Charity causes always bring out the big spenders at auctions. Usually the cars offered are one-offs, very rare, and very cool in their own right. Plus it can be written off on taxes as a donation to a charitable cause, even though you are getting a car out of it. The chance to own the first new 5.0 Mustang in almost 20 years is a helluva motivation too.

That could explain why, as Autoblog reported, that 2011 Mustang GT Daytona Pace Car sold for a whopping $330,000, making it one of the most expensive cars sold at this weekend’s Barrett-Jackson auction.

Picture: Ford

Just 50 special edition Daytona Pace Cars will be built by Ford for public purchase, and this represents the first Ford to pace the Daytona 500 in 40 years. In addition to getting Ford’s new 412 horsepower 5.0 liter V8 engine, the Daytona pace car comes with special badging, paint scheme, Ford Racing suspension, and an improved interior.

But in addition to winning the car, the high bidder got a bunch of other goodies that won’t go along with the other 49 pace cars. The winner also got a trip to the Daytona 500, VIP access to the Ford hospitality center, a tour of the pits, and a lap of the track with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, who was on hand with Mark Fields, Ford’s Executive VP. Plus bragging rights to the first 2011 5.0 and the heartfelt warmth of donating all of that money to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Quite the complete package.

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