Roush and Ford honor a WWII aviator with tribute Mustang
This week marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when a 22-year-old former farm boy from California named Bud Anderson spent six continuous hours in the skies over the beaches of Normandy in his P-51D Mustang fighter, “Old Crow,” providing ground support and air cover for Allied troops as they fought to gain a beachhead against dug-in Nazi forces.
Anderson, now 97, would go on to complete 116 missions on two combat tours during the Second World War, shooting down 16 enemy aircraft, and earning more than 25 decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, and Air Medal. Anderson never turned back once, and through it all, his aircraft were never hit by enemy fire.
To honor Anderson, who retired from the U.S. Air Force as a colonel, and his P-51, Roush Performance and Ford Motor Company have teamed up to make one very special “Old Crow” Mustang GT coupe. Equipped with a Roush Performance supercharger that boosts the 5.0-liter V8 to 710 horsepower and a variety of add-ons from the Ford Performance catalog, the Old Crow Mustang has been painted in a scheme that authentically reproduces the color and badging of Anderson’s wartime P-51.
The P-51 Mustang is a single-seat, single-engine fighter originally produced in 1940 by North American Aviation, used to escort and protect bombers and provide air support for ground troops. They still compete in racing aviation.
Autographed by Anderson, Jack Roush Sr., Edsel Ford II, and the Ford designers responsible for the project, the special Ford Mustang will be on display at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture 2019 show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the end of July, where it will be sold in an auction to benefit the EAA’s youth education program.
Jack Roush, a pilot and friend of Anderson, has owned and restored three P-51 Mustang aircraft, including two that have replicated the original Old Crow’s livery.
“The team at Roush Performance is proud to have worked alongside Ford to build this tribute to one of America’s greatest WWII heroes,” said Jack Roush Jr. “Roush has stood by Col. Anderson since my father recreated Bud’s P-51B Mustang and there couldn’t be a better way to honor a living legend than with this incredible car.”
Ford has sponsored the EAA’s AirVenture show for more than two decades and had made and donated 11 special Mustang cars to benefit the EAA, like this year’s tribute to Anderson and his P-51, an RAF-inspired Mustang last year, and an Apollo Edition in 2015. The special Mustang cars have helped raise over $3.5 million for the EAA and its programs.
Craig Metros, Ford’s design director, said, “This year’s design is especially fitting for the 75-year commemoration of D-Day and the special place we reserve for heroes like Col. Anderson and countless others who demonstrated unparalleled valor and sacrifice. It’s an annual highlight for many on the Ford design team to pay homage to our war heroes by creating a custom tribute vehicle to support the next generation of aviators.”
If you’d like to bid on the Old Crow Ford Mustang GT or otherwise support the EAA and its work, you can call 920-426-6573 or email gathering@EAA.org.