Less than six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 16 North American Aviation B-25 “Mitchell” bombers led by Jimmy Doolittle launched an attack on the capital of Imperial Japan. Though the strike did minimal damage to Tokyo, it was a major propaganda victory for the U.S., sending a loud-and-clear message to Japanese leadership. We’re coming for you.
It’s the same message this half-finished hot rod, named “The Ruptured Duck” after one of the bombers from the Doolittle Raid, sent to the SEMA crowd last month. Though still far from complete, this bomber-inspired hot rod is sending the same message those fearless pilots sent nearly 75 years ago.
The building process uses a wooden body buck to shape the hand-formed aluminum bodywork, with a clear acrylic section at the front meant to mimic the Mitchell bomber’s distinctive bubble cockpit. The four-panel window also invokes the famous bomber, as do the unique wheels that are consistent with the look of the Mitchell’s landing gear.
The exterior may stay true to the look and feel of the old warplanes, but the drivetrain is decidedly modern and Mustang. A 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine, along with the independent rear suspension and six-speed transmission, will underpin The Ruptured Duck.
At 310 horsepower it won’t be the mightiest hot rod at SEMA 2017, but 50% of the proceeds from the eventual auction are destined for charity. That adds a feel-good element to a unique-yet-inspirational machine.