Ford Mustang Boss 351
From Ford press: Arriving in 1969, the first Mustang Boss was forged from a simple mandate by Ford management to the designers and engineers: Create a Mustang that would be unbeatable on SCCA race courses and local drag strips alike.
By then, Mustang sales success was assured thanks to its sporty nature. As a true high-performance icon, however, the car’s history had yet to be written. That changed when company leadership decided to pursue dominance in the popular SCCA Trans-Am road racing series. They chose to homologate their new NASCAR 429 engine using the Mustang, directing engineers to begin creating performance that would become legendary.
The result – Boss – spanned three engine configurations across two Mustang bodystyles, each of which remains a coveted classic among enthusiasts and collectors today.
1971 Boss 351
Boss returned for one more year, this time wearing the new-for-1971 sheet metal marking a longer, lower and wider Mustang than ever before. Under the hood, changes were equally dramatic, with the company’s 351 Cleveland V8 supplying the basis for motivation, matched as always with a four-speed manual gearbox. But with Ford pulling out of all factory-sponsored motorsports after 1970, the Boss 351 was denied a key element cementing the status of its predecessors: the proof testing provided by an official racing program.
Still, the Boss 351 offered exciting performance and eye-catching looks aided by the 60-degree sloping fastback body and twin-scoop contrasting hood. Interiors also gained luxury options; coupled with the improved tractability of the 351 Cleveland engine, it was easier for prospective buyers to turn this final early Boss into a comfortable high-speed cruiser than was possible with the race-bred 302 and 429 iterations.