Jerry Heasley
July 1, 2009
Photos By: The "Treasure Finders"

Wild In Montana
This Grabber Orange Boss 302 had not been driven since 1973 and had been sitting at this same location outside Lewistown, Montana, since 1982. Until, that is, Robert McGaugh pulled the car out of the weeds.

As is so often the case, the owner at first refused to sell the Boss or the '67 GT 390 Mustang sitting near it. He said he would "never sell." Still, Robert and his friend Larry would go back every year or so to see if he had changed his mind about the Boss 302.

No doubt, owners who leave their cars outside where they are visible to the public are plagued by bargain hunters. Robert verifies this fact with the Boss 302, paraphrasing the owner's experience, "Everyone tells me this car isn't worth anything. It needs too much and it's not complete enough."

So McGaugh left it up to the owner when he asked, "Okay, what do you think it's worth?"

His answer was "Thirteen-five."

Bob was content with that figure and asked, "Would you take that for it?"

The owner wanted time to think about it. Six months later, Bob called back and was shocked to learn the owner would sell either the Boss or the '67. Somewhere in their negotiations was a gentleman's agreement that Bob got first shot at either car if and when the time came to sell. The owner honored the agreement, and even discounted the "thirteen-five" to $13,200 because someone had stolen the grille out of the Boss.

The Grabber Orange Boss was remarkably well preserved, despite the rusty floor pans. The original owner had pulled the engine around 1973 for a rebuild. When the shop bored six of the cylinders 30-over and the other two 40-over, the owner demanded a new block. He got one, plus new standard bore pistons. In 1974, the gas crunch hit and the build went back on the shelf. Later, the original owner sold the '70 Boss, in pieces, to Jim. So, the car hadn't been driven since 1973.

As rough as the Boss appears in pictures, the paint was good enough to save with a "decent shine." There's a dent on each fender where Jim apparently stood to dig fence holes. Bob is engaging a "dent-less" repair body shop to fix them.

The upholstery cleaned up and is "beautiful." All Bob replaced inside was the carpet, door panels, and headliner. A flat-hood Boss, Bob's rare find came from the factory with rear window slats and rear wing. It's one of 133 that originally came with the Mach 1-style hubcaps, which Bob has replaced with Magnums.

Although the original block was gone, the owner had the parts and pieces to assemble the Boss 302 engine. Bob Bishop in Billings, Montana, helped Bob rebuild the engine as stock and original as possible.

Currently, Bob is trying to save the '67 big-block GT from decrepitude. "The 390 GT is really a solid car and there are several guys who have tried to buy it. There's really nothing he wants. He always says he'll do something with it someday. "

The 390 GT remains, "Somewhere West of Laramie."