Jim Smart
August 1, 2010

For years, there was a rumor around Boise about a couple of Mustang fastbacks in a pasture. While cruising with his son, Lee Nevill decided to hit the local side streets and back roads in search of the mysterious fastbacks. That's when he spotted the rear of a white '70 SportsRoof next to a barn.

"We knocked on the door and chatted with the lady who owned the property," Lee tells us. "She said the Mustangs-one white and the other Grabber Blue-belonged to her son who wasn't interested in selling, yet she wanted them moved because they had been sitting in her pasture for 15 years."

It wasn't until Lee got a closer look that he noticed the Boss stripes and "G" engine codes on the VIN plates. Not well-versed in Boss Mustangs at the time, he wasn't able to verify his find until he talked with a buddy the next day. Even better, there was also a '71 Mach 1 with the 429 Cobra Jet. It took Lee over a year to convince the owner to sell his trio of rare Mustangs. Lee would later learn that members of his local Mustang club had tried to buy these cars for years without luck.

Lee's wife Sara claimed the white Boss for a concours restoration in its original Medium Lime color. When Lee got to the engine, he discovered that the D1ZE replacement service block was cracked beyond repair. He copped the service block from the Grabber Blue Boss and built it for Sara's car using the original steel Boss crank and rods along with a Cam Research mechanical camshaft designed for the Boss 302. The rest of the engine went together with factory D0ZE head castings, manifold, 780-cfm Holley, and cast valve covers.

Sara's Boss looks like it was dipped in Medium Lime thanks to the efforts of Clarence Slade at Valley Auto Body in Boise. The PPG basecoat/clearcoat finish offers a rich luster. The BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires are perfect for period muscle cars because they offer an appearance similar to the factory Goodyear Polyglas bias-belted tires. Andews Upholstery wrapped up the standard interior, including new carpet from Auto Custom Carpets.

With the Grabber Blue Boss, Lee decided to focus on the Boss 302's SCCA Trans-Am legacy. Because vintage Boss 302 blocks are hard, not to mention expensive, to come by, Lee opted for a base two-bolt main 302 block topped off with Boss 302 heads. He filled the block with a Scat 331ci stroker kit supported by a main stud girdle for four-bolt main strength. In the valley, Lee fitted his stroker with a Comp Cams mechanical roller camshaft with Crower 1.6:1 roller rockers.

Adding to the cool quotient are headers from Ford Powertrain Applications, followed by QTP electric exhaust cutouts. Hit a switch and wake up the neighborhood with the roar of Trans-Am power. This home-grown Boss V-8 makes 442 hp at 6,700 rpm.

Behind Lee's 331ci engine is Ford's close ratio Top Loader four-speed followed by a 9-inch rear with 31-spline axles and 3.91:1 cogs. Like Sara's Boss 302, this one is also an N-code nodular iron case with the good axles. On the ground, Lee went with 15x7-inch American Torq-Thrust wheels and Goodyear Eagles for great traction and handling. Lee decided to go Ford one better with a complete Total Control Products suspension system, with adjustable Koni coilovers and rack-and-pinion steering up front coupled with conventional leafs and adjustable Koni coilovers at the rear. Four-wheel discs from SSBC take care of the stopping duties.

Lee will tell you he couldn't have done all of this by himself. Friends Brian Clark and Bill Smothermon have the same appreciation for vintage Mustangs. It was Bill who turned Lee onto these cars to begin with. He also provided guidance and support throughout the building process.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery