Jerry Heasley
May 9, 2017

Christine and Brad Muthig live in Dale, Wisconsin, where she’s a millworker on the third shift, and he’s retired. During the summer, they enjoy taking their two classic Mustangs to shows. Christine has a 1969 convertible and Brad has a 1970 Mach 1. The antiques advertised in a garage-type sale had attracted them to a rural setting. “It featured anything from cast-iron toys to pottery,” Christine says. However, Brad happened to spot the rear end of a 1969 Camaro through the open barn door. “That piqued his interest,” she says. “Then he just happened to look off to the other side of the barn and spotted a yellow 1970 Mustang fastback.”

Brad asked the property owners if he could go in and look at the cars. They were hesitant, standoffish. But, they gave Brad and Christine permission to look at the pair of old cars in the barn. The Camaro was an SS, but they weren’t interested in that one. They were interested in the fastback. “There were no stripes on the Mustang, nothing. It had all been repainted yellow,” Christine says.

What did stand out was a shaker hood scoop poking out of a white hood. What could this be? As Mustang aficionados, Christine and Brad knew to check the VIN for the fifth digit, which is the engine code. And there, plain as day—a G—which stands for a 302 Boss engine. “I actually crawled up on the engine to see if I could find the VIN stamped into the block, which I did,” Christine says. “I told him, ‘Honey, this is numbers-matching.’ And he was just kind of shell-shocked. I took my cellphone and snapped a picture of the block to show him.”

The odometer showed just 53,664 miles.

Every Boss 302 came with a G-code, and every G-code in a Mustang means the car is a Boss 302. No other Mustang came with a G-code, period. Therefore, the G meant this Mustang—stripe-less as it was—had to be a Boss 302.

The lady was actually standing in the barn when Christine and Brad made this discovery, yet the two made no attempt to hide their discovery. The couple learned her son had owned the cars, but he had died a long time ago. The Boss 302 had been dormant in this barn since 1975, which explained the mice droppings and nests in the headliner. “The owners weren’t quite sure what they wanted to do with it, whether they wanted to hold on to the car because of their son. We’re not really sure what was going through their heads at the time, but we were discussing the possibility of selling it. ‘Well, yeah, we can sell it,’ they said. “They came up with a figure of $20,000, and we did not even hesitate,” Christine says. “Okay, $20,000, we’re going to buy it. And they just looked at us in shock, wondering why are you willing to pay that much for this car?”

The shaker is original on the matching-numbers Boss 302 engine.

For 20 grand, Christine and Brad got a whole 1970 Boss 302. Minus the factory rev limiter and space-saver spare tire that are both standard on every Boss 302. The floor pans were rusty and had to be replaced, and rusted out spots in the trunk required a little metal work. They spotted rust around the bottom of the doors, which they figured out later was merely surface rust. One big worry was the state of the block. Christine and Brad believed they might have overpaid if the block was bad because they wanted a numbers-matching car. “We had it magnafluxed,” Christine says. “Everything checked out beautifully. It did have three bent pushrods, possibly from over revving. We did go back with hydraulic lifters to be a little more street friendly.”

Instead of a restoration, Christine says they performed a preservation. Whatever parts came off the car got cleaned up, polished, fixed, refurbished, and put back on. They found a set of Boss 302 stripes in a box inside the car. They guessed the body had been painted but the Boss 302 graphics had not yet been put back on. Christine and Brad completed that task, even though the stripes were somewhat old and spent. With the Boss 302 preservation completed, the Muthig’s plan to show this car, along with their other two classic Mustangs. Christine says. “We just have to find another person to drive the third car to the shows.”

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