Jerry Heasley
July 1, 2005

The Boss 429 falls into this category, as well. Perkins gave us a rule of thumb that is sure to excite Boss 429 owners who have held off restoring their cars. "If you can drive them onto a trailer, Boss 429s are worth $100,000, even if they are missing the good stuff."

If a driver is $100,000, how much is a restored Boss 429 worth? A benchmark was set last Labor Day when a black Boss 429 from the Woodhead Collection in Minnesota sold for $240,000. Numerous $200,000-plus prices at auction have backed up the price. However, there's a caveat, says Perkins, "If you've got a black one, it's worth probably $50,000 more."

It's amazing, but black is the rarest of the Boss 429 colors, and more important to price than an S-engine or T-engine, for example. A black Boss 429 has to be restored right or be an excellent original to look good because black shows imperfections more than any other color.

The Boss extended into the '71 model year in the longer, lower, wider body. Nevertheless, the Boss 351 is pure Boss, and prices reflect this heritage. Finding a top-notch Boss 351 is actually tougher than finding a Boss 302. Both will fetch about the same money-$75,000 in concours condition. The difference is the average Boss 351 brings less than the average Boss 302, say $20,000-$25,000 versus $30,000-$35,000.

Perkins is not a Shelby man, and in fact, there is a rivalry between Shelby and Boss enthusiasts. Initially, in 1965, Shelbys were royalty. They carried the racing colors and had the hottest engines. But the Boss cars took over the reins in Trans-Am. They were the hottest of the small-blocks and not available in the Shelby line. By 1970, Ford dropped the Shelby Mustang altogether.

Today, Shelby prices are rising at what Drew Alcazar calls an "accelerated" pace. In contrast, he sees Cobra Jets going up at a "standard market escalation rate."

Twenty years ago when Drew was a skinny teenager, we featured his blue 428 Cobra Jet Mach 1 on these pages. Later, he restored Mustangs at his Concours Restorations shop in California. Today, he's owner and president of Russo & Steele, an auction house specializing in sports and musclecars. They sell cars in Arizona in January, alongside Barrett-Jackson, and also in Monterey, which is their big sports car event.

Drew has gone big-time. With success came a few gray hairs, but the boyish smile is still there, along with his enthusiasm for Mustangs. Drew spoke to us about Shelbys, starting with 6S0001, the first '66 Shelby built. The selling price at his Scottsdale auction was $280,000.

Aknowledgeable Mustang enthusiast, he warned, "Does that instantly translate to all '66 GT350s making a huge, dramatic jump in value? Guys will call me and say they've got a car exactly like that. Well, first of all you can't have a car exactly like that because there's only one '66 GT350 with serial number one on it."

Drew refused to hype prices and called the sale an "anomaly" that auction houses like to "wave the banner over." He knows Shelby Mustangs from 20 years of experience in the hobby. He sounds like a Mustang enthusiast first and an auction person second.

He posed the question, "What are the two Shelbys at the top of the bell curve since the beginning of time?" His answer is the '65 GT350 and the '68 GT500KR convertible. According to Drew, those two Shelbys are "neck and neck for the top-dog spot."

Then, Drew said, "It depends on if you want an early Ricky Racer with a buckboard suspension and sidepipes howling in your ear that you put a license plate on. Or, whether you want a car that's got some cushy, comfort amenities with woodgrain on the dash and a kind of GT cruiser thing.