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Friday, August 14, 2015

Why This Boss 302 Ford Mustang is a Future Classic

BOLD RIDE

Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.
 
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For the most part, car companies chase mass appeal. This explains why Ford doesn’t make every Mustang as racy, knife-edged, and corner-taming as it could be. Far fewer people would buy a no-holds-barred racecar for the road that subsequently shatters their tailbone.
 
Nevertheless, Ford knows those track-hungry weekend racers exist, and from time to time, the Blue Oval likes to indulge them. The 2016 Shelby GT350R is the latest hardcore gift of the Mustang gods, but just a few years ago, Ford delivered another no-nonsense Mustang—the 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca.

In essence, it was a suspension, equipment and aerodynamic package for the already heady Boss 302, but this fine-tuning changed the limited-run Mustang from special edition into future classic.

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And it isn’t exactly a car you can miss. The Laguna Seca tacked on an aggressive appearance—big front splitter, sleek rear wing, and stunning 19-inch alloy wheels, all wrapped up in a grabby C-stripe color treatment. Visually, it evoked the original Boss 302 of 1969. In actuality, that front splitter is said to be a near direct match to the Laguna Seca’s totally not-street-legal brother, the Boss 302R racecar.

Underneath the skin, the Ford Mustang Laguna Seca bolsters that performance physique, backing up the Boss 302’s special 444 horsepower V8 with a six-speed close-ratio manual, and putting that power to a Torsen limited-slip rear differential. Higher rate springs, adjustable dampers, and a buffed-up rear stabilizer bar ensure that all tires stay firmly planted, while the duct-cooled 14-inch rotors help the Laguna Seca stop as hard as it goes.


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Contemporary road tests even lauded this 302’s ability to make you forget there’s a solid axle in the back. The Laguna Seca added special Recaro front seats but lost its rear seat in favor of a structural cross-brace, which is said to increase rigidity by 10 percent.

Ford went on to build 750 Black and Ingot Silver examples for 2012—black has aged much better than the silver—and in 2013 Ford produced 750 more in Black and School Bus Yellow.

Currently, you can find a number of these Mustangs prowling eBay and other classifieds—it’s a two-to-three year old car, it would be weird if you didn’t. But 25 to 30 years down the line, these limited-run racers will undoubtedly become harder to find.

Original and nicely presented Boss 302 Ford Mustangs from 1969 and 1970 currently trade for well over $100,000. Given the low production of these, perhaps someday they’ll demand the same.