1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
13,800-Mile '69 Boss 302 - The Perkins Collection
Editor's note: This is the fifth and final in a series of photo profiles of low-mileage Mustangs owned by restorer and collector Bob Perkins in Juneau, Wisconsin. Previous issues have featured Bob's 52-mile '69 Mach 1, 56-mile '66 hardtop, 16,000-mile '70 Boss 302, and 3,800-mile '66 Hi-Po fastback. Because these cars provide restorers with a snap-shot of how Mustangs were originally built and delivered to dealers, we've included more than the usual amount of detail images.
Right from the top, we'll admit that this '69 Boss 302 has been restored, even though the mileage is only 13,400. But what's remarkable is that the restoration was performed by Bob Perkins in 1981. After 29 years, the car is still considered one of the best and most concours accurate '69 Boss 302s in existence. In fact, just last year, the yellow Boss received the Mustang Club of America's Authenticity Award, the highest and most prestigious honor for a concours Mustang.
It's the only Boss 302 to ever get the Authenticity Award," says Perkins, who had just sold the car to Rick Campbell when we photographed it. "Back in 1981, it was so far ahead of other Mustang restorations." Perkins also points out that the car has been in good hands over the past three decades: "I've owned it several times. Over the years, it's also been owned by Jacky Jones, Jim Bridges, Gary Swartz, Dick Bridges, Danny Guerra, and now Rick Campbell, all guys who kept the car in heated storage and knew how to take care of it."
This Boss 302 also possesses a unique history: It was originally purchased by Chrysler so their engineers could evaluate Ford's street Trans-Am Mustang before the introduction of the T/A Challenger and AAR 'Cuda for 1970. A year later, Chrysler sold the Boss at a Ford employee auction, where it was purchased by Ford engineer Jim Stephenson. In 1981, Stephenson sold the car to Gary Schwartz, who delivered the car to Perkins for a restoration, even though the car had been driven just over 13,000 miles.
According to Perkins, the car had been "beat up" during its time at Chrysler, which is why a restoration was needed. "If it had been now instead of then, we would have preserved more of the originality," Perkins says. Still, much of the car remains totally original, including 100 percent of the sheetmetal and the "no-size" Goodyear Polyglas tires, while replacement parts were all NOS. He reminds us that you could still buy new '70 Mustang parts from Ford dealers in 1981. Other than some fresh gaskets, the engine and drivetrain have never been rebuilt. The plastic, star-shaped wheel protector, supplied to protect the Magnum 500 wheels from lug-wrench damage when changing a tire, is still in the trunk.
Even though he no longer owns the car, Perkins gets excited when talking about the paperwork. "It's got everything," he says. "Factory invoice, window sticker, warranty card, sales receipt, Marti Report, etc. Best of all, Chrysler is shown as the original owner."