1970 Ford Mustang BOSS 302
The Perkins Collection
Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of photo profiles of low-mileage Mustangs owned by restorer and collector Bob Perkins in Juneau, Wisconsin. In previous issues, we showcased Bob's 52-mile '69 Mach 1 and 56-mile '66 hardtop. For concours restorers, these cars are snap-shots of how vintage Mustangs were built, which is why we're including more than the usual amount of detail images. Next month: a 3,800-mile '66 Hi-Po fastback.
On May 4, 1970, James Awalkowiak from Hastings, Minnesota, drove away from Livingston Ford Sales in a brand-new '70 Boss 302. He had ordered the car with a limited but unusual combination of options-4:30 Detroit Locker differential, tachometer, heavy-duty battery, and rear spoiler for performance, plus the black Deluxe interior to go along with the classy-looking Medium Blue Metallic exterior paint. Within a few months, he had replaced the standard 15-inch wheels, corporate hub caps, and Goodyear Polyglas tires with Magnum 500s and BFGoodrich T/A radials. Instead of selling the low-mileage factory wheels and tires or tossing them into a corner of his garage, James indicated just what was in store for his Boss 302 by carefully encasing the original parts in large garbage bags and storing them, along with his new Dearborn-built Mustang, in his heated garage.
"It was his second car so he didn't have to drive it," explains Bob Perkins, who has owned James' old Boss 302 for the past five years. "He was fanatical about it. Even though it's an original Minnesota car, it always stayed in a heated garage so the floorpan is perfect. Ford's metallic paints usually didn't hold up very well, but because this one never sat outside in the sun, the original paint is among the best I've even seen."
James drove his Boss 302 sparingly, putting only 16,000 miles on the odometer before selling the car in 2000. According to what Perkins has learned, James drag raced the car several times-not surprising with the 4.30 gears-and installed a Hurst Competition Plus shifter because the factory Hurst shifter kept hanging up. As you might expect, he stored the original shifter too, which Bob has reinstalled in the car along with the original wheels and tires.
"He also kept all the paperwork," Perkins says, "including some Detroit Locker information that I've never seen with a car before. It's got the Owner's Card, manual, and every invoice for everything that was ever done to the car. There's even the dealership key chain with tiny Minnesota license plates and license plate number."
Perkins also finds the car interesting because of what it doesn't have-Shaker scoop and Magnum 500 wheels. Buyers who went for the Deluxe interior typically ordered the exterior enhancements as well.
For a collector like Bob Perkins, this Boss 302's low mileage, preservation, and options make it a rare breed indeed. "It's probably the most untouched Drag Pack (4:30 gears with mandatory oil cooler) car in existence," Perkins says. "Every original piece of the drivetrain is intact and never messed with. It's a pretty remarkable car."