Jim Smart
July 1, 2009

Kevin Marti has "mainstream normal" and "unusually odd" down to a science.

As the keeper of the enormous Ford database consisting of '67-'99 vehicle order information, Kevin is able to retrieve exacting data from virtually any Mustang produced in those years, hence the coveted Marti Reports. Even if your Mustang is a normal grocery-getter, it deserves a Marti Report to confirm its heritage.

When we asked Kevin how many '70 Boss 302 Mustangs were produced in Medium Gold Metallic, he responded with "337." We knew we hadn't seen many Boss 302s in this color when Jim Bridgett of Crofton, Maryland, roared up before our well-worn Canon D60. As the shutter slapped out images, we began to notice more about Jim's Medium Gold Metallic Boss 302. The gold hue yields a richness not always witnessed with the more common colors like White, Calypso Coral, and the Grabber hues of Orange, Blue, and Green. Medium Gold Metallic makes a Boss look more dignified.

The Boss 302 Mustang was a short-lived example of what happens when an automaker wants to go racing and win at any cost. To participate in SCCA Trans-Am, Ford had to build at least 500 street examples of what it put on the racetrack, thus the Boss 302 and its special canted-valve engine was born. As timing and good fortune would have it, a couple of spark plugs from General Motors--division boss Semon E. "Bunkie" Knudsen and stylist Larry Shinoda--had been hired to reset Ford's direction. Knudsen would run in a performance direction and Shinoda would inject testosterone into the product line. Legend has it that Shinoda came up with the "Boss" moniker because it was his nickname for Knudsen. Ford produced 1,628 Boss 302 Mustangs for 1969 and 7,013 more for 1970.

This leads us back to Jim's Medium Gold Metallic Boss 302, which he purchased in 2004. When Jim drove the Boss to its first car show, the engine stalled and wouldn't start again, forcing him to have it hauled home on a flatbed. The following spring, Jim would learn the price of owning a car that had been stored for many years. The fuel system suffered from serious corrosion and contamination issues, calling for fuel tank replacement along with a fresh fuel pump and carburetor. Pony Carburetors handled the concours restoration on Jim's 735-cfm Holley while Virginia Classic Mustang provided the rest of the fuel system.

Jim's first successful trek with the car was to the Boss Nationals at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he was able to rub elbows with other passionate Boss 302 owners. When he returned home to Maryland, it was apparent his engine needed attention. Good friend Richard Porter knocked down the Boss 302 engine and performed a precision rebuild. For a factory feel and sound, he opted for a flat-tappet mechanical cam from Crane Cams with the same lift and duration as the original. Richard then detailed Jim's engine to Mustang Club of America concours judged specifications.

Medium Gold Metallic is your first clue of how unusual Jim's Boss 302 is, but there's more. Inside is the Interior Dcor Group's in black vinyl with molded door panels. Down under a close-ratio Top Loader four-speed followed by Ford's Drag Pack 3.91:1 gears with engine oil cooler.

There's no doubt that Jim struck gold when he found this gem of a Boss 302.