Jerry Heasley
February 14, 2018

“I got a call from a man in West Virginia. I don’t recall his name, but he wanted advice about buying a Boss 302 Mustang,” Rick Parker said. Parker and his wife, Jacquie, operate Signature Auto Classics in Gahanna, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus specializing in Ford performance cars of the 1960s and early 1970s. Parker gave the caller some buying tips and then left him with one caveat—if he did not buy the Boss 302, maybe he would give Rick second dibs on the car. That’s exactly what happened.

The Boss 302 proved to be too rough for the man in West Virginia, so he gave Rick the phone number of a man named Kenny in Pennsylvania. Kenny had the car at his house and was a neighbor friend of the two brothers that owned the Boss 302. “He did car repairs for them, if that makes sense. That’s kind of his connection. He’s a good fellow; good on cars. What a nice man, and we started talking cars.”

The 1969 Boss 429 was in good running condition when parked 32-33 years ago in this spot.
When Rick Parker first cast his eyes on the Boss 429, he could only see the top, which appeared to have been repainted gray. Dust from the fabrication shop had settled onto the body, but the sides remained cleaner because people walked by and brushed against the body.

In that conversation, Parker discovered the two brothers, Keith and Brian, also owned a Boss 429 that was stored down the street from Kenny’s house, in the back of their fabrication shop in the warehouse. “Kenny took me over to the warehouse, which is like 35,000 square feet, and asked if it was okay to take me back and show me the white Boss 429. It was sitting there with years and years of dirt and dust on it.”

On this visit, Rick Parker bought the project Boss 302. He didn’t even touch the Boss 429 because it wasn’t for sale. Still, it was impressive to see. “The hood was open. I remember seeing the air cleaner, the snorkel, the smog, the magnesium valve covers. I just thought, what a car!”

Rick wasn’t going to throw a battery in the car and crank on the 429. The team at Signature Auto Classics went through their “pre-startup routine” of pulling the distributor, going through the carburetor, pre-oiling the motor to push oil up to the rocker arms, pulling the valve covers to check the valve train, and removing the belts so nothing would spin. They even rebuilt the fuel pump, along with cleaning out the fuel system and installing fresh gasoline. Tuned with new points, the 429 smoked and coughed when first fired up, but smoothed out and ran great.
Instead of a restoration, Rick Parker looks at this 1969 Boss 429 as more of a “makeover.”

Parker kept his patience and did not pester the two brothers to sell, but he made sure to keep in contact and let them know he was very interested in their Boss 429. A year passed, then two, and finally one day Parker spotted a text on his cell phone. The brothers were “ready to do something.” Rick drove back to the shop for a hard look, to discover KK1470—a Boss 429 that was early enough to be an S-code, which was sweet news to Rick. He considers the S-code Boss 429 to be the most desirable of the 1969-1970 Boss 429s. “The first 279 were S-codes. They have magnesium valve covers. They have a bigger connecting rod, and then after Ford went through those first 279 cars they realized they didn’t need all that on a regular street motor.”

The more Parker inspected this ’69 Boss 429, the more impressed he was with the car’s originality. Somebody had repainted the body 30-35 years ago, but the car was absolutely rust free and complete. Most Boss 429 barn finds, Rick says, are “missing air cleaner, snorkel, carburetor, and distributor.” Not this one. Parker was so impressed he said it would be sad to restore this car. Back in Ohio at his shop, Rick said his biggest expense has been soap and water, because his plan is to “clean this car and enjoy it.”

The car’s condition proved commensurate with the odometer reading of 15,532.
The interior was in excellent original condition, just needing a thorough cleaning.
The Boss 429 had been stored in the back of the fabrication shop’s warehouse. Although dirty, the Mustang was rust free and complete.