1969 Mustang Boss 429 - The Time Capsule
Two Weeks After Purchasing His '69 Boss 429, Bill Schwartz Parked His New Mustang Over An Engine Warranty Dispute. As A Result, Today's Mileage Is Only 775
So when the Boss 429 Data Base announced it would help gather a complete variety of '69 and '70 colors for the 2008 Forge event, promoter Tim Lopata still needed a Candyapple Red '69. That's when Ed approached the Schwarz family about bringing their car out into public for the first time. At this point, the replacement engine had been installed for about 10 years. Though Bill had moved several times and his former careers included owning both a speed shop and a gas station, he had not driven the car with its replacement engine beyond a one-time trip down his country driveway.
Always a drag racer and never a collector, Bill had no compelling interest in reinstalling the "smog junk" until Ed came and did it himself just before the show last September. Ed also contributed a few other pieces that he knew would make the car absolutely right, but the ironic thing was that, as they finished it up, Bill said to him, "Do you think anybody would want to see these other blocks I've got?" That's when he showed Ed not one, but four spare Boss 429 blocks.
"I started checking serial numbers," says Ed. "And there was the original block. Bill had gotten it back from the dealership. It was too late to do anything about it with the show just a day away and us already running late, but now we know the original block is there, too."
As the trio arrived in Tennessee and the car was being unloaded, Helen thought for a couple of minutes and said, "You know, I have never even sat inside that old car." She got her first ride as Ed drove the Boss 429 through the roll-up doors and onto the carpet of the Marriott MeadowView Resort's convention center. After all, thanks to her and Bill, the hobby at large had a chance to see what may be one of the most incredible muscle car finds in recent memory.
Editor's Note: Right before we went to press, Bill Schwartz sold his Boss 429 to a collector who plans to display the car in a musem dedicated to low-mileage muscle cars.
S versus T
The reason Bill Schwartz parked his Boss 429 is that he knew the replacement engine Ford was offering him was not the same as the engine that came in the car. According to Mike Mueller's reference book, Mustang 1964-1973, the first 279 Boss 429s received S-code engines with heavy-duty NASCAR rods with ½-inch bolts that rode on a cross-drilled forged crank. But many had warranty issues, reportedly due to faulty short-block assembly work. After these were gone, Ford switched to a T-code version that looked identical but used lighter bottom-end parts, including rods with 3/8-inch bolts. The T-code engine would be used for the remainder of '69 Boss 429 production with a handful of minor changes, and would be superseded by a new A-code engine (upgraded smog equipment and solid-lifter valvetrain) before '70 Boss 429 production ended.
Rare Mustangs Run Wild
There are thousands of car shows each year, but one in particular has become the standard when it comes to rare muscle cars. The Forge Invitational Musclecar Classic event is open to the public for only one day, held indoors, and often hosts cars that are not seen outside of collections or museums. When it was decided that 2008 would highlight Boss Mustangs, everyone knew the stops would be pulled out to make it truly memorable.
No event of this magnitude is the result of just one individual's effort, and promoter Tim Lopata was quick to point out that it was the cooperation of members of the Boss 429 Data Base, led by Jeremy Feller, that made it possible. Thanks to them, one of every color Boss 429 from both '69 and '70 was on hand from private collections around the country. To them was added a number of other Boss, Shelby, and Mach 1 models, to the extent that the 2008 running of the show featured more Fords than any other make.
The 2009 Forge Musclecar Classic will be held at the Marriott MeadowView Resort & Convention Center on September 12, 2009. Go to www.forgemusclecarshow.com for more info.