Miles Cook
March 15, 2007
Photos By: Donald Farr

There were only 8,641 produced, with 1,628 in 1969 and 7,013 in 1970. But with the ardent following they have, you'd think the Boss 302 Mustang was made in numbers approaching the seven-figure mark of the lesser Mustang variations made during the last 40-plus years.

In any case, '69-'70 Boss 302s are hotter than ever-have you looked at the prices on eBay lately?-and Southern California Ford dealership Galpin Motors and its spin-off operation, Galpin Auto Sports (G.A.S.), are looking to leverage this justifiable enthusiasm for a timeless Mustang specialty model. The result of Galpin's efforts is this modern take on the Boss 302 package using the current S197 Mustang as a foundation.

Actually, the purpose of this car is twofold. One is to provide a vision of how a modern-era Boss 302 would look, and the other is to showcase Ford Racing Performance Parts' new Boss 302 block (and eventually crate engine) based on standard pushrod Ford Windsor-type V-8 architecture. No modular 4.6 or 5.4 overhead-cam stuff here.

Galpin's '70-era Grabber Blue '07 Mustang has a pushrod engine using the new Boss 302 block as its starting point. It's topped with a pair of Ford Racing's Z304 aluminum cylinder heads-yes, they are Windsor-style and not the canted-valve Clevelands used on the original Boss 302s, which is something that will make '69-'70 Boss 302 owners roll their eyes. But it does have a period-correct '69-'70 Boss 302 Holley carburetor atop an aluminum single-plane intake manifold. Other pieces on the 390hp engine include an MSD distributor and custom long-tube headers connected to stainless collectors, which dump into a Bassani X-shape cross-over and performance mufflers.

Behind the engine is a McLeod clutch and bellhousing, and in place of the '07's original TR3650 five-speed is a much stronger Tremec TKO 600 five-speed, equipped with a Hurst shifter and attached to a custom aluminum driveshaft. With the thinking that this Boss, similar to its ancestors, will be a high-rpm runner, the car's 8.8-inch axle is fitted with stump-pulling 4.56 gears and a Ford Racing axle girdle.

Beyond the retro-carbureted Boss crate motor, the car has a typical cache of modern performance upgrades. This includes the Ford Racing Handling Pack, which is comprised of front struts, lowering springs, antisway bars, and a strut-tower brace. There are also Baer brakes with 14-inch rotors front and rear. The 20x9-inch front and 20x10-inch rear MHT Octane wheels are fitted with Pirelli P Zero Nero tires-255/35ZR20s in front and 275/35ZR20s in back.

With the mechanical parts of the car decked out, the G.A.S. team added visual updates to set it apart from its more common S197 Mustang counterparts. Aside from the aforementioned Grabber Blue paint, there are also actual '70 Boss 302 side stripes, MRT rear louvers, and a G.A.S. one-of-a-kind Shaker setup that mates the late-model hood to the vintage induction system.

Inside, the interior embraces Boss performance history with custom black basket-weave seats detailed with Grabber Blue stitching. A Grant wood steering-wheel styling ring and G.A.S. custom rollcage finish the cabin, as well as Parnelli Jones' signature prominently displayed on the dashboard.

The car's audio/visual technology completes the concept. Included is an MTX five-channel amplifier, MTX mid- and high-range speakers, Bluetooth and iPod interfaces, and a Pioneer AVIC-Z1 head unit for the DVD and navigation systems. Q Logic kick panels, Streetwires audio accessories, and an Optima battery complete the electronic componentry.

Keep in mind this car is strictly a cool conceptual marriage of old and new; the combination of a vintage carbureted engine and a new Mustang will never be street-legal. Nonetheless, it's an excellent way to showcase Ford's new Boss 302 block and crate-engine agenda, as well as make it clear to enthusiasts that Ford isn't abandoning its pushrod V-8 engine program anytime soon.

The car also provides an intriguing peek at the sort of things G.A.S can do. We're sure this car will get the creative juices flowing for anyone who wants to build a cool open-track or drag car based on the rock-solid S197 Mustang platform. We'll take one.

Heart of the Matter
The Boss 302 block (M-6010-BOSS302) in the '07 Galpin Boss Mustang showcases the features of Ford Racing's latest production blocks, such as a 4.125-inch bore and 3.500-inch stroke capacity inside a standard 8.200-inch deck height. Other highlights are splayed four-bolt mains on the 2, 3, and 4 main caps, revised oiling and cooling-system passageways, and Siamese bores with drilled coolant crossover tubes. There's also increased bulkhead material, threaded core plugs similar to the original '69-'70 Boss 302 blocks, as well as threads for 11/42-inch head bolts. Made from 41,000-psi, high-tensile iron with a high tin content, these blocks are cast in the same foundry where Ford's PowerStroke diesel truck blocks are produced. All in all, the block is a bulletproof foundation for engines up to 374 ci and forced-induction or nitrous outputs in excess of 1,000 hp.

As for complete crate engines, preliminary part numbers in the 2007 Ford Racing catalog indicate there will be engines with 302 and 347 ci displacements; there's also word on a possible 331ci variant. The dual-quad-equipped prototype example shown here was on display at the '06 SEMA Show. Using the combination of a high-revving 3.125-inch short stroke and deep-breathing Z304 ported cylinder heads purported to flow 350 cfm on the intake, the 331 version made 500 hp at 7,200 rpm. Expect a crate engine based on the new Boss 302 block later this spring.