Huw Evans
October 1, 2006
Photos By: Jerry Heasley

No doubt. As photographed, Warpaint was cranking about 460 ponies to the wheels. "We tuned it with 50 state emissions in mind - with 460 horses it was certifiable for all states including California. If we weren't as concerned about the regs, then we could easily tune it to deliver 500 plus horsepower to the tires. It's extremely tweakable." And Klok isn't kidding when he mentions that SPV has built some of the most powerful turnkey late-model 'Stangs around. "We take pride in what we do. On the '05 cars, with fuel system upgrades - including injectors and pumps and turbocharging - we've managed 750 horsepower on our level 3 cars and that's with a stock bottom end and no head work. These 3-valve motors are impressive." If that isn't enough, Shinoda has also built some truly wild machines. "Rex's Cobra comes to mind," chuckles Klok. "It's an '03 Cobra we built for Rex Glenn that now resides in New Mexico. It makes 1,172 horsepower at the tires and is street driven." What else can we say?

And getting back to Warpaint? "It's no longer mine. About a week after [these] photos were taken, it was sold to a private collector up in Connecticut. He just really liked the car and wanted it on the spot." And after seeing War-paint and talking to Jim Klok about the car, it isn't difficult to see why."

Larry Shinoda And The Original Boss
A sizeable number of Mustang enthusiasts are no doubt aware of the infamous Boss Mustangs from the muscle car era. They were Larry's babies. Shinoda, along with his boss Semon E. 'Bunkie' Knudsen, defected from General Motors to FoMoCo in the fall of 1968. Both men were car guys - Knudsen loved racing and Larry loved functional sportiness. As the '69 Mustang was just coming on stream when these guys arrived in the Glass House, a lot of the design work was locked up already - however Shinoda managed to turn what was going to be the SR-2 homologation Trans Am Racer into the Boss 302 and carve his own signature on the car. The rest, as they say is history. The Boss name came from what Larry used to refer to Knudsen as. In fact Larry also used to walk around with a 'Think Boss' pin on his jacket. The Boss 302 boasted a high-winding 302 engine with massive Cleveland heads and a 780 cfm Holley carb. It came with standard four-speed manual gearbox, handling suspension and massive (for the time) F70-15 Goodyear Polyglas tires. Larry designed a functional nose spoiler and rear deck wing for the car, along with a unique, eye catching stripe package. Rear window slats were another item. The regular Mustang's quarter scoops were smoothed over on the Boss 302 in the quest for improved aerodynamics (such a feature later became standard on all Mustang fastbacks for 1970.) Besides the Boss 302, under the direction of Knudsen and Shinoda, the Boss 429 also debuted for 1969. This was also a fastback, and the Boss 302 spoilers could be optioned for it, but the car did without the sporty graphics. Instead it got by on cubes with a monster 429 cubic inch motor dubbed the 'Blue Crescent' nestling under the hood. The engine was designed for NASCAR Torinos, but Knudsen thought it would be a great idea to stuff this engine into the smaller Mustang. In fact the engine was so big, that an outside contractor, Cars and Concepts, was hired to perform the custom engine bay mods to make the 429 fit. Both Boss Mustangs were built in small numbers for 1969-70 and became instant legends. A further Boss model, the lightning quick 351 debuted for '71 - a car in which Shinoda had far greater design influence, but again only a small number were built. By that stage the Blue Oval had pulled out of racing and both Knudsen and Shinoda were no longer working at Ford. Shortly after, the automotive industry began its plunge into darkness, which took a full decade to emerge from. Times were dark for a while, but the legend of those Boss cars was not forgotten and today the survivors are highly sought after.