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1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Going For Gold
Jim Bridgett's Rare Boss 302 Is No Trailer Queen
With a happy Boss owner and a well-running car, Jim put miles on the Mustang and smiles on his face. That June his fun with the Boss culminated in driving it up to the Carlisle Ford Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to display it in the Boss Nationals section of the show. Notice we said drive it. Crofton, Maryland, to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is a 250-mile round trip, give or take a few miles, plus additional mileage during the show weekend back and forth to the hotel, restaurants, and so on. That might not sound like much when you're in traffic for several hours a day in your daily driver, but we're talking about a '70 Boss 302-four-speed, stiff clutch, no air-conditioning, and all! We're sure Jim didn't have any trouble finding parking at the hotel since he didn't have to find space for a tow rig and trailer either!
Unfortunately, Jim's smile didn't last, as the original Boss 302 engine developed a problem the following year-May 2006 to be exact. The engine came out that fall and was sent to noted D.C.-area Mustang expert Richard Porter of Woodbridge, Virginia. There, Richard gave the Boss engine a new lease on life, starting with boring the service replacement block 0.030-inch over. Forged slugs hanging on the original Boss rods with full floating pins were used in the short-block build up, as well as the original Boss crank, now cut "10/10" to give the new bearings the perfect surface. A Crane Cams Boss 302 reproduction cam was added to finish off the short-block. The original heads, after being generously ported and polished, and given fresh valves, were bolted back down on the Boss block. Finally, the original intake was powdercoated, and the original Holley was set back on top to finish up the build along with some show-level detailing. Jim's car was back on the road in the spring of 2007, but the engine's rings never seated properly, and caused the engine to burn oil. Jim purchased a new Ford Racing Boss 302 block and had Richard transfer everything to the new block. With special-order pistons and rings, it's been screaming right along ever since, and Jim now takes the Boss out on a weekly basis.
Other than the engine mods during the rebuild, the Boss is fairly stock. Why mess with Shinoda's perfection right? All the right Boss stuff is there, including the close-ratio, Top Loader four-speed, Hurst shifter, competition suspension package, staggered rear shocks, factory rev-limiter, and more. The Boss also features many desirable options from the 1970 sales brochure, including the Shaker hood, 15x7 Magnum 500s, Sport Slats, front and rear spoilers, and the interior Décor Group.
Boss production for 1970 far outweighed the 1969 model year (see production figures in our sidebar), but nonetheless, the metallic paint options were certainly made in low numbers. Contrary to popular belief, the Boss (even the Boss 429) could be ordered in more than just the now famous Grabber color lineup. So if you see a gold SportsRoof while traveling the open highways of the Northeast, don't be so shocked if you spot the tell tale hockey-stripe Boss graphics on it; because this Boss is one that gets driven.