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Originally produced in America at the behest of Britain’s Royal Air Force, the P-51 Mustang was a fighter-bomber with long-range capabilities that would become a vital part of the Allies’ arsenal in World War II. The aircraft became so famous and remained so well-respected that in the 1960s its name was adopted for a sporty new car from Ford.

Among those with a passion for both the flying and ground-bound Mustangs is Jack Roush. And because his name is on the buildings of automotive engineering supplier Roush Enterprises and automotive hot-rodder Roush Performance, he can do more than merely appreciate the vehicles’ histories.

Roush owns, restores and flies P-51 aircraft. His passion spilled over from the runways to the roadways for the 2008 and 2009 model years when Roush Performance took 51 Ford Mustang GTs and turned them into much higher-performance Roush P-51 Mustangs.

For 2017, Roush’s company is producing a fresh batch of P-51s based on the latest Mustang GT chassis.

The 2017 Roush P-51 Mustang starts as a 2017 Ford Mustang GT Premium-trim coupe, equipped with the customer’s choice of a manual or automatic transmission. Roush Performance tops the car’s 5.0-liter V-8 engine with a Phase 2 Roushcharger, a turbocharger with Eaton TVS technology, a process that boosts the engine’s output to a stunning 727 horsepower.

To enhance the efficiency of the horsepower, a low-temperature radiator is installed and a Roush Active Exhaust System is added, enabling the driver to tune the exhaust note via a smartphone application that includes a nearly silent setting so as not to disturb the neighbors too early or late in the day.

So all that power reaches the road most effectively, the cars also get three-way height-adjustable suspension, Roush TrakPak matte-black forged 19-inch Weld wheels and a set of Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires. A quartet of performance brake rotors and pads from PFC slow the car for cornering or to bring it to a stop.

The car’s exterior gets a carbon-fiber rear decklid spoiler, carbon-fiber front splitter, special paint on the hood and custom P-51 badging.

Inside, custom P-51 Amaretto Tuscany leather seats and door-trim panels are installed, as is a P-51 gauge logo, Roush Performance pedals, dash plaque and a red Roush shifter ball.

The package adds $42,000 to the price of the base Mustang GT. Cars are available through Roush-affiliated Ford dealerships.

Only 51 cars will be produced, and if you don’t get one of them, or if you need a larger vehicle, you might consider Roush’s new Nightmare version of the Ford F-150 pickup. Roush Performance says it comes with 600 horsepower, 557 pound-feet of torque and can sprint from standing to 60 mph in a mere 4.2 seconds.

Both the P-51 and Nightmare also come with 3-year/36,000-mile warranties.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at ledsall@cox.net.

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