The Mustang 289 and the 390 were not as competitive as Ford would like, by ’68 along-side the models biggest rival; Chevrolet Co. and its Camaro. The Ford Motor Company raises the bar a few notches with two new “Boss” V8 power plants-a 429 cobra jet and the 302. The engines are introduced in the middle of the 1968 model year in a successful effort to improve the Mustangs results on the track and its image to prospective owners. The 429 cobra jet would leave the Chevy big blocks in its dust, while the Boss 302 engine option for the Mustang, in 1969/70 meets all the criteria required to compete in the Trans-Am series for those years, as well, it is formidable competition for the Chevy small block series.
Semon (Bunkie) Knudson is the new President of Ford, he was formerly with G.M. and he brought designer Larry Shinoda with him. Larry is the man responsible for the ‘69/70 Mustang which was an undercover project. When asked by fellow employees what he was working on Larry would reply the “boss’s car”. When he referred to his project he would call it the “boss” and this moniker stuck. The 302 is a combination of the Cleveland engine heads and the tunnel port Windsor block. The redesigned body lacks the non-functional rear fender scoops of earlier Mustangs and now features a front spoiler and a wing on the rear deck. Another added touch is the reflective “C” stripe while a blacked-out hood and a black louvered rear window shade are both options.
The 1970 Mustang has some minor revisions with the “hockey stick” stripes on top of the hood, the four headlights are replaced by a two light configuration mounted inside the grill which now has a vent on each side of it. The engine has smaller intake valves topped with chrome valve covers rather than the aluminium ones. Standard fare in the ’70 Mustang is the Hurst shifter, redesigned dual exhaust, riding on a finer tuned competition suspension. Front disk brakes, heavy duty spindles, thicker sway bars, beefed up shock towers are standard on the Boss 302, with the car riding a little closer to the ground for the 1970 model. The 302’s free breathing Cleveland style heads have solid lifters to motivate the large valves. This “G code” engine can be bolted to a four speed transmission which according to Ford specs will deliver 290 hp (216 kW) but this is an under rated figure with modern dyno tests showing up to and in excess of 380 hp (283 kW). The Boss 302 can do 0-60 in 6.9 seconds and the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds achieving 98 mph (158 km/h) in the process. The Ford Mustang with a standard interior carried a suggested sticker price of $3,720.00 with 7,013 units sold in 1970. The deluxe interior could have been optioned which would have upped the above price should it have been chosen. Two fully restored Boss Mustangs sold in 2007 for $530,000 U.S. for the pair however many clones are around which are created from a regular fastback unit.
The option most coveted by collectors of the Mustang is the “drag Pack” and was most often included if you chose the 4.30:1 rear axle gear ratio. This very rare package can be recognized by the vertically mounted oil cooler sitting in front of the radiator when you open the hood.
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