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Greg Scalf's 1970 Boss 302 Mustang
With Its Solid Lifters, Throaty Exhaust Report, Great Handling, And Good Looks, The Boss 302 Remains The SCCA Trans-Am-Inspired Street Champ
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People are inspired by both the '01 Mustang GT and the '01 Cobra. They're the ultimate evolution of the car that created a market called ponycar approximately four decades ago. The '65 Mustang excited the masses because it was a styling exercise that made it to the showroom floor. Ford planned to build 100,000 units that first year; however, it wound up enlisting two more assembly plants and building more than 500,000 units in the first 18 months. You get the idea. Excitement, youth movement, great fun, doing the twist all over, hot fun in the '60s--all in a solid, American classic called Mustang. Ford not only created a car line in 1964, but it also bore a lifestyle and a fraternity that has been going strong for 37 years. "So what do you drive?" "I drive a Mustang..." "Yeah..." We're cool. And certainly we're bad.
This leads us to the '70 Boss 302 Mustang, the '01 Cobra's counterpart from 30 years ago. The Boss 302 Mustang was produced to meet homologation requirements mandated by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in order for Ford to compete in Trans-Am competition. Ford had to produce at least 500 street versions of what it would compete with in SCCA Trans-Am competition. Think of the Boss 302 as you would the '01 Mustang Cobra, only without the homologation requirements. In 2001 the Cobra is the ultimate factory Mustang option. In 1970 the Boss 302 and big brother Boss 429 Mustangs were ultimate factory Mustang options. Like the Cobra, they were quite exotic for their time.
What made the Boss 302 exotic was its canted valve, big port, and high-revving Boss 302 engine. High revving because you need torque on the high end at the racetrack to stay ahead of the pack. And you need an aggressive mechanical lifter camshaft to excite those extra large 2.19/1.70-inch valves fed from a cast-aluminum high rise and a 780-cfm Holley carburetor.
Performance? Well, yeah.
Spin the crankshaft to 6,000 rpm with this puppy and you're going for the ride of your life. The Boss 302 makes 290 hp at 6,000 rpm through a close-ratio Ford Top Loader four-speed and superlow rear-end gears. That's screaming like a bratty kid being hauled empty-handed from a candy store. It's like being kicked in the behind by your ol' man for being two hours late for dinner.
The Boss 302 was never late for anything, especially the finish line. In 1969-70 this engine and the Mustang ride it was born for clobbered the Camaros, the Firebirds, the AMXs, and the Barracudas in SCCA competition--keeping Ford's reputation for winning safe until the end of factory-backed racing in 1971.
Greg Scalf's winning '70 Boss 302 carries the Mustang's legacy proudly with its glistening Medium Metallic Blue finish; matte black Boss 302 graphics; Magnum 500s; and soft, throaty roar. Best we can figure, the Boss 302 is the best balance of low-to-the-ground fastback styling, great handling, and brute power when it's time to crack the throttle. Greg understood what the Boss 302 was about when he went shopping for this Mustang. Just imagine his excitement upon finding it in Hemmings Motor News with just 45,000 original miles on the dial, original paint, and matching numbers. All it needed was the 780-cfm Holley and a factory dual exhaust system.
Greg and close buddy Ray Bryan tackled this restoration with a lot of enthusiasm and it shows. Let the Mustang Club of America (MCA) judges speak for themselves with a 35th Anniversary Gold in 1999 and Bronze Thoroughbreds in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Augusta, Georgia, since. The greatest moment in the Houston, Texas, heat and humidity was a Gold Concours at the MCA Grand National in 1999. Please understand, this is taking on the best in the nation--and winning!
Greg's Mustang roots go back to 1979-'80 when he was in high school and driving a '70 Mach 1. Once it gets in your blood, it becomes a lifestyle and fellow enthusiasts become family. Greg has become acquainted with people in the hobby who have become great friends. He speaks highly of Ed Meyer and Dave Riley, his father and younger brother, who showed him the way and helped him achieve great success.
When you study the craftsmanship and attention to detail, it's easy to understand why Greg reached the top so quickly. It's a Mustang experience that just plum blows right past us.