11 Years and Counting: A History Of All The One-Off Fords That Have Been Auctioned Off By The EAA
Over the past ten years, Ford has been heavily involved in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual EAA AirVenture event in Wisconsin. The Blue Oval is responsible for creating custom aviation-themed vehicles, all of which are auctioned off every year to benefit youth aviation programs. All told, Ford has created 11 custom-themed vehicles, including the new Eagle Squadron Ford Mustang GT that will be auctioned off at this year’s event. In this space, we’re going to look back at a decade’s worth of custom-built Fords that have been created for the EAA.
Ford’s Latest Eagle Squadron One-Off Will Come With Vaughn Gittin Jr’s Input
Ford and professional drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. are joining forces to create a one-off Ford Mustang that will be auctioned off at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Gathering of Eagles event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 26. The new creation, called the Eagle Squadron Mustang GT, will make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 12 where it will be driven by Gittin Jr.
Shelby To Produce Limited Continuation of the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 Super Snake
Back in the late ‘60s, Shelby built the GT500 Super Snake as a record-setting beast of a machine, but unfortunately, it never made it to full production status. Now, the American performance company is correcting that with a continuation run of the high-performance muscle car classic.
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Ford Brings Back the "California Special" with Rev Matching and B&O Audio System
A few months after dusting off the “Bullitt” name, Ford is once again in a throwback mood. This time, the Blue Oval is bringing back the “California Special” name for the 2019 Ford Mustang. The nod to the late 60’s special edition couldn’t have come at a better time, either. The original Mustang California edition came out in 1968. It’s no surprise, then, that 50 years later, the California name is bringing brought back with a modern twist.
Ford Employees Can Get This Exclusive Color If They Buy A Ford GT
The Ford GT is rare enough on its own, but Ford employees have the opportunity to make it rarer. All they have to do is buy one and avail of the “Victory” paint scheme that’s available exclusively to Ford employees. The specific finish is inspired by the colors worn by the Ford GT LM GTE racers that won their class at Daytona and Le Mans. As you might expect, the GT is teeming in red, white, and blue, looking every bit the part of an all-American supercar.
2018 The Focus RS Heritage Edition is Here to Bid Farewell to the Current Generation
The current-generation Ford Focus RS has enjoyed an eventful life since it was unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. But like all good things, the Focus RS’s time in the sun is about to end. Weep not, though, dear friends, because Ford is giving the hot hatch the proper swan song with the release of the Focus RS Heritage Edition. Limited to just 50 units, the Focus RS Heritage doesn’t dabble in the subtleties. It’s got enough goodies and equipment to make even hardened hot hatch fans tremble in excitement. And, if that little tease isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe the hatch’s bright orange exterior will do the trick.
2018 Ford Mustang RTR
Part of the Ford Mustang’s appeal lies in its ability to be easily customized. We’ve seen so many versions of the ‘Stang over the years, and there are a handful of them that are head and shoulders above the rest, including the Ford Mustang RTR. Created by Ford in partnership with Pro Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., the Mustang RTR stands tall as one of the sickest interpretations of the iconic muscle car. It’s essentially a Mustang on steroids, accomplished in part because Ford is always looking for ways to improve the car’s status as one of the best pony machines in the market today.
Those of you who are familiar with the RTR badge will know that it’s become somewhat of a tradition for Ford and Gittin Jr. to collaborate on this specific kind of creation. In fact, the past decade has given birth to a good number of Mustang RTRs, ranging from the subtle to the over-the-top. Hard to think of the 2014 Mustang RTR as anything but outlandish, but that’s the whole point on why the RTR badge has become synonymous with Ford’s legendary muscle car. This year, a new version of the Mustang RTR is set to make its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show, and really, where else would it do it? Ford and Gittin Jr.’s aftermarket firm are once again heavily involved in its creation, and the result is nothing short of our expectations. Improved looks, more power, and a seal of approval from one of the best race drifters in the world. This is what awaits us when we get a hold of the latest version of the Mustang RTR.
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Ford Debuts Limited Trim on 2018 Super Duty and It’s Expensive
New vehicle prices have drastically risen over the last two decades, with pickup trucks leading the surge. Now, Ford is pushing the envelope even further by launching the Limited trim on its 2018 Super Duty Lineup. First seen on the 2015 F-150, the Limited trim had not been offered on Ford’s heavy-duty pickup line. That’s changed now, along with the max price somebody can pay for a pickup.
Check every option box on a 2018 F-450 Limited and the price can soar to $95,750!
Even the “base” price for a Super Duty Limited is expensive. For $82,130, Ford will sell you an F-250 version. That’s nearly $10,000 more than the 2017 F-250 Platinum, the Super Duty’s current top trim. Of course, it doesn’t matter what weight class Super Duty you pick, the Limited trim comes standard with just about every conceivable feature and creature comfort available in anything short of a Maybach or Rolls Royce. Two-tone leather front seats have 10-way power adjustability, heating, venting, and massage functions. A panoramic moonroof spans nearly from the windshield to the rear window. Power-folding side steps, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and full LED lighting are also present.
Tech features include Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with its 360-degree camera system and innovative auxiliary camera for attaching to the rear of a trailer. It has adaptive cruise control with collision warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring for both the truck and trailer, and an 8.0-inch productivity screen in the gauge cluster that hosts a bevy of information, including drivetrain parameters, tire pressure monitors for the truck and trailer, and other customizable screens. The Super Duty even has Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature, which allows the driver to maneuver the truck and trailer in reverse by twisting a dash-mounted knob in the direction the trailer should travel rather than having to think about counter-steering with the steering wheel.
Naturally, the Super Duty Limited has the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel for pulling heavy loads. It boasts 440 horsepower and 925 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to pull 32,500 pounds via a gooseneck trailer in the F-450. The Super Duty can also tow 21,000 pounds from its receiver hitch and haul 7,630 pounds of payload in its aluminum cargo box – all when the right cab, bed, and drivetrain combination is chosen.
Ford has said in the past that customers of high-end, heavy-duty pickups are typically hauling expensive things, like a million-dollar yacht or a $200,000 horse trailer with a prize-winning stallion riding inside. It’s no wonder, then, why these customers won’t mind spending six-figures on their tow rig.
What do you think? Is $100,000 too expensive for an ultra-luxury truck? Will GM and Ram have to develop an equally expensive trim level to compete with the Limited? Let us know in the comments below.
2017 Ford Ranger Black Edition
Ford is headed to the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and is bringing an impressive lineup with it, one of which is a special edition of Europe’s best-selling pickup truck, the Ford Ranger. It may not look the part at first glance, but the Ford Ranger Black Edition is just that, thanks in part to a limited production of just 2,500 examples across the continent. Of course, it comes dressed in black, hence the name “Black Edition.”
It’s fitting that Ford is bringing a special edition Ranger with it to Frankfurt. The pickup, after all, is regarded as Europe’s best-selling pickup, a title it has earned after posting record sales this year, including 23,100 units sold in July 2017 alone. What better way to celebrate the Ranger’s status than by dressing it up, slapping on new exterior detailing, dialing up on the standard features, and then showcasing it at one of the world’s biggest auto shows. It’s a good move that adds an extra layer of intrigue into the Ranger Black Edition, even though there’s not much about the pickup that counts as an “exclusive” other than the selling point of it coming in “all black” garb. Still, it should make for an interesting vehicle in Frankfurt. And considering the Ranger’s popularity in Europe, Ford shouldn’t have any problems selling the 2,500-unit inventory of the special edition.
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2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition
It’s hard enough to get your hands on a Ford GT. The ultra exclusive model is sold out over the next four years, which just so happens to be the full life cycle of the supercar. All told, Ford only plans to build 1,000 examples of the GT, amounting to just 250 units per year. So yeah, getting a Ford GT this late in the game is next to impossible. Imagine what those odds will be then now that Ford has released a special livery for 2018 models of the Ford GT. Yup. I don’t like your chances any more than I like mine.
Ford’s new treat for future GT owners is called the ’67 Heritage Edition. If the name itself sounds familiar, that’s because Ford has already released something similar last year. Remember the ’66 Heritage Edition? It’s almost the same as the ’67 version in terms of where they’re inspired from, but in the end, they’re actually two different interpretations in part because the new version pays tribute to the 1967 Le Mans-winning Shelby-American Inc. team that featured racers AJ Foyt and Dan Gurney. Considering that Ford’s success in Le Mans with the original GT40 spanned four years, we could be in store for two more Heritage Editions in 2018 and 2019. For now, though, the spotlight is focused on the ’67 Heritage Edition and the way its treatment is inspired directly from the GT40s that took the checkered flag during the 1967 Le Mans season.
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Ford Builds F-22 Raptor-Themed F-150 Raptor for Charity Auction
Ford has built a one-off, 2017 F-150 Raptor with an aeronautical theme for a charity auction for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual Gathering of Eagles fundraiser. The truck is dubbed the “F-22 Raptor” in an obvious hat-tip to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter jet. The F-150 sports several modifications, including a grille with the F22’s silhouette, off-road lights, a custom graphics package, a larger wheel and tire setup, and modifications to the EcoBoost engine giving it 545 horsepower.
Ford design manager, Melvin Betancourt, headed the build with backing from the Ford Performance Team, meaning this isn’t some aftermarket hack job. “This F-150 Raptor is a new look at Ford’s tradition of building unique vehicles in support of EAA’s youth aviation programs,” Betancourt says. “We know this truck will create an unmatched buzz around this year’s Gathering of Eagles auction.” Last year, Ford built a Shelby GT350 Mustang called Ole Yeller to pay homage to the P-51D Mustang fighter from WWII. That car raised $295,000. This year’s F-150 F-22 Raptor goes under the gavel on Thursday, July 27 at the EAA’s AirVenture aircraft show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. All proceeds will help inspire and educate youth about flying.
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2017 Ford Mustang Tickford Bathurst ’77 Special Edition
Those of you who are familiar with the Mount Panorama race track in Bathurst, Australia will attest to the circuit’s status as one of the world’s greatest race tracks. The 79-year old circuit is home to the Bathurst 1000, one of the most famous endurance races in the world, and was also the site of Ford’s famous one-two finish back in 1977. Forty years after that memorable triumph, Australian Ford tuner Pickford is rolling out a limited run of Ford Mustang GTs called the Tickford Bathurst ’77 Special.
The limited-run set of Mustangs will feature plenty of cosmetic upgrades, but none are more important than its livery to match the race-winning 1977 Falcon XC Hardtops that racers Allan Moffat and Colin Bond drove to victory 40 years ago. If anything, the special edition Mustang pays tribute to the storied ties between Australian motorsports and the Blue Oval. “We wanted to give fans that either witnessed the famous one-two live, or have come to appreciate the supreme effort after the fact, the chance to own a unique vehicle that has been developed in conjunction with the man that made it happen,” Tickford CEO and Prodrive Racing Australia team boss Tim Edwards said.
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2018 Saleen Championship Edition Mustang
Renowned Mustang tuner Saleen hasn’t been doing particularly well in recent years due to financial problems, but it somehow managed to keep most of its nameplates alive and introduce new ones, including a beefed-up Tesla Model S. Now, Saleen is returning to the spotlight with a series of Championship Edition Mustangs that celebrate the Driver, Manufacturer, Team, and Tire SCCA ESCORT Endurance Championships won by the brand’s racing team back in 1987.
Launched in cooperation with General Tire, which was essential to Saleen’s success on the race track in the 1980s, the Championship Edition will break cover by the end of June and will enter production in September 2017. Both road-legal and track-only versions will be built, with the sixth-generation Mustang GT used as a base. Pricing and availability information is still limited, but we’ll be back as soon as we know more.
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Europe Is Also Getting The Ford Focus RS Limited Edition, Or At Least Something Like It
Yesterday’s news that Ford was introducing a limited edition Ford Focus RS in North America sent the hot hatch community into a frenzy. Understandably so, too, when you consider how the Focus RS was kept out of our hands for so long. But now that the Blue Oval’s bringing the hot hatch stateside, it’s making up for lost time with the Focus RS Limited Edition. That said, not everyone’s happy about the limited edition Ford, most notably customers in Europe who aren’t getting any of the 1,500 examples of the Focus RS Limited Edition. Rest easy, though, because Ford isn’t ignoring enthusiasts across the pond. The Ford Focus RS Limited Edition may not be going to Europe, but a new Option Pack is, and it’s pretty much the same thing.
So while it’s not technically a limited edition version of the Focus RS, owners of the hot-hatch in Europe can avail of the Option Pack and get most of the same upgrades given to the North America-bound Focus RS Limited Edition. The most important of these upgrades is the Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential, which really is the crowning feature of the special edition Focus RS in the U.S. and Canada. Cosmetic upgrades are also featured in the new pack, although there is one notable item missing from the Option Pack that’s available in North America as an option itself. Either way, I don’t expect our European friends to be too bummed about missing out on the Focus RS Limited Edition. They’re getting their cake too, albeit in a slightly different packaging.
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2018 Ford Focus RS Limited Edition
The current-generation Ford Focus has given plenty of thrills in spills in the five years that it’s been in production. But now that the existing Blue Oval hatchback is ready to call it a day in 2018, Ford is commemorating the generation switch by bidding adieu to the performance-oriented Focus RS the only way it knows how: a special edition, swan-song model that’s limited to just 1,500 units in North America.
Officially called the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition (couldn’t think of a better name there, Ford?), the exclusive hot hatch comes with plenty of significant improvements over the standard RS counterpart, none more important than a properly functioning technical Quaife limited-slip differential. Yes, Focus RS lovers, our dreams have somewhat come true, albeit in very limited quantities. That issue notwithstanding, the addition of the limited-slip diff is significant for people, myself included, who have cried out to Ford to give the Focus RS the requisite component that makes cornering at high speeds even more of a delight. As awesome as the current generation Focus RS has been, the calls for more front-end grip have never dissipated. Now Ford’s delivering on the request and it’s on us now to reciprocate the gesture in kind. So, to whoever ends up with any of the 1,500 units of the Focus RS Limited Edition, do us a favor and drive the wheels off of it. We’ve all waited long enough.
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2018 Ford GT Competition Series
After intense speculation based on features discovered in the Ford GT’s owner’s manual, FoMoCo unveiled a lightweight version of its new supercar. Called the Competition Series, it shaves weight by dropping luxury items to shift the center of gravity closer to the track for even better road-holding and to maximize output.
Unveiled at the Daytona race track, the site of the GT’s win at the Rolex 24 Hours in January 2017, the supercar adopted a few new and innovative features, as well as extra standard features and carbon-fiber components.
“The Ford GT has racing in its blood,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s executive vice president and chief technical officer. “The Competition Series was developed with the most hardcore track enthusiasts in mind, providing a tailored set of lightweight features and unique livery to match.”
The Competition Series will go on sale by the end of the year, but pricing and availability information has yet to be announced. Expect the lightweight GT to be produced in even fewer units than the standard model and cost significantly more.
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