Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2005
Photos By: Courtesy Ford Media

MM: We remember one report that they were weighing Parnelli's '70 car and it came in under weight. The write-up said you noticed the car was missing its air cleaner, so you ran back to the pits to get it. With the air cleaner on, the car made the weight. Were the cars that close?BM: We had to weigh, as well as I can remember, 2,700 pounds. That was with an empty fuel tank. We had them where they weighed 2,700 pounds right on the nose. What happened was, when the race was over, you pulled in and they weighed the cars. If it weighed over 2,700 pounds, we was fine. But that particular situation, we rolled across the scales and we were a little on the light side. And when we put the air cleaner on, it was right.

MM: Judging by some of the photos we've seen of you in the garage and pits, you were a hands-on owner.BM: I done whatever it took. Didn't make any difference what. I done whatever I could and whatever effort I could put into it to help out all the way. I think that's another reason why our crew worked so good, because we all worked together. It didn't make any difference to me if I was cleaning the windshield or using the jack or air wrench.

MM: Who were some of your crew members back then?BM: Well, that's hard to say. We had different groups, kept changing them all the time. My oldest son Darrell, he ran the engine room, along with Daniel Fowler and a couple or three more of 'em back there. Ken Myler was the shop foreman. We had a good crew, and they all worked together real well.

MM: In 1969, you had two four-barrels, and in 1970 the rules limited you to a single four-barrel. Did that cost you much horsepower?BM: With two 4500s on it-that's what they were, four-barrels-we had a little bit more torque and power. But the problem was, it was unusable power. It didn't run around the racetrack real good and clean. So during the '69 season, we was working on that mini-plenum box manifold. When we got it perfected, we'd take a car and go test with different manifolds. And we found out we could run 11/42, 31/44 second faster around the racetrack with the box manifold instead of the two big four-barrels. It was just a better combination for road racing.

MM: Did you ever do any testing with the Autolite Inline four-barrel?BM: Yeah, we tested that too. It didn't do too bad, but it wouldn't compete with that little box manifold.

MM: Ford had the rear spoiler as an option on the street Boss 302s. You didn't use them in '69 but you used them in '70. Did they make any difference?BM: It helped a little, but very little. That was just something that was an eye-catcher. Just like in '70, we had the cars painted school-bus yellow. We changed to that color because Ford wanted them to stand out. If we were painted red and there was two or three other red ones out there, you couldn't tell which one was which. So we painted 'em all school-bus yellow, and when they came around, everybody knew which car it was.

MM: When did you start using the number 15?BM: The 15 came along about 1967. See, Parnelli ran for Stroppe out on the West Coast, driving Mercurys in USAC. His number was 15. So when Parnelli came over to drive the Mustang, we decided we'd make his car 15 and the other car would be 16. So from then on, all up through the whole time I was racing-through NASCAR and the Winston Cup series and everything else-I ran the number 15.

MM: In 1970, the side stripes were mounted lower on the body than on the street cars. Why was that?BM: We did that on account of the number. See, when you put the number in the round circle, we didn't want the black stripe to be part of that white circle. The number had to be a certain size and it had to be in a circle. So we moved the number up as high as we could and we put the black decal stripe on below it, so it wouldn't run through it. It balanced out and worked real well.