As I am sure everyone can relate to, I have a story behind the acquisition and eventual restoration of my 70 Boss 302....
While stationed in the state of Maryland with the Air Force many, many years ago, I picked up a 1970 Mach 1. Like many east coast cars, it had rust in the floors, torque boxes and quarter panels. Still, it was an original black exterior/red interior, 351C-4V, 4-speed, shaker car that was mostly original that I only paid 1200 bucks for (this was in the very late 1970s). While stationed with the NSA (National Security Agency) in Maryland, I accomplished a mostly cosmetic restoration (body rust repair, paint, interior work, engine overhaul) at nearby Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C. Afterwards, I had fun going to various car shows and cruises through the area, admiring the Bosses and wishing I could own one. When my father took ill and died from emphysema, I requested and was approved for a humanitarian assignment to Southern California. The decision was made to drive my Mach from Maryland to California. Keep in mind, the Mach was still considered a "used car" and didn't even qualify as "classic car" status, so it wasn't unreasonable to expect it to make the 3,000 mile trip. Although the Mach was a great car, I still dreamt of the day that I might own a Boss 302....
MY 70 MACH 1 THAT PAVED THE WAY FOR MY BOSS
The trip was fairly uneventful and the Mach made the trip without a single problem except for a small case of vapor lock in Albequerque, New Mexico. Once settled in California, I resumed my car show/cruise routine back up from where I left off in Maryland. One weekend not long after moving to California, I met a guy named Pete Mendoza, who was later to become my best friend. Pete had been a Mustang nut from many years back, still owning his first car from high school, a highly modified 66 Mustang coupe. Pete also owned a completely restored 1969 Mach 1 428 CJ that was near perfect. At any rate, Pete admired my Mach, but noted the rust underneath and volunteered a "junk 1970 Mustang fastback" to use to repair the rust damage to my wounded Mach.
PETE'S BEAUTIFUL 69 MACH 1 CJ
The day arrived to go pick up the Mustang (it was at his father's house about 45 miles away) and so we set off with a trailer behind his truck. Upon arrival, Pete pointed to the back of the property and motioned to a 1970 Mustang fastback up on blocks. As he went to get us some ice tea, I walked over and started examining the car that I figured was going to be cut up to repair my Mach. While checking out the floors, I noticed a Hurst stick jutting out of the tunnel opening. Further investigation revealed an in-dash tachometer. Wondering what the car represented, I pressed on. Through the faded cracked windshield, I could barely make out the meager remnants of some Boss 302 hood stripes. Not believing that this was indeed a Boss, I looked for further clues.
The doors, as well as the fenders were off the car and lying nearby to the rest of the car. Picking up the driver's door, I found the original door tag intact and discovered that this was not only a real 70 Boss 302, but a true "W" code 4:30 geared Drag Pack variety (later confirmed by the correct metal tag on the rear-end). The windshield VIN as well as the number stamped on the driver's side shock tower top matched the door VIN. As I was about to pass out from my discovery, Pete came back with the ice tea to which I blurted out, 'THIS IS A BOSS". Pete replied, "yeah, I know, but it is missing the right engine so promise me you won't try to restore it and instead use it on your Mach". Digging further, I noted the original 31 spline, N-case locker was still present as well as the correct 4-speed. The engine, as Pete had pointed out, was not a Boss but a 351W, however, it still had the correct DOZF alternator, DOZ carburetor and other unique Boss pieces crudely bolted to the Windsor.
Well, the rest they say, is history. We hauled the Boss home, I sold the Mach and, of course, poured every dime of that money plus a lot more from other resources into the "first" restoration, including a home paint job using lacquer paint. I located a correct Boss engine a few months after hauling the Boss home. The engine was disassembled and rebuilt including a complete blueprint and balance. I have pretty much done just about everything you could possibly do to a Boss 302 including showing it to racing it over the many years I have owned it. Today, I still attend many shows and cruises, but have backed off the racing part (except for some impromptu street racing) due to difficulty in finding parts when they break. My Boss has become a big part of my life and has seen me through some very difficult times including a divorce from my first wife of 20 years. I could go on and on, but the succeeding pages and photos will tell the continuing story in much greater detail. I am sure, by now, you have figured out that I am pretty "eaten up" with my Boss. In fact, I am seriously considering being buried in it!!
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