Mustangs destined to be auctioned off at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Built from the first 2014 Ford Mustang GT off the line – its VIN ends in 0001 – the Thunderbirds Edition a number of cosmetic upgrades to help visually tie the Mustang to the Thunderbirds’ Fighting Falcons. The glass roof panes – a nod to the F16’s bubble canopy – are a factory-installed option, but the blistered widebody fenders are unique to this 2014 Mustang GT, as are the rear deck spoiler and 22-inch aluminum wheels. The Mustang’s most interesting modification is rather hard to see – a custom smooth belly pan runs the entire length of the car, and is painted to match the underside of a Thunderbirds F-16. Likewise, the Mustang’s pearl white exterior paint, red stripes, and USAF decals match those on the actual plane.
Inside, the 2014 Ford Mustang GT Thunderbirds Edition ditches the rear seat, allowing it to seat only two -- yet another similarity with the airplane. Recaro buckets are pulled from the Mustang parts bin, but are uniquely trimmed and boast embroidered Thunderbirds logos. Other touches include a modified gauge cluster, customized door sill plates and modified mirror puddle lamps, which now project the F16’s outline instead of the 2014 Mustang GT’s galloping pony logo.
Like the previous aircraft-themed Mustangs built for the EAA, the Thunderbirds 2014 Mustang GT gains a suspension handling package, Brembo brakes, and a Ford Racing supercharger. An exact power output has not been revealed, but last year’s Blue Angels Ford Mustang GT married the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V-8 with a supercharger that brought output to 624 hp. That’s potent, but still shy of the 3600-pounds of thrust produced by the F16’s jet engine.
The 2014 Mustang GT Thunderbirds Edition also follows in the footsteps of previous EAA Mustangs in that it will be auctioned to benefit the EAA’s Young Eagles organization, a charity that provides flight instruction to aspiring young pilots. Ford’s serires of custom aviation-themed Mustangs have thus far raised over $2 million for the organization. Look for the 2014 Mustang GT Thunderbirds car to cross the block on August 1st in Oshkosh. For more information, visit http://www.AirVenture.org.