Jeff Ford
May 1, 2000

Destiny is defined as a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency. Charles Jones of Houston, Texas, may or may not believe in destiny, but in the case of his Boss 302, we do.

"The car has a very unusual history-almost unbelievable," said Charlie. "The car is originally from Houston, and has had two previous owners. In 1969 I was 10 years old and served as a crossing guard at my elementary school. I remember a mean-sounding yellow Mustang with rear louvers passing through my intersection periodically. I also remember really liking the car. After purchasing the car, I learned that the original owner lived in this neighborhood in 1969, and drove through that intersection on his way to the office every morning."

Of course, lots of years and owner mods got in between Charlie and the Boss. From what we found out about the car, it would be interesting to be able to go back in time and watch the slow degradation of the Boss bad boy from a Ford top gun to the state in which Charlie found it in 1992. What he got for his bucks was a well-seasoned veteran that probably had seen its fair share of the Houston street-race scene. Of course, street racing does not account for the two bullet holes in the rear quarter. Hmmm.

The car was basically complete, though it was graced with a zoomy aftermarket chrome oil pan, braided hoses, headers, and a Hurst shifter. Gone were all the things that make a concours Boss, but that didn't bother a go-getter such as Charlie.

"I had to locate all the stuff hot-rodders tossed, such as the air cleaner, the snorkel, exhaust manifolds, and the smog," said Charlie. "The good news was that the most important aspects were intact. The car has its matching numbers block and heads. Several months after the purchase, I realized that the car did not have its rev limiter. I contacted the second owner and asked him about it. He said that he'd keep his eyes open for it. Several days later, he called and said that he had found it on the dirt floor of the barn the car had been stored in."

Of course, the fun didn't stop there. It seems that when he was unloading the Boss at home, the car got a bit spirited and made a run for it. Before Charlie could get the Mustang reined in, it hit the house, causing damage to both the Mustang and the Jones abode. Charlie, at this point in the story, let us know he was a Mustanger through and through. "My wife, Cheryl, came running outside when she felt the house shake," said Charlie. "She wanted to know what happened to the house. I was worried about the car." Welcome to the fraternal order of Mustangers, Charlie.

After a new crossmember and a radiator core support were installed (they had been damaged due to an accident at some point in the car's life), Charlie set about making the car his-with an eye toward sneaky concours. The Grabber Yellow paint was refreshed by Charlie, as was the standard black interior. The smog was placed back on the car, along with the original Ford sloppy-stick, four-speed shifter. After these things were just so, Charlie dug into the sneaky stuff, and from there, things got interesting. The engine was overhauled as one might expect, but Charlie decided to have the engine blueprinted and balanced, and a hotter Lunati cam installed. The valves are also nonfactory swirl-polished stainless steel. Compression was wisely left at the factory rating, making it just a bit easier to fuel up the Boss beast. Out back, the original 3.50 gears gave way to 4.10, and the close-ratio four-speed was booted out for a wide-ratio unit with its steeper first gear.

After eight years, Charlie's destiny was finally fulfilled. The car that had wowed him as a kid was now his.