The 1969-1970 Boss 302- Ford’s First Muscle Car
The 1969-1970 Boss 302 is one of the most desired muscle cars of all time. This iconic classic car created lots of excitement upon its release in 1969 and still generates buzz today- some fifty-plus years later. To fully appreciate the history behind this muscle car, we need to step back in time to the year 1965. Three years before the release of the 1969 Boss 302.
Ford’s Mustang burst onto the car scene in 1965 and quickly becomes the best-selling car in America. Rivals take note and soon, other car manufacturers are making their own versions of the car. Fast forward to the year 1967 and the Mustang brand is facing stiff competition from Chevrolet’s Z28. While the 1967 Mustang models have bigger engines and perform better than the original 1965 Mustang, they are no match for Mopar muscle. Simply put, the Z28 is a better car. As a result the z28 solidly whips the Mustang at the Trans-Am races of that year. To make matters worse, the Mustang is also lagging behind the Z28 in terms of public opinion and industry insiders. Everyone seems to agree that the Mustang is passe and that the Camaro is the pony car of the future. Camaro’s z28 has a real chance at taking over and becoming the best-selling car in America.
The Boss 302- An Icon From the Start
Henry Ford II and Bunkie Knudsen are equally determined to keep the Mustang on top. Knudsen decides to hire Larry Shinoda, the talented automotive designer with the hopes that he can design a Mustang to best the Z28. A Mustang that will win at the Trans Am races and one that will outsell the Z- 28 in car dealerships across the country.Producing a car capable of besting the excellent Z28 while restoring Ford’s reputation for producing top-of-the-line racing cars is a tall order. However, Larry delivers and the Boss 302 makes its debut in 1969. Car and Drive hail the Boss as “The Best Mustang Yet”
The Boss 302 needs no introduction. A first look at the car and you know immediately that this is a special car. Its attractive lines, matte black paint and clever decals make a striking statement. The 1969 Boss is every inch the muscle car and stands apart from ‘regular’ Mustangs in every way. Firstly ‘regular’ Mustangs are widely available. This is not the case with the Boss 302. The 1969-1970 Boss 302 is exclusive with only 1638 models produced. Second, most Mustangs are available in various body styles with almost unlimited options. This is not the case with the Boss. The Boss 302 is available with only one body style option- a SportsRoof Fastback.Oh and let’s not forget about that speciality engine. The 1969-1970 Boss 302 is a race car after all
Exterior Styling and Interior Options
The Boss 302 is only offered with one body style option- a SportsRoof Fastback. Also, the customer can choose from only four exterior color options -Acapulco Blue, Calypso Coral, Bright Yellow and Wimbledon White ( insert picture white was the rarest with 194 examples produced.The interior colors of the Boss 302 are limited to black or white with most customers choosing black. Ford’s basic interior package comes standard with the purchase of the car but customers can choose to upgrade. Upgrades available include high-backed seats with wood grain dash and its accompanying trim
Under the Hood of the Boss 302-
Under the hood, things get exciting. The Boss 302, engineered to compete in the Trans-Am races, has to be agile and easily maneuverable while racing at breakneck speed. To this end, the 1969 Boss 302 is outfitted with a ‘competition suspension package” This package includes but is not limited to a heavy-duty spindle, a more robust sway bar, front disc brakes and of course the special Cleveland heads fitted to the Windsor 351 block engine. The 302 is only offered with 4 speed top loader manual transmission. Those wanting the automatic option will have to look elsewhere. This is a race car after all.
Despite its dazzling good looks and top-notch performance the 1969 Boss 302 did not win against the z28. It would be another year, 1970 to be exact before the Boss 302 can capture the Trans-Am race title from the Z28. Nevertheless, the 302 is remarkable and a highly sought-after classic car which is sure to keep appreciating in value.
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