Though this is technically a story about the gorgeous Wimbledon White '70 Boss 302 you see before you, it's also a story of long lost love, passion, and time. It's the story of a boy who wanted one thing, got another, traded it for something else, gave up on the whole thing as life got in the way, and eventually got it all back and restored it to what you see before you. Interestingly, it all begins with a '69 Mach 1 390, which Gary Freed fell in love with while looking for his very first car.
Gary's father wouldn't allow him to buy the '69, so he was forced to "settle" for a '70 Mach 1 with a 302 under the hood. Not a bad deal, really, but not exactly what Gary was after. As luck would have it, a trip to the body shop in 1979 brought Gary across a '70 Boss 302 that was for sale and he was able to convince his dad to co-sign a loan for the Boss, which was purchased for just $2,700.
"It was in good condition but the original motor was gone—it had a 289." But Gary didn't care; he was able to drive a '70 Boss 302 to the final week of his senior year in high school, and that was a dream come true for the lifelong Ford fanatic. After graduating high school, Gary was out to set the world on fire, only to find out that money is a little harder to come by when you're in the real world (sigh…) and the bank waits for no man.
"Because of my age and income, I could not afford to keep the car, so I sold it in 1981." But Gary is a smart man and he ended up selling the car and obtaining a '66 Mustang in trade. Now here is where it gets good. Gary took the '66 and sold it to his girlfriend's father who turned around and gave it to his daughter who then later married Gary, bringing the '66 back into the family.
"We used the '66 as a daily driver until 1987, when we sold it and bought an '85 Mustang GT." Gary didn't end up doing anything crazy with the GT and it was eventually sold to buy a Bronco, which was more "child appropriate." And that was it for Gary until the year 2000, when he received word that a certain Wimbledon White '70 Boss Mustang was spotted for sale just one town over—it still had the 289 in it no less.
"My wife was ready to graduate from nursing school; I approached her with the news that the Boss was for sale and we took out a small loan and purchased the Boss." And just like that, Gary and Beth were back into the Mustang hobby, using the '70 as a weekend cruiser and show toy before Gary was ready to commit to a full restoration of the Boss.
"We drove it for five years as it was and then began the two-year rotisserie restoration with my fried Terry Gillis, who assisted in the planning and restoration." The two stripped the Boss down to its bare bones and began the lengthy restoration process with help from Ruggerio's Auto Body, which was tasked with the paint- and bodywork. A little repair here and there eventually turned into a complete overhaul, with Bob Ruggiero taking the survivor SportsRoof body down to the metal before hitting it with several coats or Wimbledon White PPG paint.