40k Original Miles: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

For me, the Boss 302 has always been the ultimate iteration of the 1st Generation Mustang. It was a car that lacked little in the performance stakes, but Ford went to a great deal of trouble to ensure that the car had the brakes and handling prowess to create a car that was a total package. Finding original and unmolested survivors is getting more difficult as the years pass, but that is precisely what this 1970 Boss 302 is. Located in Tucson, Arizona, it is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has currently reached $35,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met at this point. That’s a fact that doesn’t surprise me in the least.

The owner of the Boss purchased it back in 1996 and has used the car on a limited basis ever since. It has the sort of baked look that you would expect from a car that has spent plenty of time in the Arizona sun. While that hasn’t been kind to the paint, the new owner will reap the benefits when it comes to the car’s overall condition. This Mustang is solid. There is the usual dusting of dry surface corrosion that is common to cars from that region, but actual rust issues are limited to one small spot in the lower door on the passenger side. The owner provides plenty of photos of all areas of the car, and prone areas such as the torque boxes, floors, and frame rails are clean. The Grabber Green paint has definitely seen better days, but at least the car is complete. The front and rear spoilers are both still present and in good condition. Those spoilers weren’t about good looks. They were all about finding down-force to improve handling for racing, as the Boss 302 was the weapon of choice for Ford in the incredibly competitive Trans Am series. After playing second-best to the Camaro Z28 in 1968 and 1969, the 1970 Boss 302 wrested the Trans Am crown from the Camaro. A large part of the car’s success can be attributed to the car’s handling prowess, and those spoilers played a key role in that success.

Of course, bolting a couple of spoilers onto a Mustang was never going to create a Trans Am winner, so plenty of work had to be done out of sight under the skin of the Mustang to make it go, stop, and handle. The heart of the beast is the Boss 302 engine, which was a relatively light unit, and produced a conservatively claimed 290hp. Those horses were then fed to a 4-speed, close-ratio transmission, and then through to a Traction-Lok rear end with a choice of three ratios. Lower suspension and power front disc brakes helped the Boss to handle and stop better than any previous Mustang. This particular car just continues to carry good news for the next owner. It is a numbers-matching car, and it is in fairly good mechanical health. The car runs and drives well, but the owner does suggest that due to the fact that it can be a bit stubborn to get started, a carburetor rebuild will be on the cards. The carburetor and exhaust are the only non-original parts on the car, but it isn’t clear whether the carburetor wears the correct date code. If it doesn’t, then I would probably go searching for one that does. The Mustang also does puff a bit of blue smoke on start-up, and I tend to agree with the owner that this is likely to be valve seals. Replacing those is an easy job, so do that and give it a good tune-up, and it should be good to go.

The white vinyl interior is largely original, and while it is showing its age, it really isn’t that bad. The owner has previously replaced the cover on the driver’s seat, along with the dash pad. He does say that the headliner has seen better days and that the radio also isn’t original. The rest of it is, and it looks to be quite serviceable, with just a couple of detail items that should probably be attended to before the car sees regular use. If I bought this car, I would be quite torn. Do I restore the interior, or do I leave it as it is? That’s a tough question to answer, as I can see positives and negatives for both options. What the owner does have is some very interesting paperwork that is included in the sale. This includes a Marti Report, documentation which verifies the fact that the car has less than 40,000 original miles on the clock, two Build Sheets, and the rather interesting Ford Quality Control Report. That alone is worth reading because this car was plucked off the line and given a really detailed inspection. It’s interesting to see all of the little faults that might have escaped normal inspection once the car was placed under a microscope.

The Boss 302 was not a particularly rare car, as Ford produced 7,013 examples in 1970. Finding one as original and solid as this one is rarer. Immaculate examples will today command solid, six-figure prices. This one isn’t immaculate, but its originality and the solid physical state does make it pretty special. If you decided that this was a car for you, would you restore it, or leave it exactly as it is?


  1. Patrick S Newport Pagnell Staff

    Freshen up the engine issues and leave as is. Perfect IMO.

    Like 25
    • Chris M.

      Absolutely agree.

      Like 8
    • TrentDM

      Heck Yeah!!! Clean it up and roll. If the exhaust is rotted put some RPC long tube headers w/starter tubes and turn downs and ride. Let it breathe. Just stripped my Vic exhaust. To do this.

      Like 1
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    The last of the great looking Mustangs. Watched them race, admired them on the street.

    Like 9
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      The Bud Moore Mustangs! George Follmer, Parnelli Jones in TransAm against Roger Penske’s Camaro driven by another great, Mark Donohue. What a fantastic time in racing history of American cars-showing the world that American cars could turn left AND right!

      Like 10
      • Richard Gaskill

        By ’70 Penske and Donahue had gone to AMC. Camaro was no longer competitive.

        Like 3
  3. Superdessucke

    Definitely leave it as is. Too many over restored examples out there. Why make it look just like those?

    Like 11
  4. Richard Gaskill

    While a Concours condition car could bring 6 figures number 2 condition cars won’t demand that . Here are current Hagerty values.
    Current Values
    #1 Concours $128,000
    #2 Excellent $97,900
    #3 Good $66,800
    #4 Fair $43,800
    I rarely see one sell for over $70,000 but Good Condition cars are drivers. These cars should not be trailer queens.

    Like 8
  5. JT

    I could have got one of these in 1981 for a trade off with my 68 chevy pickup plus 200.00.

    Like 6
  6. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    5.5 days left & it’s already at $42,600-this would be a one to turn loose out here in the desert but it’s not going to happen on our spread for the money it’ll bring.

    Like 1
    • Richard Gaskill

      Bidding has stalled at $45,100. There likely won’t be much more until the final hours.

      Like 2
  7. Gaspumpchas

    Most definitely leave the paint as is–notice I avoid the P word- I can see it now–blast down I 10 then stop at the Triple T truck stop in Tucson for coffee and an apple pie sundae. Most Righteous. The Boss 302 is downright amazing Good luck to the new owner!!


    Like 8
  8. Dayle

    HI thanks, its actually my car and Ive love taking it out just as is, funny you mention Triple T and a blast down I10, because Ive done just that a few times from Grant rd to Houghton and back thru town a few times and the car almost gets too much attention. Hate to part with it, but think it time someone else can enjoy it too.

    Like 18
    • Gaspumpchas

      Dayle, hoped someone would pick up on it!! Had cousins that lived in the RV park on Kolb Rd, had many great visits with them and Love Tucson. Traveling by plane leaves me limited as to how much I bring home, but I was actually able to get into an aircraft junkyard near davis- Monthan. Gone now but what cool stuff. They had the fuselage of a NASA “Vomit Comet’ plane there, the one that flew to the edge of the Stratosphere to simulate weightlessness. Anyway, got a Hubcap from a Boeing 727 there! Good luck to you with the boss, and great conversation. I took pics of the aircraft Junkyard and are on my facebook page, come on over and be friends!
      Charlie Hulsizer

      Like 2
  9. JimmyinTEXAS

    My favorite year.
    Bid at $45,100. Reserve is off. In the seller’s comments, he states “Buy it now 60K”. If your looking now may be your time.

    Like 2
    • stillrunners Stillrunners Member

      Yep and then came those Ramblers uhh AMX”s..

      Like 2
      • Richard Gaskill

        Do you mean the AMC Javelin that won the TransAm Championship in ’71? That was partly because AMC was the only manufacturer that backed a team in ’71 and partly because Chevrolet wouldn’t give Penske what he wanted so he went to AMC in ’70. Chevrolet came in third behind Ford and AMC in ’70.

        Like 1
  10. scottymac

    Smog system and rev limiter appear to be intact, expensive pieces just on their own.

    Like 4
  11. OhU8one2

    This car has a lot going for it. But I can’t like that Grabber Green paint, and I dont believe in changing a car’s original color. I like the white interior and a big plus for keeping it mostly rust free. Again, very nice car. It’s just not for me.

    Like 1
  12. MB

    It still has it’s factory rev limiter, unusual as it was usually one of the first items chucked into trash day 2 of ownership. I like the Boss 302 but ultimately picked a 70 Z28, quicker, more comfortable, and in my humble opinion, a little better looking.

    Like 3
  13. TimM

    So much money but such a great car!! I keep playing those numbers to win the big one!! That car would be something I’d drive everyday everywhere!! I’m in agreement with everyone here leave it make it run and drive without a problem then drive it like you stole it!!!

    Like 1
  14. Troy s

    Really like the look of these Boss ’02’s, and the Boss 429 a tad more, more so than the tape striped Mach 1’s. But neither engine for a street car, my feeling being they were both too much of a specialty engine….not like parts could interchange with other 302’s or 429’s right? Ah, who cares anyways.
    Larry Shinado called it the boss’s car, for his boss Bunkie Knudsen, who wanted a real world beater in the new trans am racer. That’s my understanding anyways, that’s how that name came to be.
    Chevy had it tight, real tight, against these and probably had more trouble with cracked heads than the Boss 302 Mustang.
    Great example here, blast to run it thru the gears I bet!

    Like 1
  15. Cors986

    Nice survivor. Boss 302’s we’re built to move right from the showrooms. Quick reliable and eye turning. These cars are becoming harder and harder to find. With a good rating 60-65k would be an acceptable price due to paint engine bay cleanup and interior restoration and you would have a 75-80 k value vehicle

  16. bobhess bobhess Member

    Was at the ’70 year end race at Sonoma. Sat on the hill across from the 180 loop to the front straight. It was a downhill run with elevation changes and curves. Just couldn’t believe what Jones and company were doing with those heavy cars. Ranks as one of the best road races I’ve ever seen.

    Like 2
  17. Jim22

    Rear Spoilers at the speeds we drive are only for looks.

    Like 1
    • Rjonec

      The rear wing or “Spoiler” is an actual air foil. A small detail, but none the less it is an actual air foil that actually was capable of developing down force or negative lift at speeds above 60 mph. Ford conducted a significant amount of wind tunnel testing with the spoiler. Many times you see the wing incorrectly mounted at the incorrect angle of attack hence making it create excessive drag vs the benefit of generating negative lift. It was homologated for that specific reason.

  18. Superdessucke

    This over-restored example is only at 30 grand and has been on the “block” longer..


    That one is the kind of car that if it even rained outside I would be tripping down the stairs to the garage, stomach sick with worry, to make sure no water accidentally got under the door and got its dastardly and cruel wetness anywhere on my vehicle.

    In other words, I would never buy something like this. I have enough stress in my life!

    The car that subject to this article, by contrast, shows you that original unrestored examples are worth way more money and generate a lot more interest.

    Like 2
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      I read your comment a while ago and checked out the link you attached. I went to the seller’s website and realized I had been there before. They are crazy proud of their inventory and almost all prices seem like they are 30% over market. They are asking $74,900 for their Boss. I believe this example isn’t over-restored. Over refurbished maybe, with an Earl Scheib paint job. There is enough paint on the bottom of that car to paint a fender. Makes me wonder how many pounds of Bondo did they use?
      A car like to one here on Barn Finds is worth more to a person that wants to really “over-restore” a car that will become a trailer queen than the one on Ebay because there will not be as much to undo to do it correctly to get that over-restored trailer queen they are after. lol

      Like 1
      • Superdessucke

        I mean that thing literally has a thousand new parts. Is that repo stuff even made in the U.S. anymore or is it made in China and Mexico? Not trying to be swarmy, I’m just curious. You could end up with a Mustang that is as much Chinese tin as a Hot Wheels car LOL!

    • Cattoo

      Dang. Were I to buy it it would need another restoration just to get it back to the way it looks in the pictures. I wouldn’t try to drive it in the rain but in Western Oregon. It rains.

  19. Richard Gaskill

    3 new bidders jumped in the past couple of days. Presently up to $45,800.
    One bidder increased it from $42,500 to $45,000.

    Like 1
  20. Michael

    I am the odd one out here, but to own such a beautiful car with paint in this condition would not work for me. I can understand if it was an old truck or something less desirable, but this Mustang with a fresh coat of paint would make me very happy.

    Like 2
    • Rjonec

      I’m over the barn find look / trend. Too many people gawk at and praise cars that have pretty much left outside for dead. They somehow relish at how great it is that the owner did not care to properly take care of a vehicle. Most of these cars that a stored like this depending on their geographic location means it is either rusted out or dry rotted. To make these a worthy driver usually requires a full tear down and rebuild. Whether you decide to repaint it or not. I can really a appreciate a car that has been properly cared for and stored properly and being a true survivor. Those are the cars that command a true premium in the market place. I suspect the final bid on this one will fall in-line with the rest of the current market. $15-20K under a nice restored driver / show car.

  21. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jun 06, 2019 , 9:30PM
    Winning bid:US $48,600.00
    [ 31 bids ]

    Like 1

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