Jerry Heasley
May 1, 2005

Part of what makes a Boss 302 so hot-looking is the use of black-out paint. On the hood, it reduces the glare into the driver's eyes, which is useful at high speed on a racetrack. Boss 302s, of course, were built to homologate the Mustang for the Trans-Am road-racing series. The same blackout procedures used for '69-'70 Boss 302s apply to '69-'70 Mach 1s, which earned their blackout on the dragstrip.

In 1969, the black-out treatment was restricted to low-gloss paint, also known as "flat black." Textured low-gloss black, which cut down glare even more, was another improvement on the '70s. Because of its sandy surface, textured paint isn't as smooth. In 1970, Ford used both flat black and textured black. Black-out, in a combination of low-gloss and textured, was also used on the rear taillight panel, the optional sport slats, and other areas, as illustrated here.

Today, restorers are confused over what should be low-gloss and what should be textured. Head Mustang Club of America Judge Bob Perkins says, "Probably the most controversial Boss question in the MCA is what parts are textured low-gloss black versus low-gloss black." As the author of our Resto Roundup column, Bob says it's been the most asked question over the last five or six years.

Some enthusiasts prefer all-gloss black instead of correct textured black on their '70 Boss 302s or Mach 1s "so they can polish it and keep it clean." However, to a Boss purist, non-textured low-gloss black on a '70 hood or decklid is like having a Cleveland instead of a Boss short-block in a 302. Mach 1s also don't satisfy the purist when the textured paint is omitted.

What is OEM correct? On our latest trip to Perkins Restoration outside Juneau, Wisconsin, we got the answers to this recurring question from the man himself.