This aircraft was owned by Tony D'allesandris of Reno, NV until the mid to late 1970's. He had it converted to receive a modified Allison in addition to other racing "mods" shown in the photo. He had intended to enter it in the races, but that never materialized. It had been on the "back burner" for some time after its completion and was eventually sold to Rick Smith ( a building contractor) who owned/operated the aircraft from the late 70's through the mid to late 80's. It was based in El Monte, CA during Smith's ownership. It was eventually acquired by Bill Rheinschild and was raced by he and his wife Erin Rheinschild. This was the stock example that they had in addition to "Risky Business" (Race #45) until either the late 80's or early 90's. This Mustang was brought back to stock configuration shortly before it was sold to Rick Smith.
Martin (Swiss Mustangs)
Thank you William; with this information, I can say that it is P-51D-30-NA 45-11553; initially registered as N5414V (1957), then N713DW (1963) and used as racer (#6 and #15), then N22DC, N51T and N51TZ (during the 70's), then rebuilt as N5415V (#2) in 2.84 (used parts of 45-11571 for rebuild), then N38JC after another rebuild and today flies as 'Shangi-La', N51VF, in the colours of the 4th FG's ace Don Gentile and is owned by Charles Osborne from New York.
I took a photo of this aircraft in about 1957 or so while it was at the Oxnard Airport (CA), undergoing some sort of restoration. Stenciling just under the canopy had been removed but was still readable. I recall reading "Col. Dean Hess" and some reference to the movie "Battle Hymn" which led me to believe that it may have been used in the movie's production. I am willing to forward the photo on to anyone interested (no charge).
The info on this plane is incorrect. Tony D returned the plane to stock after removing the Allison engine. The confusion came when he transferred the N numbers from his other Mustang because he liked the N number his other aircraft. The plane in the photo as case closed is actually the Mustang he traded the N Number with and then sold to Rick Smith/Bill Rhineschild. Funny how things can be confused.
Confusing is correct! I've been looking at both Tony D's P-51s for a few weeks now, examining the FAA records and old photos. According to the FAA paperwork, the Allison was installed on 45-11571 (when it was N4515V) in 1972 and then returned to Rolls Royce in 1974. 45-11553 had a one-piece windscreen installed 1972, 45-11571 in 1977 (still on today). 45-11553 was returned to stock windscreen probably late 77 before being sold to Richard Smith. This case has been changed! Thank you Matt.