For a number of years, Ford has supported the Experimental Aircraft Association youth educational programs like the Young Eagles program. This program is targeted to children between the ages of 8 years and 17 years. The automaker supports the association by producing one-off models that derive inspiration from the U.S.A’s aviation history. This year, Ford derived inspiration from the P-51D Mustang fighter plane nicknamed the “Ole Yeller”. The Ole Yeller is considered the forefather of modern day aerobatics. The special Mustang is thus christened the “ 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Ole Yeller ”.
The plane was made famous during air shows courtesy by Bob Hoover, a veteran pilot who flew the plane during the World War II. The Ole Yeller fighter plane still holds the prop plane record for flying coast-to-coast in the U.S.A. The record of 5 hours and 20 minutes was established in 1985. To back up this huge record, the special Mustang is arguably the fastest road-legal Mustang ever and is pretty impressive on the tracks too.
2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Ole Yeller Exterior
The 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Ole Yeller largely looks like a regular Shelby GT350. However, to differentiate the model from a standard Shelby GT350, Ford hooked it up with a customized livery beginning with its special badge mounted on the front fenders.
The model also features bright-yellow and gloss-black colors. The bright yellow color is adopted from the fighter plane. The pillars and edges of the roof feature a black trim. The black trim continues on the hood bulge and on the base of its windscreen.
The Ole Yeller also features unique wheels and a gigantic wing mounted on top of the trunk lid. The wing is mounted to add down-force and it is made from carbon-fiber. In addition, the wing features green accents which we can also see on the side mirrors.
To cap it all, the model is fitted with green lights underneath to further put it apart from the standard Shelby GT350. The Mustang is a sight to behold particularly when its underbelly green lights are put on.
2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Ole Yeller Interior
Like the outside, the interior is also adopted form the standard Shelby GT350. However, Ford has added some new features to help differentiate the Ole Yeller from the standard Shelby GT350.
To begin with, its dashboard draws inspiration from the aviation industry. It features aviation-inspired gauges and has a great ambient lighting (green of course). The model also features bespoke side sills, Recaro seats and floor mats with customized logos.
Engine specs and performance
The “Ole Yeller” carries a standard Shelby GT350 engine under its hood. The mill is a naturally aspirated 5.2 L, V-8 engine which is capable of producing 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox that channels the ‘juice” to the rear wheels enabling the model to hit 60 mph from standstill in 4.5 seconds. The model is equipped with a sport-tuned suspension to help keep it stable both in regular street driving and when trying the racer on the tracks.
Last year’s 2015 Ford Mustang Apollo Edition at auction reached a price of $ 230,000. The Ole Yeller was auctioned on 28th July during the EAA AirVenture held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The final bid for the model was $295,000, a tidy sum considering the standard 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang attracts a $50,000 price tag.
The Ole Yeller adds to the list of 8 other Special Mustangs auctioned at the EAA AirVenture to support the organization’s educational programs. The first model, the AV8R was sold for a cool $500,000 in 2008.