Jim Smart
December 1, 2001
Photos By: Jeff Ford

When you ask Robert Cobb how long he's been interested Mustangs, he'll smile and tell you 35 years. Do the math and you'll know that 35 years leads us back to 1966 when the ponycar concept was in its infancy. Back then, no one had ever heard of a Camaro, much less a Firebird. AMC's Javelin and AMX were more than a year away. The Barracuda still looked and acted like a Valiant. The Mustang reigned supreme then, as now, in the ponycar marketplace. Robert is still smiling.

Five years ago, Robert acquired this Bright Yellow '70 Boss 302. When you've been interested in Mustangs for as long as Robert has, a Boss 302 purchase gives a guy a strong sense of accomplishment. Just imagine: Whenever he strolls to the garage and disrobes his car, it's a solid reminder of what the Mustang has always been: No. 1. In 1970 the Mustang was No. 1 in sales and in SCCA Trans-Am competition. Ford did it with the Boss 302 Mustang inspired by competition and by the late stylist Larry Shinoda's ability to pencil out exciting cars. The Boss 302 Mustang was on top at a time when society was rapidly changing; and things changed dramatically after 1970. The factory performance car as we knew it would fade away for more than a decade while Detroit, and technology, plowed through a sea of government mandates and issues.

Robert loves his Boss 302 for the same reasons most of us do: It reminds us of a different time in our history before life became so complex. What's more, it reminds us of the fun we had when we were young, that is, if you're an aging baby boomer with graying temples. The Boss 302 was a car that established career people-for the most part-owned. It took a lot of cash to buy one. At the time, all most of us could do was dream of ownership. Robert, who is 44, was in junior high school in 1970 and the Boss 302 Mustang was something he dreamed about.

Behold a dream achieved. Talk about pay dirt. This is a 38,000-original-mile Boss Oh-Two that had been sitting since 1975 when Robert found it. When he opened the hood, everything was there, including the Thermactor smog-pump system. All of the original cooling system hoses were there too. When he disassembled the numbers-matching Boss 302 engine, it had the original standard pistons and clean bores.

Robert tackled a full-scale restoration that took four years. He began with complete disassembly of the car, then hauled it to Performance Painting of Houston, Texas. As you can see, the paint job is impeccable. Aside from new carpet and a headliner, the interior is factory original.

Ed Hockaday receives a lot of credit for this restoration because he guided Robert and his son, Will, along the way. This led to a Gold in the Concours-Trailered division at the Mustang Club of America Grand National in Houston. And to think it was Robert's first-ever MCA National show. When you consider the caliber of MCA competition on a national level, it doesn't get any tougher.

So how does this Concours-Restored national champion stack up? Its canted-valve Boss 302 engine makes 290 advertised horsepower at 6,000 rpm. A Ford Top Loader four-speed channels those ponies to 3.50:1 conventional 9-inch, peg-leg cogs. Bright Yellow with striking black Boss stripes maintains our attention. We're convinced the slippery '69-'70 SportsRoof body is the best-looking Mustang fastback ever. A wide stance with stiff underpinnings makes this car a handler. Front disc brakes offer stopping performance on a par with the Boss 302 engine's ability to accelerate.

Are you beginning to understand a lifetime of Mustang passion? It begins and ends with a Concours-Restored Boss 302 Mustang Robert has waited a lifetime to own. A Gold in the Concours-Trailered division the first time out was just the icing on the cake. Call it a performance plan.