I was hired by Ford Motor Company in 1976 and assigned to the St. Louis District Lincoln-Mercury Division as a trainee. Today, I have 36 years with Ford.
While living there during the energy crisis that started in 1979, I was that convinced muscle cars were gone forever.
Very early on a Sunday morning in 1982, I found a classified ad for a "1970 Mustang with the Boss 302 option, $3800" in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. I immediately picked up the phone, jumped in my car, and spent close to three hours inspecting a rare Mustang in need of restoration. After trying not to show a lot of interest, I negotiated a discount and bought the Boss. I brought it home with the Cherry Bomb mufflers at full song. My next door neighbor later told me that he thought heard a dump truck in the area.
Growing up in a Ford family, I wanted to buy a car from the ‘Total Performance’ or ‘Going Thing’ eras of Ford. There were plenty of fast Fords to choose from, but there was one always etched in my mind….the Boss 302. I had wanted one since my father (who worked for Ford in marketing and sales for 43 years) brought one home in 1970 when I was a senior in high school. It was a Ford Division marketing vehicle…Calypso Coral with a white interior. It was a stunner. It was the first car I ever drove with a stick (the standard Hurst 4-speed). The clutch and I had some loooong days. Ironically, that beautiful Boss was totaled several weeks later when car ran a light and hit the right side hard. Fortunately, the Ford employee driving it escaped with minor injuries.
There's nothing like the sound of the high revving, solid lifter Boss engine. It's one of those engines that you can identify with your eyes closed. In my opinion, the 1969 and 1970 Mustang sportsroofs are some of the best-looking Mustangs ever. When you add the Boss graphics, the front and rear spoilers and the rear window sport slats, few cars surpass it.
The Boss was built in Dearborn and is numbers matching – original engine and transmission with a 3.91 Traction-Lok differential. It was restored in 1983. The sun visors are signed by 1970 Ford Trans-Am Championship drivers Parnelli Jones and George Follmer. It is one of only 460 Boss 302’s produced with Medium Blue Metallic paint (6.5% of all Bosses). 7,013 Boss 302s were built in 1970.
This Boss was used by Ford in the Design Center during the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 program approval meeting with Jim Farley in June of 2008. It was also driven on stage 4 consecutive days during Jim Farley's speeches at the National Ford Dealer Introduction shows during May of 2010 (a not so simple hint of things to come).
It was used again in a Boss 302 static display in the Product Development Center at the Dearborn Proving Grounds during the 2011 Ford Dealer Shows.
Although the Boss has been a part of many car shows, cruises and conventions in the Eastern half of the US over the 30 years that I have owned it, my favorite is the Woodward Dream Cruise. The Boss has participated in all 17 and will be there again this year. For me, the Woodward Dream Cruise is seven days long. For years, I have taken the prior week as vacation and cruised every night. My personal record is 340 miles driven in a single week and I wonder if I might hold some kind of record for Michigan U-turns completed on Woodward.
Although Woodward will always be my favorite, the 2011 Boss Reunion in Dearborn is right there too. I worked with Randy Ream of the Boss 302 Registry, Ford Marketing and Mike Rey of the Mustang Owners Club of Southeastern Michigan for 9 months to organize the 3 day event. We had a 141 Bosses attend - the second largest gathering ever.