These days, you seldom see a ´70 Boss 302 Mustang without most, if not all, of the visual trimmings. Because so many of the Bosses we see today have all four of the popular exterior add-ons--rear spoiler, rear window slats, shaker hoodscoop, and chrome Magnum 500 wheels--many enthusiasts believe that those components were all standard with the Boss 302 package. In reality, they were extra-cost options, with only the front spoiler and stripes included as standard Boss visuals.
It's rare to see a Boss today in its most plain-Jane configuration--15-inch Ford corporate hubcaps and trim rings, bare decklid and rear window, and a flat hood. According to Kevin Marti's Ford production data, the rear spoiler was the most popular of the Boss 302 exterior options, with more than 65 percent of the cars equipped from the factory with the decklid bolt-on. The rear window slats were another popular option at 49.7 percent, while the functional shaker hoodscoop came attached to the air cleaner on 48.3 percent of the Boss engines. A smaller 37.6 percent of the buyers opted to replace the hubcaps with Magnum 500s.
In a flip-flop of his usual research method, Kevin crunched his data to see how many ´70 Boss 302s were not equipped with any of the exterior options. Kevins computer spit out that 1,077 of the 7,014 ´70 Boss 302s, just over 15 percent, came without any of the popular options. And considering that during the past 30 years, many original and subsequent owners added these options to the cars that werent factory-equipped, this makes plain Bosses a rare breed indeed. Which is what intrigued Houston, Texas, Robert Cobb when he discovered a beat-up ´70 Boss 302 in North Carolina about five years ago. With sidepipes, huge rear tires sticking out of the rear fenders, and a cheapie paint job applied over the original Boss stripes, Robert almost passed on the deal. However, the car had a number of redeeming qualities as a restoration project because many of the now hard-to-find parts, such as the rev limiter, smog system, intake, distributor, and even the block with the original pistons, were still intact and functioning on the 38,000-mile Boss. Even better for Robert, the Mustang had only one option--the console; a peculiarity that he figured would make a great conversation piece for the Bright Yellow Boss.
After four years of research, restoration, and rebuilding, with lots of help from noted Boss 302 resto expert Ed Hockaday and paint by Houstons Performance Painting, Robert was rewarded with a Gold Award at the ´99 Mustang Club of America Grand National, the Boss 302s first outing under the MCAs strict judging rules. That alone places Roberts yellow Mustang among the countrys Boss 302 elite. And with no shaker, slats, rear spoiler, or Magnums, the bare-boned Boss is set apart from the usual sea of spoilers, slats, shakers, and Magnums.
Editor's note: Our thanks to Kevin Marti for his assistance in researching the production numbers for Boss 302 options. Kevin's book, Mustang...By the Numbers, is an invaluable source for anyone interested in ´67-´73 Mustang production data. It is available from Marti Auto Works, 12007 W. Peoria Ave., El Mirage, AZ 85335; (623) 935-2558.