Ford Motor Company classics and beloved World War II aircraft were on full display July 24, as the Lyon Air Museum honored vintage U.S.-built hardware at a special one-day exhibit inside their building and on the adjoining John Wayne Airport tarmac.
LCOC along with other local Ford, Mustang, Edsel and related club members’ vehicles received star billing and prime display spaces for the special event.
Perhaps the centerpiece of the entire exhibit was a gorgeous 1956 Mark II once belonging to actress Elizabeth Taylor and now beautifully preserved and owned by Bob Ratinoff. Put in context, the Mark II was brand new when the equally classic movie Giant starring a 24-year-old Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carrol Baker, Mercedes McCambridge and Sal Mineo was released in November 1956.
One can only imagine who among them enjoyed the vehicle with Liz back in the day. Oh, if only this car could talk!
Ford products from as far back as 1929 shared center stage with the museum’s stellar collection of WWII aircraft including a Boeing B-17, Douglas A-26 medium bomber, C-47 cargo plane and a DC-3 passenger transport in vintage American Airlines colors among others. The cars included a pair of GTs once owned by Dan Gurney in front of a DC-3, an authentic early Cobra, a 1934 Model 40 Deluxe Phaeton, 1929 Ford “woodie” wagon, 1929 Model A Town Car, pastel Mustang and Edsel convertibles, a 1941 Ford convertible a 1931 Ford station wagon, 2021 Bronco along with the B-17, North American SNJ trainer and A-26 in correct black livery suitable for its night bombing missions.
A North American-built B-25 Mitchell named after Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation, formed the backdrop for the vehicles displayed on the tarmac. These included Jim Ayres’ 1964 Continental convertible, a ’50s-vintage Ford Skyliner, Mustangs and Thunderbirds of many eras and other Ford collectibles. It was eye candy at its best!