Jeff Ford
November 1, 2002

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P177510_large Ford_Mustang_Boss_429 Overhead_Front_Drivers_Side_ViewP177511_large Ford_Mustang_Boss_429 Engine_Bay_View
The Boss 429 has the greatest wow power on cruise nights.
P177512_large Ford_Mustang_Boss_351 Engine_Bay_View
The last of the Boss bad boys. The Boss 351 is a mid-block terror that can still hold its own.
P177513_large Ford_Mustang_Boss_302 Engine_Bay_View
The Boss 302 can leave a smile on the lips of those who hear you pass by.

The Boss cars have always held a place of awe and respect. We have grown to love that solid lifter sound from the Boss 351 and the Boss 302, as well as the mighty power that the Boss 429 can deliver under the right massaging. If there is one car that can turn heads while idling down the show field, it is the Boss--any Boss.

Many hold the Boss cars in the same light as the Shelbys, even though the Boss prices have not reached the nosebleed level of the cars fathered by Carroll himself. Still, the Boss era is kind of remarkable. Here was a car that was bare bones, made no attempt at creature comforts outside of the deluxe interior, and was only available with a four-speed. Even Shelby never did that after the first year. So the Boss is something special, something rare in Ford.

We'll examine the options that were specific as well as the basics. We dole out stats and figures to make even the baseball fans smile. We also muse over some items to make you go, hmmm--we hope.

The Boss cars came with a nice list of performance standard features. The Boss '9 gave you all these and a plush interior. One has to wonder if Ford did this because they felt guilty about the whopping $4,937 price tag.

Boss 302 1969

  • Horsepower: 290 bhp at 5,800 rpm
  • Torque: 290 lb-ft at 4,300 rpm
  • Suspension: Competition type with heavy-duty front coil and rear leaf springs. Heavy-duty rear Gabriel shocks are staggered to prevent wheel hop. A .85 front sway bar. Power-assisted front-disc and rear-drum brakes.
  • Engine: 302 cubic inch small-block V-8 with 4-inch bore with 3-inch stroke. Special "Cleveland" cylinder heads with 2.23-inch intake and 1.71-inch exhaust valves. Special mechanical high-lift cam. Block has screw-in freeze plugs and four-bolt main bearing caps. Forged steel crankshaft statically and dynamically balanced. Special aluminum intake with Holley 780 cfm carb. Dual point distributor.
  • Exhaust: Special cast-iron manifolds feeding into a transverse muffler system.
  • Trans/code: Four-speed (Wide ratio) code 5; four-speed (Close ratio) code 6
  • Axle/code: 3.50:1 (open) A code; 3.50:1 (Traction Lok) S code; 3.91:1 (Traction-Lok) V code; 4.30:1 (Detroit no-spin) W code;
  • Tires: F60x15 bias-ply raised white-letter tire. Magnum 500 Chrome wheels with argent centers.

Boss 302 1970

  • Horsepower: 290 bhp at 5800 rpm
  • Torque: 290 lb-ft at 4300 rpm
  • Suspension: Competition type with heavy-duty front coil and rear leaf springs. Heavy-duty rear Gabriel shocks are staggered to prevent wheel hop. A .85 front sway bar as well as a .5 rear sway bar. Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes.
  • Engine: 302 cubic-inch small-block V-8 with 4-inch bore with 3-inch stroke. Special "Cleveland" cylinder heads with 2.19-inch intake and 1.71-inch exhaust valves. Special mechanical high-lift cam. Block has screw-in freeze plugs and four-bolt main bearing caps. Forged steel crankshaft statically and dynamically balanced. Special aluminum intake with Holley 780 cfm carb. Dual point distributor.
  • Exhaust: Special cast-iron manifolds feeding into a dual muffler system.
  • Trans/code: Four-speed (Wide ratio) code 5; four-speed (Close ratio) code 6
  • Axle/code: 3.50:1 (open) A code; 3.50:1 (Traction Lok) S code; 3.91:1 (traction-lok) V code; 4.30:1 (Detroit no-spin) W code;
  • Tires: F60x15 bias-ply raised white-letter tire. Wheels are stamped steel standard with corporate trim rings and caps.

Boss 429 1969

  • Horsepower: 330 bhp at 5,400 rpm
  • Torque: 370 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm
  • Suspension: Competition type with heavy-duty front coil and rear leaf springs. Heavy-duty rear Gabriel shocks are staggered to prevent wheel hop. A .94 front sway bar. Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes.
  • Engine: 429 cubic-inch big-block V-8 with 4.36-inch bore with 3.59-inch stroke. Special "semi hemi" aluminum cylinder heads with 2.28-inch intake and 1.90-inch exhaust valves. Special mechanical high-lift cam (S engines) or special hydraulic high-lift cam (T engines). Block has four-bolt main bearing caps. Forged steel crankshaft statically and dynamically balanced. Special aluminum intake with Holley 735 cfm carb. Dual point distributor.
  • Exhaust: Special cast-iron manifolds feeding into a transverse muffler system.
  • Trans: Four-speed
  • Axle/code: 3.91:1 (Traction lok) V Code
  • Tires: F60x15 bias-ply raised white letter tire. Magnum 500 Chrome wheels.

Boss 429 1970

  • Horsepower: 375 bhp at 5,200 rpm
  • Torque: 350 lb-ft at 3,400 rpm
  • Suspension: Competition type with heavy-duty front coil and rear leaf springs. Heavy-duty Gabriel rear shocks are staggered to prevent wheel hop. A .94 front sway bar as well as a .5 rear sway bar. Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes.
  • Engine: 429 cubic-inch big-block V-8 with 4.36-inch bore with 3.59-inch stroke. Special "semi hemi" aluminum cylinder heads with 2.28-inch intake and 1.90-inch exhaust valves. Special mechanical high-lift cam (S engines) or special hydraulic high-lift cam (T engines). Block has four-bolt main bearing caps. Forged steel crankshaft statically and dynamically balanced. Special aluminum intake with Holley 735 cfm carb. Dual point distributor.
  • Exhaust: Special cast-iron manifolds feeding into a dual muffler system.
  • Trans: Four-speed
  • Axle: 3.91:1 Detroit no-spin
  • Tires: F60x15 bias-ply raised white-letter tire. Magnum 500 Chrome wheels.

Boss 351 (R Code)

  • Horsepower: 330 bhp at 5,400 rpm
  • Torque: 370 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm
  • Suspension: Competition type with heavy-duty front coil and rear leaf springs. Heavy-duty Gabriel rear shocks are staggered to prevent wheel hop. A .85 front sway bar as well as a .5 rear sway bar. Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes.
  • Engine: 351 cubic-inch medium-block V-8 with 4-inch bore with 3.50-inch stroke. Special "Cleveland" cylinder heads with 2.19-inch intake and 1.71-inch exhaust valves. Special mechanical high-lift cam. Block has four-bolt main bearing caps. Cast-iron crankshaft selected for higher nodularity. Special aluminum intake with 4300D Autolite 716 cfm carb. Dual point distributor.
  • Trans/code: Four-speed (Wide ratio) code 5; four-speed (Close ratio) code 6
  • Axle: 3.91:1 Detroit no-spin
  • Exhaust: Special cast-iron manifolds feeding into a dual muffler system.
  • Tires: F60x15 bias-ply raised white-letter tire. Wheels are stamped steel standard with corporate trim rings and caps.

Boss Pricing
Although the Boss cars are not top-of-the-heap in the Mustang market (that honor belongs to the Shelby), they are a pricey buy. Most will fetch more than a well-equipped Mach 1 of the same era, and the Boss 429 will even come close to touching the Shelbys in the cha-ching factor. These computations were factored using the "Good" rating from the Cars of Particular Interest (CPI) value guide, (800)760-2667. The value computations were done using the government inflation calculator available online at www.jsc.nasa.gov/bu2/inflateCPI.html.

ThenNow
'69 Boss 302 N/A'69 Boss 302 $20,500
'70 Boss 302 $3,{{{720}}}'70 Boss 302 $20,500
'69 Boss 429 $4,937'69 Boss 429 $38,000
'70 Boss 429 N/A'70 Boss 429 $38,000
'71 Boss 351 $4,124'71 Boss 351 $18,450
If New in 2002Actual
'69 Boss 302 N/A$20,500
'70 Boss 302 $16,888$20,500
'69 Boss 429 $21,199$38,000
'70 Boss 429 N/A$38,000
'71 Boss 351 $16,966$18,450
Compared to ShelbySportsRoofs now:
'69 GT350 $26,000'69 Boss 302 $20,500
'70 GT350 $26,000'70 Boss 302 $20,500
'69 GT500 $32,{{{100}}}'69 Boss 429 $38,000
'70 GT500 $32,100'70 Boss 429 $38,000
'71 Shelby Europa N/A'71 Boss 351 $18,450