It’s no secret that a high-performance Ford Mustang can get your blood pumping, but a recent special-edition car was designed to help countless hearts continue beating. A modified 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca was auctioned at a charity last weekend, with proceeds benefiting the Heart & Vascular Institute at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital.
The idea came from Ford designer Melvin Betancourt, who suffered an aortic dissection eleven years ago. After open-heart surgery at Henry Ford, Betancourt fully recovered. He decided to create a special, one-off Mustang for charity as a way of giving thanks to the doctors who saved his life.
“There are gifted people out there who have been given the ability to do what they do,” said Betancourt. “I’m here because of them.”
The Boss 302 Laguna Seca was modified at the Mustang assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan to resemble the race cars driven by Parnelli Jones in the 1970s. That year, Jones drove a yellow Mustang Boss 302 to victory in the Trans-Am Championship. The modern tribute car thus wears bright yellow paint with painted hockey-stick stripes, Jones’ name, and Jones’ race number, 15. To further underline the car’s racing pedigree, Parnelli Jones signed the one-off Mustang at the auction.