1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Grabs Our Attention: Your Ride
In 1970 Kirk's brother finally came home from 3 tours in Vietnam and bought a 1970 Mustang Boss 302. After a few years, expenses piled up and the Mustang was for sale. Kirk, who’s always been a Mustang lover, offered to buy the Boss 302 from his brother. Kirk said, “After the many experiences and work put into the "heart" of this car, all of my friends, including my father, simply call it ‘The Boss.’” Here, he shares his story behind The Boss. BoldRide: What do you feel like when you drive The Boss? Kirk: This car makes me feel like all eyes are on it when I drive by. And they are! I love the color. I get much more pride and excitement winning a race in a car that looks just like it rolled off of the assembly line by using quality parts, rather than sticking on a nitrous bottle and depending on it for raw horsepower and torque. PHOTOS: See More of the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302
What's your favorite memory of your car?
My wife and I took it to Colorado to run in the Pikes Peak hill climb. I will never forget passing drivers, like Bobby and Al Unser, up that beautifully banked road to the top. After we placed 2nd, the Unsers wanted a look under the hood. They were amazed to find a 302 that fast, that hugged the road as well as The Boss did. The funny part is they thought I might be Parnelli Jones just having fun! That was one of the best trips of our lives'. Then we continued on to Royal Gorge, where we had our picture taken coming across the suspension bridge for a Classic Auto Calendar for 1978! The Grabber Blue paint stood out and filled “October" with vivid color and beauty.
What have you done to make it a bolder ride?
When I bought the car, I immediately took it to Arbor Garage in Omaha, Nebraska. Owners, George Roseland and Duane Burson are both master mechanics and drag racers to boot. I asked them to do whatever they thought would make it the best Boss around. They know NHRA rules and kept it "pure stock". That was their only condition. The Grabber Blue color made it stand out and look fast just parked there. I made it a daily ritual to stop by the Arbor Garage to watch and learn about the specifications and see what progress was made and why. After cleaning up the bottom end, the FoMoCo pistons were changed out to TRW high-domed stainless steel ones, since the skirt on one of the originals was cracked. The crack scored the walls just a bit, so it was bored .030 over and that bumped up the compression to 13.0 to 1, still keeping with NHRA rules.
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Next was the carburetor. The Autolite 780 CFM was a piece of junk, but regulations are hard on carburetors. Throwing out the original, I bought a brand new Autolite. Roseland and Burson took out the guts and put in their own secret tricks from years of racing - once again, still within regulations. In other words, instead of using the hydraulics to open the secondaries, it was wired to be WFO! The entire overhaul took 5-6 months and when it rolled out, it was ready for the "break-in" period. Being a high compression 475 hp motor in a small car, you can imagine how hard it was not to jump on the gas until the rings seated properly.
Tell us a funny story from during its restoration phase.
When Roseland was putting in the pistons, I asked if we could put nitrous on it. Nitrous oxide had just come around and I knew of a few guys that had it; all I knew was it increased the horsepower. Roseland looked at me, dropped the cigar from his mouth, and said, "Do you want to rebuild your beautiful motor every 10 runs or so?” The look on his face said the answer, no. Then he went through a 30-minute chew out session and said, "Kirk, this is a piece of art. Would you paint over a Rembrandt? No."
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Fill in the blank: My car means more to me than _________
A couple of years pay, at least!
What’s an inside fact about The Boss only an owner would know about?
The Boss puts out 570 degrees lift and 590 degrees duration just as it sits. That’s enough to lay down estimates times of high 10s all day long at the track. As long as I change the dual-points every 3-4 runs and keep the octane at 103-105, I get great runs all day long.
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Thanks to Kirk for sharing his bold ride! Want us to feature your ride? Click here to find out how