Miles Cook
June 1, 2005

These days, the school-bus-yellow Boss is ready to go. Brian was doing some shakedown open-track work at Buttonwillow Raceway near Bakersfield when we came across it last year. He told us, "I enjoy getting on the track with other old Trans-Am survivors. I'm also looking forward to 2006 and the historic tour that will celebrate 40 years of the Trans-Am by visiting many of the old racetracks across the country." Check out www.historictransam.com for more details.

As for the car, he says, "It's not the most sparkling example of the few surviving factory Trans-Am Boss 302 Mustangs, but it remains one of the most original." We'll second that.

Mixing Trans-Am State of the Art, 1970 and 2005While the historical aspects of Brian's Trans-Am Boss 302 are surely important, the car's makeup is interesting because it illustrates what a vintage Trans-Am Mustang race car was made of.

Currently, it's powered by a fully race-prepped 302 based on a Ford SVO A4 block. Machined by Rebello Racing in Antioch, California, the block is home to a Sonny Bryant forged-steel crank with a stock 3.00-inch stroke, 5.40-inch Carrillo rods, and forged JE pistons that net a 12.5:1 compression ratio. The solid-lifter flat-tappet cam is a custom-grind by Elgin Cams and is designed to work in concert with the extensively ported but original Boss 302 cast-iron heads, which are home to Del West 2.23-/1.71-inch titanium valves. The engine is topped with the original Bud Moore Mini-Plenum intake and a Holley HP carb that now flows about 830 cfm.

The drivetrain consists of the car's original racing-spec White Stripe Top Loader four-speed, which has unique gears and other internal bits, along with a tall 2.13:1 First-gear ratio. A full floating 9-inch axle with 4.56 gears and upper parallel links puts the power to the ground.

The suspension is the full-race vintage Trans-Am setup with 1,000-pound front springs, Kar Kraft front spindles, Monroe shocks, a 151/416-inch front antisway bar, solid front bushings, and a 16:1-ratio steering box. Out back are Kar Kraft springs, a 71/416-inch antisway bar, a Watts link, and non-staggered Monroe shocks. The brakes are the car's original Kelsey Hayes four-wheel discs, and the Mini Lite 15x8-inch wheels are home to Firestone 6.00x15 race tires up front and 7.00x15s in back.

With the exception of a repaint in 1990, the rest of the car is amazingly original and unrestored, having remained so throughout its life. Much of the sheetmetal is original, including most of the lightweight panels used in its construction. The overall unrestored condition of this rare racing machine will help make it an important historical Trans-Am series reference for generations to come.