WAYNESFIELD — Most Ford car enthusiasts can recite the history of the Mustang. However, the Boss 302 Mustang is another story.
This gem was designed by Larry Shinoda, a former GM employee. The Boss 302 Mustang is a high performance Ford Mustang originally produced in 1969 and 1970. It was one of the first models with a front spoiler and rear deck wing.
The name “Boss” came about when Shinoda was asked what project he was working on. He answered “the boss’s car” because the project was a secret. Others say Shinoda had called it the “Boss” because it was Ford’s new president Semon “Bunkie” Knudson, who had brought Shinoda over from GM.
The 302 is the engine option. In an effort to improve the Mustang’s image, Ford made a 428 Cobra Jet V8 and a Ford Boss 302 engine optional for the 1968 mid-year and 1969 models. The 302 was a composite engine using the “tunnel port” Windsor block and large Cleveland heads. This engine was available for the purpose of meeting the homologation guidelines to compete in the Trans-Am series. The SCCA Trans-Am series was popular in the late 1960s. A version of “stock-car” racing, the five-liter class saw Detroit build some impressive handling sedans to compete. The Boss 302 program was part of an effort by the Ford Motor Company to win the coveted SCCA Trans-Am Championship in 1969 and 1970. The Ford entry for 1969 and 1970 was the Boss 302 Mustang. The factory effort was headed up by Bud Moore, who fielded two cars in the 1970 season, and won the championship that year.
Bill Smith, of Waynesfield, brought his 1970 Ford Boss 302 to The Lima News’ Real Wheels Cruise-In. He has owned this beauty just six months. Smith searched high and low all over the country to get his lifelong dream car. He found the car last spring at Mecum Muscle Car Auction in Indy. He says his favorite memory so far is all the compliments, awards and great fellowship he has had.