In the 1960s Ford Motor Company decided to develop a fun-to-drive car that would appeal to the post-World War II generation. The production model was introduced to the world for the first time on April 17, 1964 at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. The first Mustangs were offered with four engine variants, ranging from the base 101 horsepower, 170 cid six-cylinder to the 4-barrel 289 cid High Performance V8 with 271 horsepower. Body style was either a coupe or a convertible.
Boss returned for one more year, this time wearing the new-for-1971 sheet metal marking a longer, lower and wider Mustang than ever before. Under the hood, changes were equally dramatic, with the company’s 351 Cleveland V8 supplying the basis for motivation, matched as always with a four-speed manual gearbox. But with Ford pulling out of all factory-sponsored motorsports after 1970, the Boss 351 was denied a key element cementing the status of its predecessors: the proof testing provided by an official racing program.
While the Boss 302 was intended to be a perfectly balanced road race car, the Ford Mustang Boss 429 had a decidedly different mission in life – uncompromised acceleration. Although the exterior appearance was similar to that of the Boss 302, the 429 engine under the hood was a heavily detuned version of a new Ford NASCAR racing powerplant.
With styling tweaked by newly arrived Ford designer Larry Shinoda, the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 sported front and rear spoilers, a blacked-out hood treatment, and racy side stripes for a look that screamed performance. Under the bodywork, the Boss 302 didn’t disappoint. Its engine combined a four-bolt main Windsor small-block with reworked heads from the then-new 351 Cleveland engine.