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Saturday, August 8, 2015

45 Years Later, This Mustang Boss 302 is Still the Boss


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

When the Ford Mustang first arrived on the scene, it was essentially the greatest thing since sliced bread. It drove well, sounded great, and looked even better, but soon it wasn’t the only player in the newfangled pony car arena. 
Chevrolet hit hard with its David-against-Goliath Camaro, and especially hard with the track-capable Z/28. So what was Ford to do as the decade wound to an end? Well, hit back.

The 1969 to 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 was one of those punches, and to this day it remains one of the greatest ‘Stangs ever built…Shelby cars included. This Boss 302 hails from 1970, and recently turned up on eBay. It’s hard to deny, there’s something truly special about these ponies.


That special feel is two-fold. First, the engine. The “Boss 302” moniker is a direct reference to the trick engine that Ford stuck underneath its hood, a 302 cu. in. V8, which mated a Windsor block with what would become Cleveland heads. The new Ford mill generated 290 horsepower, which conveniently matched the 302-equipped Camaro Z/28, and that was a good thing. The pair went on to trade blows in the epic Trans-Am racing series, and in 1970 Ford took the championship.

Secondly, the Boss 302 Mustang is simply a marvel to look at, and interestingly enough, it was styled by GM designer Larry Shinoda after he moved to Ford in 1968. Shinoda bestowed the Boss 302 with simple “c-stripes” (later replaced by “hockey stick” stripes, seen above), a painted hood, black window louvers, and a combative front splitter and rear spoiler. There are no fake side scoops to be seen here. If it wasn’t functional, it wasn’t included.


This Boss 302 with the optional 1970-only “shaker” hood scoop would appear to be a nicely restored example, as well. According to the owner, it spent its early years terrorizing western Canada’s drag strips and road courses—a fitting early life for a heady Boss 302.

Today, it sports a factory replacement block and five-speed Tremec over the original four-speed, but pumps out an unrelenting 376 horsepower to compensate.