Monday, September 17, 2012

Payin' The Cost To Be The Boss

The Boss by William 74
The Boss, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.
In 1969, at the height of the Trans-Am's popularity, Ford needed to develop a version of the Mustang to take the fight to Chevrolet's Camaro Z/28. The vehicle that resulted was the Boss 302, which ran a composite engine made up of the Windsor smallblock and cylinder heads from Ford's "Cleveland" big block. The resulting 302 cubic inch motor was unique to the Boss, and had it's own distinct sound and feel, a chattering, high-strung race engine for the street.

Other improvements to the Boss were the deletion of the standard Mustang's rear fender scoops, a new functional hood scoop, tightened up suspension, and frequently a lower rear axle ratio. All of this added up to a pretty serious piece of kit, able to entertain on the road and win on the track.

And the name? Ford President Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen was a big proponent of this project, and when designer Larry Shinoda was asked what he was working on, simply answered "The Boss' car". The name stuck.

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