Car: Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback
What makes it special: The Camaro/Mustang rivalry had begun in 1967 with the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro by General Motors. The Camaro was the largest threat to the lead Ford had in the “pony car” field, a market segment largely created by Ford with the introduction of the Mustang in mid-year 1964. The 1969–70 Boss 302 Hi-Po engine was created in 1968 for the SCCA’s 1969 Trans-Am road racing series. Available in the Boss 302 Mustangs of 1969–70, it’s a unique Ford small-block engine featuring a thin-wall, high nickel content block casting. It differed substantially from regular 302’s, with 4-bolt mains, screw in freeze plugs, and heads using a canted valve design being developed for the planned 351 Cleveland which debuted the following year. The construction was aided by the two engines sharing a cylinder head bolt pattern, though the Boss 302 heads had to have their coolant passages slightly modified. This optional engine, and indeed the entire vehicle package, including handling and aerodynamic aids, was made available for the express purpose of meeting the homologation guidelines to compete in the SCCA Trans-Am series, which limited engine displacement to 305 cu in (5.0L) in order to compete.
What made it famous: The Boss 302 Mustang was designed by Larry Shinoda, a former GM employee. The car featured a reflective “C-Stripe”. The fake air scoops in the rear quarter panel fenders of the regular production 1969 Mustangs were eliminated on the Boss 302 models. A black horizontal rear window shade and a blackout hood were both options. It was one of the first production models with a front spoiler and rear deck wing.
Why I would want one: Love the whole look of the Boss 302, from it’s famed C-Stripe decals to the blacked-out look.
Fun fact: The name “Boss” came about when designer Larry Shinoda was asked what project he was working on, he answered “the boss’s car” because the project was a secret.