Justin Cesler
December 16, 2013
Photos By: John Machaqueiro

Though this is technically a story about the gorgeous Wimbledon White '70 Boss 302 you see before you, it's also a story of long lost love, passion, and time. It's the story of a boy who wanted one thing, got another, traded it for something else, gave up on the whole thing as life got in the way, and eventually got it all back and restored it to what you see before you. Interestingly, it all begins with a '69 Mach 1 390, which Gary Freed fell in love with while looking for his very first car.

Gary's father wouldn't allow him to buy the '69, so he was forced to "settle" for a '70 Mach 1 with a 302 under the hood. Not a bad deal, really, but not exactly what Gary was after. As luck would have it, a trip to the body shop in 1979 brought Gary across a '70 Boss 302 that was for sale and he was able to convince his dad to co-sign a loan for the Boss, which was purchased for just $2,700.

"It was in good condition but the original motor was gone—it had a 289." But Gary didn't care; he was able to drive a '70 Boss 302 to the final week of his senior year in high school, and that was a dream come true for the lifelong Ford fanatic. After graduating high school, Gary was out to set the world on fire, only to find out that money is a little harder to come by when you're in the real world (sigh…) and the bank waits for no man.

"Because of my age and income, I could not afford to keep the car, so I sold it in 1981." But Gary is a smart man and he ended up selling the car and obtaining a '66 Mustang in trade. Now here is where it gets good. Gary took the '66 and sold it to his girlfriend's father who turned around and gave it to his daughter who then later married Gary, bringing the '66 back into the family.

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"We used the '66 as a daily driver until 1987, when we sold it and bought an '85 Mustang GT." Gary didn't end up doing anything crazy with the GT and it was eventually sold to buy a Bronco, which was more "child appropriate." And that was it for Gary until the year 2000, when he received word that a certain Wimbledon White '70 Boss Mustang was spotted for sale just one town over—it still had the 289 in it no less.

"My wife was ready to graduate from nursing school; I approached her with the news that the Boss was for sale and we took out a small loan and purchased the Boss." And just like that, Gary and Beth were back into the Mustang hobby, using the '70 as a weekend cruiser and show toy before Gary was ready to commit to a full restoration of the Boss.

"We drove it for five years as it was and then began the two-year rotisserie restoration with my fried Terry Gillis, who assisted in the planning and restoration." The two stripped the Boss down to its bare bones and began the lengthy restoration process with help from Ruggerio's Auto Body, which was tasked with the paint- and bodywork. A little repair here and there eventually turned into a complete overhaul, with Bob Ruggiero taking the survivor SportsRoof body down to the metal before hitting it with several coats or Wimbledon White PPG paint.

With the Boss body at the paint shop, Gary turned his attention to the drivetrain. He began the arduous task of assembling a new 302 for the '70 that would pay homage to the original engine, while producing a little more power in the process. Starting with a Boss 302 service block, Gary spec'd out a stout little forged engine package using Eagle connecting rods, Ross 11.1:1 forged pistons, and a steel Eagle crankshaft. Up top, Gary was lucky enough to source a set of N.O.S. Boss 302 heads matched to an OE factory Boss intake manifold, which really completed the factory look and feel that Bob was after. Of course, he didn't build a forged engine without sneaking a little camshaft in the mix and the hydraulic roller from Comp Cams gives the engine just enough thump to put a smile on Gary's face. The Automotive and Industrial Machining Company in Souderton, Pennsylvania, handled the machine work and assembly of the long-block, while Gary installed the finishing touches, including the Hooker headers, Magnaflow exhaust, and the 790-cfm Holley carburetor, among other key bolt-on parts.

The remainder of the drivetrain only needed to be refreshed, with Gary choosing to keep the factory four-speed manual transmission in place, which was mated to a 4.10-gear-equipped Ford 9-inch rearend stuffed with 31-spline axles and an Eaton limited-slip differential. Happy with the potential performance of the Boss and not wanting to ruin the perfect driveability of his pride and joy, Gary played it cool with the remainder of the suspension and drivetrain, only choosing to add a set of Vintage 48 wheels wrapped with 16-inch front and 17-inch rear Nitto tires.

Inside, Gary handled the interior detailing, adding only a set of Auto Meter gauges and a Grant steering wheel to the cockpit. The carpet is new, as are the high-back bucket seats, but it's just the way Gary and Beth like it, even after riding in it for the last 11 years.

"I did the interior work, wiring, and reassembling of the car in my garage. In 2008, the car was accepted into the 7th annual Muscle Car Madness Show at the York Reunion and Nostalgia Nationals. Otherwise, my wife and I enjoy showing the car mostly at local car shows and cruise nights." Driving it, showing it, and maintaining it are all that's left now, as Gary has no further plans to change anything on the Boss and, more importantly, has no intention of ever letting it leave his side again. Good things come to those who wait and the Freed's certainly put in their time to make this a classic Modified Mustang for the ages, even if it took ages to finish!

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The Details
Gary and Beth Freed's '70 Mustang Boss 302
Engine
302ci Windsor
3.00-inch stroke
4.00-inch bore
Boos 302 service block
Eagle forged 4340 crankshaft
Eagle forged 4340 connecting rods
Ross forged pistons
11.1:1 compression ratio
N.O.S. Boss 302 cast-iron cylinder heads
Manley 2.190-inch intake, 1.600-inch exhaust valves
Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft
Comp Cams 1.65:1 ratio roller rockers
Boss 302 intake manifold
Holley 790-cfm carburetor
MSD billet distributor
Exhaust
Hooker long-tube headers, 17⁄8-inch primaries
Magnaflow 21⁄2-inch exhaust
Transmission
Ford Top Loader four-speed manual
Zoom clutch assembly
Hurst Shifter
Rearend
Ford 9-inch
Eaton limited-slip differential
Richmond 4.10 gears
31-spline axles
Suspension
Front: Stock, KYB shocks
Rear: Stock, Cal-Trac bars, KYB shocks
Brakes
Front: Stock disc, 11.3-inch rotors, single-piston calipers
Rear: Stock drum, 10x2-inch drums
Wheels
Front: Vintage Wheel Works, Vintage 48, 16x8
Rear: Vintage Wheel Works, Vintage 48, 17x8
Tires
Front: Nitto NT555, P245/50ZR16
Rear: Nitto NT555, P275/50ZR17
Interior
Grant steering wheel, black carpet, high-back bucket seats, Auto Meter tachometer and 25⁄8-inch gauges
Exterior
Wimbledon White PPG paint, '70 Mach 1 rear splash pan, '70 Boss 302 stripes, fiberglass cowl hood
Additional Notes Special thanks to Tinny's Hot Rodz, Terry Gillis Automotive, Glazier-Nolan Mustang Barn, Beth Freed, Alex and Jenn Freed, and Kevin Freed