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Nicest and Most Original 1969 Boss 429 Mustang on the Planet
Formula for a Purist: Not a requiem for a heavyweight
Hoards of car lovers insist that a person cannot enjoy a car unless that car is driven. Driving, they say, is the fun, period. No driving equals no fun. How can a person enjoy a car that is parked forever? To these masses, Richard Boeye’s statement, “This Boss will never be started or driven on the street. It will be maintained as a museum piece” must sound like sacrilege, the opposite of what a great American automobile was intended to be used for.
The odometer does show 49,000 miles, so this big-block SportsRoof with the NASCAR-derived 429 “Hemi” V-8 was driven and no doubt power-shifted, but well maintained for almost its entire life. A Boss 429 engine improperly maintained suffers, driven or not driven. But times change, and this car’s intended purpose has changed from those glory days of the 1960s.
Boeye pursued his appreciation of cars by purchasing a 1964 Plymouth Savoy “Race Hemi” and a 1969 Mustang Boss 429. He also mentioned a 1939 Chevrolet coupe powered by a Corvette V-8 that he drove after serving in the Army. Boeye and his friend Greg Lane of Denver spent years bringing the rare 1964 Savoy with a factory aluminum frontend back to the standards of originality. The 1964, Boeye says with a jaundiced twist of his tongue, “needed a lot of repair.” Repair in this instance is a euphemism for finding a date code-correct replacement engine and other N.O.S. parts, plus a specialty restoration to the car’s ultrarare factory build.
Boeye’s 1969 Boss 429 Mustang would set him on a path to gain what he really wanted in a car restoration. But first he had to buy the wrong Boss 429 that was supposedly “one of the best in the country,” but it turned out to not have the original engine and was missing a bunch of N.O.S. parts. Boeye realized that well-known Mustang expert and restorer Bob Perkins was the specialist he needed to restore his car to the original standards he wanted, since Perkins had the parts and the expertise. Boeye had him come to Denver and put the car on a lift, then Perkins began taking notes on a yellow legal pad.
That ended with Boeye sending the Boss with Perkins, to “restore it to the level he could accomplish.” But Boeye still wasn’t satisfied, because the car he started with did not have its original drivetrain so it could never qualify for Thoroughbred status—trailered concours was as high as it could go.
Restorers are not miracle workers. If the car doesn’t have the right drivetrain, it will lose points in a judging event, so if he wanted a real Thoroughbred car Boeye had to start over with a better car. Boeye realized that he was a purist, and as such he wanted a Thoroughbred class restoration to win an Authenticity award. That’s the path he took. Boeye made a trade of his restored (but not original) Boss, plus some cash, for a car that was already partially restored at Perkins’ shop; the owner of that car wanting to recoup as much of his investment as possible. To help the trade happen, Perkins told Boeye that this Boss 429 could go all the way in the Thoroughbred class.
Perkins completed the restoration on Boeye’s latest Boss 429. At the 2015 Mustang Grand Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, Boeye realized victory when the car won MCA’s prestigious Authenticity award in the Thoroughbred class. Cars must score 98 percent of 700 points using original parts—battery, tires, exhaust, and so on.
Boeye’s 1969 Boss 429 also turned out to be the first car the MCA has ever judged on a lift and is the third Boss 429 to win Authenticity in Thoroughbred. The other two Mustangs, Rick Campbell’s 1970 and Dave Steine’s 1969, did not have the benefit of a lift to judge the undercarriage. Richard Boeye’s goal of owning a Thoroughbred-class Boss 429 might sound like a requiem for a heavyweight, but instead it’s a formula for a purist.