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APR 22, 2021 | By Steve Turner

Space Coast Club Marks Mustang Day At Florida’s Warbird Museum

Silver 1965 Mustang Couple parked in front of XP 82 Plane

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Across the globe clubs and enthusiasts organized ways to celebrate the 57th birthday of the original pony car. Long before it was available across the world, the Ford Mustang was a global phenomenon. Today the passion for these cars burns just a strong, and a Central Florida Mustang club came up with a really unique way to help enthusiasts remember this special day.Blue S550 Mustang with hood open at car show

Inspired by an annual Mustang Day event at the Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, the Space Coast Mustang Club collaborated with the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum to offer a unique photo opportunity for Mustang owners that generated donations to the air museum. Some historians have claimed the WWII Mustang fighter plane had served as an inspiration for the car’s name, and the aforementioned museum happens to have a unique example — one of just 272 such planes built as World War II drew to a close.Several mustangs at car show in front of air plane hangar

“I knew that the museum had a Mustang airplane and I thought Jack Roush is well-noted for racing Mustangs . . . . so I thought, what better way to celebrate National Mustang Day than to combine the Mustang airplane with Mustang cars?” explained Jack Sawdy, Space Coast Mustang Club president. “We’re fortunate enough to have the only one of two surviving twin Mustangs in the country here. The XP-82 is the prototype for the F-82. That was right at the end World War II. It never actually saw battle, because they were bought at the end. But owners love to have their Mustangs photographed with a Mustang airplane in the background. So we thought this would be a great event to set up for today.”Blue S197 ROUSH Mustang with couple standing in front of XP 82 WWII plane

Founded 40 years ago, the Space Coast Mustang Club focuses on having fun with these cars, and draws its membership from all over Florida despite its home base in the shadow of Kennedy Space Center. Members live as far away as Miami, but the announcement of this special event for Mustang Day 2021 drew interest from enthusiasts across the Southeast, including some from Mississippi and Georgia.White and Blue GT350 1966 Mustang

“I was impressed with a guy trailering his car from Georgia just to have it photographed (with the plane),” Sawdy added. “It’s on his bucket list.”Black Shelby GT500 Mustang with chrome wheels at car showOpen to any Mustang owners, the event required just a $20 donation to the museum for owners to score the special photo opportunity with their cars and a twin Mustang fighter plane. The first 100 participants also drove away with an official Mustang Day 2021 decal, and at least one enthusiast checked a special photo session off his bucket list.Blue S197 Mustang with white stripes and hood open

From the looks of it, all those decals found a happy home, as more than 100 Mustangs of all eras were on hand to commemorate the special day. It was a fitting way to mark the birthday of the Ford Mustang in high-flying style.White Shelby GT500 with blue racing stripes, hood open at car showRed Foxbody mustang with hood open at ShowBlack S197 Mustang with Gold stripesSilver S550 Mustang with custom vinyl along sideBlue Shelby GT350 with black stripes and hood open at car showWimbledon white Shelby GT350Tan Foxbody Mustang at car showLight blue 1970 Mustang with hood and trunk open at car showNewedge mustang in dark blue with hood open at show

FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY STEVE TURNER

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