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Built in 1944 shortly before the end of WWII, this beautiful P-51 Mustang fighter never left the US before the end of the war.  It was transferred as part of a block of surplus fighters to Sea Island (Vancouver) Canada in 1950 where it served in the RCAF until 1958.  The airplane was converted from a military fighter to an “Executive (Cavalier) Mustang,” by Trans-Florida Aviation in Florida in 1960. 

 Al Paulson purchased the airplane in 1964 for his friend Clay Lacy to race in the inaugural Reno Air Races.  Al painted the Mustang in purple colors after he was accidentally shipped 1500 gallons of custom purple paint by mistake.  Clay campaigned the airplane at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, NV from 1964 to 1972, winning the National Championship in 1970.  

 Clay purchased the airplane in 1967 from Al and flew in many air races across the US with it.  The great Bob Hoover once flew this airplane in an airshow when his own Mustang was inoperative.  This famous Mustang has  starred in an episode of Magnum PI, "Two Birds of a Feather," and is one of three vintage air racers featured in the children's Revell game "Air Racers!”.

 After having owned the airplane for 55 years, Clay sold his beloved Mustang to his friend Vicky Benzing in 2019.  Vicky flew it to Reno that same year to be exhibited as a static display.  After the air races, she flew it down to Chino, CA for restoration under the careful guidance of Steve Hinton Jr and his team at Fighter Rebuilders.  Repainted in its original purple racing livery and with a freshly overhauled engine, Vicky campaigned it to a 4th-place finish in the Unlimited Class at the final National Championship Air Race in Reno, NV last September.

 A favorite among youngsters in the early years when Clay was flying the airplane, Vicky plans to again share this iconic purple air racer with airshow fans across the country.