Jerry Heasley
September 18, 2018

Of the more than 100 Boss 302s at the 2018 Boss Nationals in Marysville, Kansas, last September, one car stood out as a barn find—this 1969 Boss 302 with 198 original miles. Owner Randy Saba from Pine, Colorado, unveiled the car at 9 a.m. on September 8, 2018, and we were there to take photos and ask questions. Obviously, the Boss 302 had been prepared to drag race. “The car was in storage for 38 years in Houston, Texas. It was pulled out in 2008, when the family decided to sell the car. They advertised it through a broker, and the car was sold to a good friend of mine that lives in Illinois,” Randy told us.

Next, the car went to a collector in Michigan that was a friend of a friend of Randy, which was his connection to purchase the Boss 302 in November 2017. We had seen photos of this car in 2009 when a supercar enthusiast named Dick Jones purchased the Boss 302 from the estate of the original owner, Bob Justice, and then resold it to the man in Illinois. Jones, originally from New Zealand, has lived in the States (Brenham, Texas, today) for the last 25 years. One day he got a call from an auctioneer named Judy McLellan about a 1962 Chrysler Imperial. “I don’t even know what they look like,” Jones said.

He drove to Houston to see the ’62, which he bought to save from “some young guy that was going to cut it up as an art car,” in his words. While there at the auction company, he met Larry Justice, Bob’s son. The Justice family was ready to sell the old car that Bob’s wife had shut the garage door on and left when her husband died. Justice had only drag raced the car three or four times before his untimely passing. He had ordered the vehicle brand new specifically to drag race and had directed the dealership, Von-Wil Ford in Wharton, Texas (a suburb of Houston), to install a hotter cam and make other modifications to drag race it.

The 1969 Boss 302 vintage drag car was a big attention-getter at the 2018 Boss Nationals at Boss Motors in Marysville, Kansas.

Randy knows the story chapter and verse. When the opportunity came up to buy this Boss 302, Randy, who has other classic Mustangs in his stable, had a long discussion with his wife and decided to make the purchase. As Randy rolled the cover off the ’69 Boss 302 this past September, his comments mirrored our reaction when he said, “When you pull the cover off this car and people see it for the first time, they absolutely can’t believe it. This paint has no touch-up. This is the original paint and original graphics.” The Acapulco Blue paint was incredible, but so were the graphics, which were also original and unrestored. “All we did was detail the outside. We buffed the paint.”

Randy opened a door to reveal a pristine Blue Vinyl (code 2B) interior that sparkled like new, as did the carpet, steering wheel, dashpad, door panels, and more. The four-speed Hurst shifter was an upgrade circa 1969. Then, I recalled what Dick Jones (aka DJ) had told me about the find. He learned that Bob Justice had been in the air conditioning business and the garage was air conditioned. Houston has a hot and humid climate. Randy noted that “a lot of the rubber had to be replaced because of dry rot.” However, the car was a time capsule, featuring the original numbers-matching engine. After seeing Boss 302 after Boss 302 in stock configuration, this old drag car, preserved as it was drag raced in 1969, was a nostalgic trip back in time like no other Boss 302 on the planet.

Photo: Dick Jones
The Boss 302 had been parked for 38 years (1969 or 1970 to 2008) inside a garage at the family’s home in Houston, Texas.
The car comes with extensive paperwork, including this window sticker. The optional rear axle was a V-code, which is a 3.91 Traction-Lok. Justice had the dealership install a set of 5.13s.
Photo: Dick Jones
Dick Jones loaded the ’69 Boss 302 on a flatbed in 2008. In the background is the garage where the car was parked for 38 years.
The interior is pristine. The one modification inside is the Hurst shifter with T-handle.
Ford installed a delete plate with the Mustang logo to cover the opening where a radio would have been. There was no need to order a radio on a drag car.
Modifications done when new, apparently by the Ford dealer, include a new cam, headers, and removal of smog equipment and rev limiter. In the class that this car ran in, the mufflers had to remain on the car but did not have to be connected to the engine.
The license plates on the car match the license plates written on the original title, which also came with the car.
As long as this car survives, so will the name Bob Justice.
Randy plans to show this car, which he believes is “a special, special automobile that comes around once in a lifetime.”
The original title has been saved.
This invoice, dated May 28, 1969, reveals Bob Justice ordered his Boss 302 just right for drag racing.