10K Mile 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

Yesterday, a Ford Mustang II caught my attention and I made reference to its predecessor, the BIG ’71-’73 version of Ford’s famous pony car. Today, it’s time to review a big Mustang, but not just any example from that era, but a rare, 1971 Boss 351. How rare? How about 1,806 according to David LaChance at Hemmings. This vintage of the Boss is seldomly encountered and this will be a great opportunity to check out a very special muscle/pony car. Located in Basile, Louisiana, this Mustang is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $50,000, OBO. Note, the listing states $50 in the heading (I wish!) but further in the details, the actual price is stated.

The Boss series Mustangs were homologation cars, the 302 for the SCCA’s TransAm series, and the 429 monster motor for the NASCAR Grand National (Cup) series. Chevrolet followed the same homologation path with its Z28 Camaro (’67-’69) and ultimately raised the displacement of the Z to 350 CI in ’70. Ford followed suit in ’71, but they were one and done. There was no Boss 351 after ’71 and that single year limitation, coupled with the Boss 351’s scarcity, has lead to its collectibility and elevated market value.  While 1971 was the start of the downward trend in horsepower, primarily the result of The Clean Air Act of 1970, the Blue Oval kept the party going with this Boss and a rarer-still, 429 CI SCJ motor available for the Mach I and its lesser pony siblings. Fun stuff but the party lights were starting to dim.

Right off the bat, this Mustang is claimed to be a 10K mile example. The seller states that he bought it from the original owner and the mileage is documented. While an image of the odometer is not exactly documentation, he does say that he has, “boxes of little things that were changed with original parts down to hose clamps, even yearly inspections from DMV, an appraisal, shop receipts, it’s really unbelievable the stuff I have with this car. There’s a lot more information to share but this ad would go on and on“. The seller claims this as a very original example and the only detraction noted is some surface corrosion around the rear quarter window. He also mentions that there is some rust under the hood at the “back of the ram air” due to a nesting bird(?) but there is no included image. The Marti report, not included, references this Boss as one of 67 finished in Medium Yellow Gold. The finish looks fine, especially considering this car’s age, but of all the colors that could have been chosen…well, it was the ’70s and this Ford is a fine representative of that era.

There is no image of the engine so I included this mock-up from Ford’s Boss 351 pamphlet. The lack of an engine image is troubling as that’s what this R-Code Mustang is all about, its 330 gross HP, 351 CI “Cleveland” HO motor. The seller claims that he last drove this Ford six years ago and he makes no mention as to its running prowess, other than to state the way overused term that, “it’s a bada** car”. One would expect a more thorough operating description, especially on a rarity at this price point. Interestingly, Chevrolet’s Z28 rated its LT-1, 350 CI motor at 330 gross HP in ’71 too, so there was a real head-to-head competition between the two crosstown rivals and their Trans-Am inspired cars. As fate would have it, however, AMC’s Javelin actually won the Trans-Am championship that year. A four-speed manual transmission was the only gearbox available in the Boss.

The interior of this Mustang looks about as you would expect –  all business. It is a simple and basic black vinyl environment with bucket seats and a consolette, as opposed to a full-length console between the seats. It is hard to tell from the image, but the gearshift looks like it has a rust coating on the passenger seat side. Is it a reflection or an actual problem? If it is rust, that would be concerning due to potential moisture exposure. The seller does admit that this car sat for years in a garage under a cover and was then moved to his shop where its solitude has continued.

The seller suggests that this Mustang would make a good winter project. Heck, being what it is would make this car a good, any time of year project. But how much of a project? This car looks complete and appears to be sound but the lack of running details, and the amount of time since it last operated, should be a matter of concern. So, what do you think, considering this car’s rarity and low mileage, priced right?

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Comments

  1. unclemymy Member

    Gosh, how I love these Mustangs. But I’m not seeing $50,000, considering the great cars I could buy that have lest rust and more documentation.

    Like 32
  2. dirtyharry

    50k? Can’t say I want to run to the phone. Mustangs are cool, that is for sure.

    I recall two guys driving in a Mustang to Vegas and to do some touring around. Without a plan, they noticed signs for the “Mustang Ranch” ahead. Carl remarked: “Did you know we are passing the largest house of prostitution out here in the desert.” Bob responds: “Why.”

    Like 26
  3. Troy s

    Really nice Boss, don’t see that color too much which makes it kinda special. What makes it Special is that 351 Cleveland under the hood, lots of power, and lots of compression. What, 11.7 to 1 or close to that.! Least respected Boss, at least amongst collectors, for years. Well respected on the road…

    Like 11
    • Vince H

      I worked with a guy who bought one new. Another guy at work had a 429 Ranchero. When they were ready to race we thought the 429 would win. The Boss won by a half car but bent several pushrods from being wound to tight. Gave me new respect for the 351 Cleveland.

      Like 6
      • Terry Melvin

        I would bet the Ranchero lost due to massive wheel spin. They had no weight in the back and a heavy engine in the front.

        Like 8
      • Troy s

        To be honest I dont know which car I would’ve picked, the.429 Ranchero would have to be the solid lifter SCJ before I would give it an edge, the Boss 351 Mustang was a real mover. At the same time those two engines were fairly recent in the Ford camp, had a 427 powered anything gone up against the Boss, well…the big FE was a proven design and had plenty of years of R&D.
        Like all the old stories here! As I always say, it’s what made these cars so special in the first place.

        Like 1
  4. Frank Sumatra

    One of the last places my $50K dream car fund would go to. Pipe dream.

    Like 16
  5. Jeff

    Just look at how well it has been taken care of. 10K miles and the carpets have never been vacuumed. Maybe the owner was worried using a Shop Vac might wear out the high pile of ….

    Like 18
    • Steve RM

      And it looks like he didn’t bother to wipe the mold/mildew off the door panels either. For $50,000 it should have been cleaned better. It amazes how many people don’t do simple things like clean out the trash and use a vacuum before they try to sell a car.

      Like 4
  6. Little_Cars

    The Midget in my profile picture is practically this color. It tends to grow on you. It can be had for less than 10% of the price of this ‘Stang, and offer 90% more smiles per mile out of the box.

    Like 10
  7. Chris

    Elanore – Not worth 50K

    Like 4
  8. Douglas Threlfall Member

    The ad presentation should reflect the asking price. You want $50K and can’t even get it professionally detailed? Or even a wash & vacuum? And don’t start me on the limited and poor photos…

    Like 19
  9. frozenbird

    I have to agree, a $50K ask deserves a lot more effort by the seller

    Like 15
  10. Frank Armstrong

    Seller apparently thinks leaving the dirt on the carpet verifies “ barn find”. Just sloppy in my opinion. For $50K, the rust areas should have been taken care of professionally, and if the upper quarter window area is rusted, what does the unibody look like?

    Cool survivor, but $50K buys a lot more excitement. I have owned a 71 Mach 1 version of this car, 351 4V, and it was more of a cruiser than a sports car.

    Like 7
  11. Al

    $50K? LOL! Another Barrett Jackson fan.

    Like 9
  12. David Miraglia

    I love mustangs but this one is a bit overpriced.

    Like 4
  13. Jackie Hollingsworth

    I Love the looks of the bigger 1971-73 Mustang Mach 1 and Fastbacks and the ride compered to the 1965-68 models is like getting out of Volkswagen and in to a Cadillac…..Big improvement .

    Like 2
  14. Rick

    We had a red one when I was a kid. Had usual performance mods. Headers, intake, carb and cam. Was a very fast car! But 71 was a bad year for the steel being used and rust is a big issue. I would be very wary of what is going on underneath after seeing the window rust.

    Like 3

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