RTR Ford Mustang Spitfire flies wingman to the DB-H Spitfire restoration project

Recently revealed at the Zwartkops Airforce Museum is the first of 10 bespoke, RTR Spec 5, Ford Mustang Spitfire vehicles.

During World War 2, many South African Air Force pilots volunteered to fight alongside the allies in North Africa. One of the planes used were a Spitfire MkIX built in Castle Bromwich in May 1945 and received the designation #5518. The plane that was powered by a Merlin 70 powerplant was later put in storage and later sold to the SAAF in 1947 and was allocated to 1 Squadron at A.F.S Waterkloof. Capt. Bob Rogers. Robert Harry Doherty “Bob” Rogers joined the SA Air Force, commencing his flying training in January 1941. The captain whom first qualified as an air gunner was later assigned to 208 Squadron (RAF) in Egypt, where he flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Austria. After many brave battles in the sky, he was awarded a DSO and DFC and bar and later, Rogers was put in charge of his old squadron, 40 Squadron.

Spitfire #5518 suffered ill-fated engine failure during an airshow in 2000 causing the pilot to execute a forced landing. Although the pilot managed to survive the crash, #5518 or DB-H did not fare so well. Recently it was decided that the Spitfire needed to be restored as it is a last of its kind and holds great value to the brave pilots that flew during the Second World War. While multiple partners and the Friends of the South African Air Force Museum has stepped in to assist with the restoration, the people from Ford Motor Company SA, Ford Credit SA, RTR Vehicles, Performance Centre, Saturn Auto Body, Pirelli, Castrol Edge, Modular Technology Digital and The Airbrush Studio came together with an initiative to raise money for the project.

Together these companies will be building 10 unique RTR Spec 5 Mustangs which will be sold off and the proceeds donated to the project. Based on the 2020 Ford Mustang GT which comes fitted with a 5.0-litre V8 and a 10-speed automatic gearbox, the execution of the Spec 5 RTR widebody conversion takes place after Performance Centre added a Rousch TVS supercharger increasing performance to 520 kW and 820 Nm of torque. The 10 RTR licensed vehicles will also be fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels and RTR Tactical Performance suspension and brake systems. The vehicles will then be finished with a hand-painted colour scheme to replicate that found on the World War 2 plane selected by the customers.

Customers will have a choice of planes flown by Lieutenant Caesar Barrand B Hull, Squadron Leader Roger Joyce Bushell, Group Captain Petrus ‘Dutch’ Hugo, Charles James Laubscher, Rosamund Everard Steenkamp, Bailey James Richard Abe, Johannes Jacobus Le Roux, Malan Adolf Gysbert, Major Frost, Major Eric Cowley Saville, Albert Gerald Lewis and Andrew Christiaan Bosman.  To further confirm the rarety of each vehicle, a unique plaque made from an actual piece of material from the original aircraft selected will be fitted to the dashboard. For more information, you can visit


Related Articles

Back to top button