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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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P-51 Mustang: 1970

P-51 Mustang: 1970

Taken at the annual Watsonville, California airshow in 1970, this is a privately-owned P-51 Mustang WWII fighter plane that I saw many times flying (low) over the San Francisco Bay Area. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Paint job

Thanks to bobstothfang for the photo of the current paint job on the P51. Thank heaven it was repainted. That maroon and gold did the impossible...made that plane ugly!


Yes, I remember the owner's name was George Perez and he flew it often over the bay area when I was a kid. Two memorable sightings stick with me. One was just as we parked on Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco across from the zoo c1970. I had just gotten out of the car when the "maroon and gold Mustang" raced over Ocean Beach at about 1,000 feet headed toward the Golden Gate. The other time was when I was home sick from school, also c70, and the Mustang raced past our big front window up in the east bay hills, again low and fast. My mother was setting my lunch tray down when the Mustang streaked past the house.

Here is the airplane today...

I searched the site "Mustangs-Mustangs" and ran through the alphabet for a suffix to the "N" number that is just barely showing on the right side. When I reached the letter "D" I struck pay dirt.

Its history shows that it was based in California from 1965 to 2003. The FAA registry shows that it is currently based in Vineburg CA and still registered to "Sonoma Valley Aircraft Sales"

It now sports a new paint scheme and "N" number of N51GP. Its original WWII s/n is 44-74483. It is a "D" model Mustang, the most common type

If you click on the seven thumbnails at the bottom of the page you can see other photos of it displaying the paint scheme shown in our Shorpy photo.

Here is the link...

There is a ton of interesting stuff on this website for both Mustang cars and Mustang airplanes...

Great shot of the Mustang

Certainly a non military paint scheme. Hope she's still around today.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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