56-Year Return of the P-51D Air Race Legend
YouTube / czoom51
A Blast From The Past
Back in 1964, the Bardahl Special was flown by Bob Love, a Korean War Ace, and owner Chuck Lyford in the Transcontinental Racing of the first Reno National Air Races at Sky Ranch.
Fun Fact: Lyford purchased his P-51 at age 19!
During those days, the Bardahl Special flew with a highly-modified Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine that could put out an impressive 3,400 hp, far faster than any stock engine present in the competition. As a result, this modified P-51 could average 386 mph – with the next closest plane averaging around 341 mph.
The Bardahl Special would not be seen for the next 56 years after last racing in 1967 until its reentry in 2022 flown by Steve Coutches.
Nowadays, the aircraft features Lyford’s paint scheme from the ‘60s, an homage to the late pilot’s legendary status in the community.