Historical Moment for Mustang Enthusiasts

The 2023 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) witnessed a significant event for Ford Mustang enthusiasts. The highlight of the show was the public debut of the only factory-built 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 302, a car that had been missing for 25 years but was recently discovered and meticulously restored.

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The Boss 302 story began in 1969 when Ford introduced the track-prepped pony for homologation purposes. Alongside the Boss 429, the Boss 302 allowed Ford to compete in the SCCA Trans-Am series, becoming a formidable rival to the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 on both the race track and public roads.

Unique Design and Features

Styled by Larry Shinoda, the Boss 302 sported a distinctive appearance package with stripes, a front spoiler, and a rear deck wing. The suspension setup and the 302-cubic-inch V8 were specific to this model. Although not the most powerful Mustang of its time, the Boss 302 was known for its agility and lighter build compared to its big-block counterparts.

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While Ford did not secure victory in the SCCA series, the Boss 302 continued production for the 1970 model year. The design underwent changes, incorporating new Mustang features. Despite selling only a small number of units in 1969, the Boss 302 remains a rare classic, with production ceasing at the end of 1970.

Unveiling the Forgotten 1971 Prototype

Contrary to the official narrative, Ford had plans for a 1971 Boss 302. The company even designed and built a prototype before canceling the project in favor of a larger mill and the “Boss 351” badge. Remarkably, the one-off 1971 Boss 302 prototype survived, hidden for about 25 years, until Mustang expert Bob Perkins brought it to light.

Bob Perkins, a renowned Mustang expert, meticulously restored the Boss 302 to its factory specifications over five years. Despite minor upgrades under the hood, the car maintains its original configuration. Unique features include chrome exhaust tips, a honeycomb rear fascia panel, and a gas cap shared with the Mach 1.


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 FAQs about the 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 302

 What is the significance of the Boss 302 in Mustang history?

The Boss 302 played a crucial role in allowing Ford to compete in the SCCA Trans-Am series against rivals like the Chevrolet Camaro Z28.

 Why is the 1971 Boss 302 considered rare?

Ford officially discontinued the Boss 302 at the end of 1970, making the 1971 prototype a unique and rare piece of Mustang history.

Who discovered the missing 1971 Boss 302, and how was it restored?

The car was found by Andrew Hack after being missing for approximately 25 years. Mustang expert Bob Perkins meticulously restored it to factory specifications over a five-year period.

What sets the 1971 Boss 302 apart from other models?

The 1971 Boss 302 prototype features unique elements, including chrome exhaust tips and shared design components with the Mach 1, making it distinct within the Boss lineup.

How can enthusiasts learn more about this rare Boss 302?

Enthusiasts can delve into the vehicle’s history, unique features, and restoration process by watching the video featuring Bob Perkins and Jerry Heasley at MCACN 2023.

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