2011 Ford Mustang SR-71 auctioned for $375,000

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

The auction at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to sell the SR-71 Mustang failed to achieve its target of $500,000. The two builders, Jack Roush and Carroll Shelby, came together in support of the EAA Young Eagles, a nonprofit organization that gives educational flights for children.

The Mustang only fetched $375,000 from an unnamed buyer. For many years, the EAA has been the recipient of Ford's unique auction vehicles. The amount raised by such events in the last 15 years has been donated. The car has already been purchased but it will still be on display at the Ford tent until Sunday at the AirVenture show.

The vehicle was built in honor of the SR-71 Blackbird long-range reconnaissance airplane. Its name stands for two automotive icons: S for Shelby, R for Roush.

Mustang SR-71 has some elements that make it stand out among other Mustangs. The SR-71 Mustang features all-new aluminum block 5.0l Ti-VCT V8 engine that's tuned with a 2.3l Whipple Twin Screw Supercharger with Ford Racing calibration and Roush intake.

It has been given several mechanical upgrades, including Ford Racing Handling Pack, Ford Racing tuned exhaust and tips and SVT Track Pack wheels.

For the fully-customized Mustang, the term "SR-71" comes with two meanings. The first is that the "SR" signifies that this is the first project that Shelby and Roush have collaborated on. The second one refers to the SR-71 Blackbird, especially in terms of how the car was designed and the performance that it delivers.

For those familiar with aircraft models, the SR-71 Blackbird is considered as one of the best planes ever made and currently holds all official records on altitude and airspeed. For this project, the design team was led by Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer while the engineering team was headed by Mustang Chief Nameplate Engineer Dave Pericak.

To make the car even more exclusive, the team put in Ford Racing Performance Parts. The launch of the SR-71 "Blackbird" is slated to be the highlight of the EAA Gathering of Eagles during the AirVenture on July 29. Proceeds of the auction will be donated to EAA's Young Eagles.

Since 1992, this program has provided more than 1.5 million young people free introductory flights. It has also been responsible for teaching these same young people the importance of hard work, the value of personal responsibility, and even the science and math skills.

EAA Chairman and President Tom Poberezny shared that Ford’s continued partnership with AirVenture and EAA is a good representation of its historic relationship with aviation considering that the celebration of flight in Oshkosh is unparalleled.

By donating this Mustang SR-71 'Blackbird' to the auction, Ford is showing that it is indeed dedicated to supporting aviation and more importantly, inspiring all manner of aviation enthusiasts, he added. It was back in 2008 when Ford had a vehicle made specifically to support the Young Eagles with the Mustang AV8R.

That time, it managed to raise $500,000. Since then, Ford vehicles auctioned at this event have managed to raise an amount in excess of $1 million, all of which were given to support the Young Eagles.

Edsel B Ford II, a member of the automaker’s Board of Directors related that the excitement created by the 2008 AV8R inspired the company to make another milestone by having Carroll Shelby and Jack Roush collaborate. The SR-71 Blackbird, he added, pays homage to the company’s lineage when it comes to performance vehicles and gives tribute to the Yong Eagles’ promising innovators.

Press Release

One-off SR-71 Mustang sells for $375,000

Two automotive icons, legendary racer and manufacturer Carroll Shelby, and world-renowned racer, engineer and designer Jack Roush, have come together in their first vehicle collaboration project to join Ford in creating a one-off 2011 Mustang, the aviation-themed SR-71 "Blackbird." The one-of-a-kind vehicle will be sold at the Gathering of Eagles July 29 during the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) 2010 AirVenture Oshkosh, the world's greatest aviation celebration. Ford is the exclusive automotive partner of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and all of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the EAA Young Eagles organization. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will be held from July 26 to Aug. 1 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.

The "SR-71" designation holds a dual meaning for the one-of-a-kind, fully-customized Mustang. First, "SR-71" refers to the car's design and performance-inspired connection with the SR-71 Blackbird, the aircraft that holds all official airspeed and altitude records and is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular planes ever produced. Second, "SR" represents the first collaborative project between Shelby and Roush. Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer led design for the project and Mustang Chief Nameplate Engineer Dave Pericak led the engineering effort. Ford Racing Performance Parts were also added to further enhance the exclusivity of the car. The sale of the SR-71 "Blackbird" will highlight an evening of festivities at the EAA Gathering of Eagles July 29 during AirVenture.

The group that will directly benefit from the auction proceeds is EAA's Young Eagles, which has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.5 million young people since 1992, while also teaching the value of hard work, personal responsibility and enhanced math and science skills. "Ford Motor Company's historic tie to aviation is no better represented than by the company's commitment as a continued partner of EAA and AirVenture, a celebration of flight here in Oshkosh that is unmatched anywhere else in the world," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman and president.

"Ford's generosity in donating the Mustang SR-71 'Blackbird' to the Gathering of Eagles further demonstrates a dedication to supporting aviation and inspiring aviation enthusiasts of all ages."

In 2008, Ford's inaugural vehicle specially-built in support of the Young Eagles, the one-of-a-kind Mustang AV8R, raised a record $500,000 for the charity. "The excitement around the 2008 AV8R, our first one-off Mustang ever produced, inspired us to push for another, first, the collaboration of Carroll Shelby and Jack Roush," said Edsel B Ford II, a member of Ford's Board of Directors. "This year's SR-71 Blackbird is a special tribute to Ford's lineage of performance vehicles, as well as to the promising innovators of EAA's Young Eagles." Ford vehicles sold at auction during past EAA AirVenture events have collectively raised more than $1 million to support the Young Eagles.

The Mustang SR-71 "Blackbird" is Build #1 of 1 and presents a truly unique opportunity for collectors. The vehicle is based on a 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 with the glass roof option. Ford Racing performance modifications (Supercharger, Handling Pack, tuned exhaust, and exhaust tips) generate 100 additional horsepower from the all-aluminum 5.0L 32-valve V8 engine. The special racing Handling Pack optimizes the performance experience and lowers the ride height by 1-inch.

From there, the car takes on a design personality similar to that of the original SR-71 Blackbird aircraft. The Mustang's stunning design theme includes black and gray matte exterior paint with harmonious SR-71 themed graphic treatment, performance wheels, front and rear fascias and an integrated spoiler/wing to reflect the car's connection with its namesake aircraft, which made its inaugural flight in 1964, the year the first Ford Mustang came off the line. The "Blackbird" nickname is reflected in the car's exterior paint treatment, complete with markings from the liquids which leaked and streaked until the plane came up to speed. A unique screen print glass roof design and exterior artwork reflect the unbridled spirit of the Ford Design team.

The interior cockpit will seat only two and includes a roll-cage, racing seats and fire extinguisher, The signatures of Jack Roush and Carroll Shelby are embroidered into the seats, and special gauges and instrument cluster graphics have been added.

Enhancing the value and allure of the vehicle, the Mustang SR-71 "Blackbird" will feature an appliqué autograph area capturing Roush and Shelby's signatures and badging to further reinforce the uniqueness of the car. The vehicle will be on display at the Ford Hangar at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh beginning July 26.

Additionally, Ford and EAA will give AirVenture attendees the chance to win a 2011 Mustang GT convertible and other cash prizes in a raffle, with proceeds benefiting the EAA Young Eagles program.

During EAA AirVenture, Ford also will offer attendees access to the latest advances in automobile technology, as well as many of the industry's most revered classics at the popular "Ford Hangar" on the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Ford activities will include top-tier entertainment and interactive components that will add excitement for the hundreds thousands of aviation fans in attendance.

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