K.J. Jones
March 1, 2007
Photos By: E. John Thawley III

Horse Sense: Our pals at Galpin Auto Sports scored us a photo session with the '07 Boss 302, with barely two hours of time-and daylight-to spare before the 'Stang had to be loaded up and transported to Las Vegas for the SEMA show. Yes, "being connected" does have its advantages. Many thanks are in order for Steve Carpenter, our go-to guy at GAS, for granting us exclusive access to the car, despite the project's eleventh-hour urgency. Read on and enjoy!

It's been nearly 38 years since Ford introduced the '70 Boss 302 Mustang and fired a salvo, scoring a direct hit on one of Brand X's most popular offerings of the time, the '69 Camaro Z/28. You see, back in the late '60s and early '70s, showdowns between the ponycars of the Big Three automakers didn't only happen on the dragstrip. The feuds were just as intense on the road courses of Trans-Am racing, where it wasn't uncommon to find 'Stangs, Camaros, and 'Cudas duking it out for win-on-Sunday, sell-on-Monday supremacy.

Although the Camaro held a lock on Trans-Am championships during 1969, 1970 marked the end of the Bow Tie era in the popular SCCA series. Parnelli Jones, driving Ford's refined world-beater, the Boss 302 Mustang, captured the title convincingly that year with five victories and several high finishes.

Today, the street version of the '70 Boss 302 'Stang is somewhat of a holy grail. The car, featuring Larry Shinoda's no-nonsense graphics package-a layout of black stripes across the hood, fenders, lower doors, lower rear quarter-panels, and the Boss 302 name in black vinyl-was, for all intents and purposes, a street-legal race car. It featured road-hugging handling, a four-speed Top Loader transmission, and the fabled Boss 302 engine-a super-stout short-block that was topped off with a pair of big-port, canted-valve cylinder heads from Ford's 351 Cleveland engine.

Ironically, Ford had to downplay this high-revving engine's true might-approximately 350 flywheel horsepower-and list its power output as 290 ponies. High insurance rates imposed on 300-plus-horsepower musclecars prompted this white lie back in the day. It's interesting to see how that dark period has transformed to light, and how Ford now proudly boasts about the horsepower and perfor-mance of the engines powering modern-day 'Stangs.

One of the new-era 'Stangs Ford proudly boasts about is this '07 Boss 302 Mustang, which debuted at the '06 SEMA show in Las Vegas. In our opinion, this Boss, built by Christopher Whitney, the shop foreman at Galpin Auto Sports (www.galpinautosports.com) in Van Nuys, California, is one of the most radical and coolest variants of S197's retro-mod theme we've seen thus far, as it seamlessly encompasses both the old-school Boss 302 flavor and new-age Mustang technology.

In a mere 30 days, Galpin Auto Sports' shop foreman Chris Whitney resurrected a legend with what we think is one of the finest unions of old and new we've seen in a long time. It's scary to think what kind of monster this would be if Chris had a year to build it.

You might be wondering how in the world a car such as this came to be. It all started with Beau Boeckman, president of Galpin Motors' new, state-of-the-art, car-customizing facility. The facility is known as "GAS" throughout Southern California and beyond, thanks to hip-hop artist Xzibit, host of the MTV program Pimp My Ride. The show is filmed in the rear shop at GAS. Beau contacted Ford about producing a car for SEMA as a way of showcasing the company's products and services being offered to the dealerships' new Mustang buyers and other enthusiasts.

"Originally, they had planned on modifying a Shelby GT 500," says Ford Racing's Jesse Kershaw. "But since we were already showing three different Shelbys in red, white, and blue at the show, adding another did not make much sense. We elected instead to tie Galpin's car in with our theme of American Muscle by having them create a retro-mod 'Stang that has all of S197's amenities and safety features-and the distinctive growl of classic musclecar horsepower."