BOSS 302 Mustang
1969 – 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302
1969 was a good year for muscle car lovers, including fans of the Ford Mustang. There were the regular GT mustangs, Mach 1s, Cobras, Shelbys, and of course the Boss 429 and the Boss 302.
While the Boss 302 was not the highest performing Mustang made, it is one of the most replicated and sought-after due to its unique looks and good acceleration and handling.
The Boss 302 was created in 1969 by Ford to combat the new Camaro and Firebird from Chevrolet and Pontiac. The Mustang was outperformed by the Camaro, which was introduced in 1967, so a higher trim level with more power and handling had to be created to combat this new competitor.
Ironically, the construction of the 69-70 Mustang fastbacks was heavily influenced by the same team who designed the first generation Camaro, brought to Ford when Semon Knudsen of Pontiac became president of Ford Motor Company in 1968. The Boss name is due to the head designer giving Knudson the nickname of “Boss.” It sounded like a good name for the Mustang intended to overthrow the Camaro in the muscle car segment, so it stuck.
Boss Mustangs were intended for the consumer market, but they also had a higher goal: to compete in the Trans-Am racing series. The Boss duked it out with the Camaro Z28, Firebird Trans-Am, AMC Javelin, and various other racers with its underrated 290-horsepower 302 V8 with upgraded cylinder heads from the Cleveland 351 engine. Its suspension was modified for racing and the Boss 302 featured power front disc brakes to slow it down quickly for the corners.
The Boss 302 racing program was a success, with Bud Moore winning the championship in 1970, fielding two Boss 302s out on the track.
The Boss 302 is known not only for its performance, but also for its flashy and distinctive appearance. It features reflective”hockey stripes” down the sides of the doors and fenders, with “Boss 302” displayed proudly on the upper front fender area. It also featured front and rear spoilers in black, special wheels, rear window shades, and of course the “Shaker Hood” scoop, which moves and rumbles along with the modified 302 cubic inch V8 under the hood.
It was available in distinctive colors such as orange, red, blue, and green, as well as more subtle white and black options. There were 1,629 Boss 302 Mustangs produced in 1969, along with 7,013 in 1970. Its base price in 1970 was around $3,300.
Today, a genuine Boss 302 Mustang can be worth a pretty penny, especially the rarer 1969 model. A pair of restored Boss 302s sold in 2007 for a whopping $530,000! Many regular fastback Mustangs are modified to look like the Boss 302, and with good reason. Its unique looks and exciting history will make it an icon for years to come.