Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 1, 2004
Photos By: Bill Erdman

"I won a lot of money with this car," were the words Mark St. Pierre heard from the original owner of his yellow '70 Boss 302. Further research by Mark turned up even more abuse from eight subsequent owners, including dragstrip competition and a decade of neglect. You'd never know it by looking at the car today.

"I would speculate that my Boss lived a very stereotypical musclecar existence," Mark says of the well-optioned fastback. Through research, he learned the original owner and his brother-in-law both purchased Boss 302s on March 10, 1970, from Massey Ford in Hagerstown, Maryland. After 18 months of "winning money" on the street, the Boss engine began exhibiting symptoms of the typical Boss 302 piston-skirt problem, so the car was traded in at a Chevy dealership. It bounced around various used-car lots before a 16-year-old from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, bought it in 1977. With an engine rebuild and 3.91 gears in place of the original 3.50s, the yellow Boss hit the drag-racing circuit at 75-80 Dragway and Mason-Dixon Dragway, running a best e.t. of 13.18. The car eventually landed at a body shop in Towson, Maryland, where it sat for 10 years before finally ending up at Racing Restorations Ltd. in 1999.

Mark found the freshly restored Boss 302 by driving by the right gas station at the right time. After spending several months on a nationwide search for a Boss 302, he was returning from a root canal (ouch) when he spotted the yellow Boss at a gas station just four miles from his home. "I pulled in and asked the owner if he knew of any Bosses for sale," Mark explained. "Obviously he did. Within a few weeks, the deal was done."

Through a Marti Report and a copy of the original invoice from Lois Eminger, Mark learned his Boss 302 was well-equipped from the factory. While many of the Boss 302s you see today have been augmented with the popular Boss visual options, Mark's Mustang was originally ordered with the Shaker hoodscoop, rear-window louvers, and rear spoiler. It was also factory-fitted with the Deluxe interior, power steering, and Traction-Lok differential. (The original sticker price was $4,234, not including the $1.33 for four gallons of gas). The only changes from stock are the Magnum 500 wheels in place of the original dog-dish hubcaps and Detroit Locker 3.91 gears that were installed around 1980.

After acquiring the Boss, Mark went on the quest to locate and install the final hard-to-find details, such as the smog equipment, rev limiter, and correct T-handle for the Hurst shifter. He refuses to show the car, stating, "My self esteem is very fragile, so I can't handle Pinto owners pointing out incorrect date-coded parts, and my wife refuses to dust trophies." Today, Mark uses the Boss 302 at least twice a week for local cruise-night activities, where he exercises the solid-lifter small-block with some "spirited" driving.

Mark's Boss 302 continues to lead a stereotypical musclecar life-once raced and then restored, the car is now pampered as a piece of Ford performance history.