Ford Mustang Boss
1969 was a special year because it was the year that Ford finally stepped it up performance wise. Ford had ambitions to compete so they introduced many big block engine options for the 1969 Mustang model. This required them, yet again, to increase the overall size of the Mustangs in order to get those monster engines to fit. Many stylistic changes were made to accommodate the new look and feel of the 1969 Mustang. These overhauls were widely successful, and to this day the 1969 and 1970 Mustang models are considered to be one of the best examples of what a muscle car was intended to be. The best special edition cars made in those years were the Boss 302 and Boss 429. The 302 was not in the standard sales brochure, and only 1,628 were built. The Boss 302 model was intended to convert a revised 302 engine into an eligible Trans-Am racing series vehicle. The Boss 429, quite literally, is the boss with the largest engine that Ford ever offered. Followed again in 1970 the Boss became the model everybody lusted for. In 1971 the Boss 351 replaced both the Boss 302 and Boss 429 from the previous two years as the performance mustang in 1971. It took until 2012 to see the Boss name again on a model and boy was it worth the wait. While the initial Boss cars were all about the engine, the 2012-2013 Boss cars showed that Ford knew how to build an amazing all around performer with the best handling ever seen on a Ford.
Boss Mustang Concepts
Built by Ford Motor Company’s Special Vehicles unit and its private Detroit-area skunkworks, Kar Kraft, this fascinating 1969 project was known internally as the LID Mustang. It was a a mid-engine configuration done on the cheap, using as many off-the-shelf components as possible. The other notable Boss concept car was the ’94 Boss Concept, the ultimate street machine, a monster that puts out 855 horses along with 790 lb/ft of torque.
Ford Mustang Boss 302 (1969 to 1970)
Ford's Boss 302 Mustang debuted in March of 1969. It's primary purpose was to allow the Mustang SportsRoof to compete in the Sport's Car Club of America's (SCCA) Trans-Am race series. The Boss 302 was only available in the SportsRoof model with the 290 horsepower, 302 engine. The heart of the Boss 302 Mustang was a specially equipped 302 cid engine that featured specially designed heads with canted valves and high-turbulence, wedge shaped combustion chambers. The exterior of the Mustang Boss 302 featured a front spoiler and flared fenders to accommodate the standard F60 tires which were mounted on 15" Magnum 500 wheels in 1969 and standard 15" steel wheels with flat hubcaps in 1970.
Ford Mustang Boss 429 (1969 to 1970)
The Boss 429 Mustang debuted in January of 1969. It was built primarily to allow Ford to campaign the special engine in the NASCAR racing circuit. The Mustang SportsRoof model was chosen to house this brutal engine. The Boss 429 engine was rated at over 370 horsepower. It featured aluminum heads, huge free-flowing intake and exhaust ports, a crescent shaped combustion chamber, and large over-sized valves. The standard 735 CFM Holley carburetor was mounted on a high rise intake manifold. To allow for the extended width of this new engine, the factory shock towers had to be moved out one inch on each side. The exterior of the Boss 429 Mustang featured a massive, manually operated, ram air hood scoop.
Boss 351 (1971)
The 1971 Boss 351 Mustang was the last of the true muscle cars of the era. It replaced both the Boss 302 and Boss 429 from the previous two years as the performance mustang in 1971. The Boss 351 Cleveland engine stocked 330 horsepower and featured a four-bolt man block, large port cylinder heads and valves, a solid lifter camshaft, an 11.7:1 compression ratio and aluminum valve covers. Also standard on the Boss 351 was Ram Air, 3.91:1 rear axle with Traction-Lok. It was based on the Mustang SportsRoof model and replaced both the Boss 302 and the Boss 429 models.
Boss 302 (2012 to 2013)
Ford revived the Boss 302 nameplate for 2012. The standard 2011 Ford Mustang GT's 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine was enhanced for the 302. Upgrades include a forged rotating assembly, CNC ported heads, revised camshafts and a high flow "runners in the box" intake taken from the 302R racecar. More importantly, Ford learned a lot from the 2011 racecar and serious upgrades were made to the Mustang GT's suspension, adding higher-rate coil springs, stiffer bushings, and a larger diameter rear stabilizer bar. The aero package was almost entirely copied from the Boss 302R race car. The overall result is probably the best overall performance Mustang ever. An amazing car.
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