Ford to Donate Custom Mustang to EAA Gathering of Eagles

Last year's donated vehicle raised $500,000 when auctioned to raise money for youth aviation education programs.


OSHKOSH, WI -- Ford Motor Company, exclusive automotive partner of the Experimental Aircraft Association for the past decade, will again design and build a "one-of-a-kind" Ford Mustang to be auctioned off during the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in convention in 2009. EAA AirVenture, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," will be held July 27-August 2 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI.

The vehicle will be auctioned during EAA's "Gathering of Eagles" fundraiser on Thursday, July 30. In 2008, aviation industry, corporate and civic leaders, along with special guests, combined to raise approximately $3 million to support EAA's youth and education programs that use aviation as a tool to inspire and motivate young people to achieve their dreams. These programs include EAA's Young Eagles program, which has provided free introductory flights to nearly 1.5 million young people since 1992 while also teaching the values of hard work, personal responsibility, enhanced math and science skills, and the belief that "if you can dream it, you can do it."

"Ford Motor Company has been a committed partner of EAA throughout the year and especially during AirVenture, where Ford's support has brought value to those who make 'Oshkosh' the pinnacle of their aviation year," says Tom Poberezny, EAA president, who announced Ford's plans at a Jan. 15 news conference during the annual Barrett-Jackson auto auction at Scottsdale, AZ. "The creation of such specialty vehicles allows EAA to provide support to its valuable programs and dedicated members inspiring young people and building the future of flight."

In 2008, Ford designed and built the unique Mustang AV8R for the EAA Gathering of Eagles event. The one-of-a-kind automobile featured highlights inspired by legendary aircraft, from the P-51 Mustang of World War II fame to the modern F-22 Raptor. The Mustang AV8R, which was signed by personalities such as Harrison Ford -- the Young Eagles program chairman -- as well as Jack Roush, Edsel Ford, and Carroll Shelby, fetched a record $500,000 when sold by Barrett-Jackson auctioneer Spanky Assiter.

"Although it will be hard to top the AV8R, the Ford team has committed to delivering another extraordinary vehicle of interest for all enthusiasts and collectors for EAA's Gathering of Eagles," said Kevin Keling, Ford Corporate Events Manager.

"Ford supports EAA's efforts to enrich the flying experience and opportunities to youth through our support of Young Eagles. We also support EAA and AirVenture through sponsorship of AirVenture's opening-day concert, the Fly-In Theater, and an engaging display of products, technology and hands-on features that connect with the passion for innovation that is seen throughout the grounds at Oshkosh."

Ford recently signed a three-year extension of its 10-year partnership with EAA, pledging its support of EAA programs and events.

Additional information on the 2009 Ford Mustang to be designed and built especially for the Gathering of Eagles will be available this spring through EAA at www.airventure.org.

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