Parked In ’86: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Survivor

The original owner of this 1970 Mustang Boss 302 placed it into storage in 1986, and it has only recently emerged from hiding. The current owner has done nothing cosmetically to the vehicle, and it still wears the coating of dust that has accumulated over the past 35-years. He has decided to part with the car so that some lucky person can have the joy of owning and driving one of the true American greats. Located in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, you will find the Boss listed for sale here on eBay. The bidding has reached $30,100, but I’m not surprised that the reserve is yet to be met.

As you might expect with a classic that has been sitting idle for 35-years, the Medium Lime Mustang isn’t perfect. The paint appears to hold a surprising shine under that dust, which means that it would be interesting to see how it responded to some intense cleaning and polishing. There are a few minor dings and marks, but the owner floats the idea of addressing these using one of those paintless dent removal companies. He also says that it has very little rust for its age but doesn’t elaborate on this claim. There is nothing clearly visible in the supplied photos, which suggests that there might be a few potential problems under this classic. The front spoiler is intact, and the original owner chose to order the Boss with Magnum 500 wheels and Sport Slats. I think that most of the exterior trim would respond positively to a high-quality polish, while the glass has no visible significant issues.

The Mustang’s interior continues the theme set by the exterior. Its condition is surprisingly good, and I think that a deep clean would make an enormous difference. The driver’s seat has a seam separation, but I would be consulting an upholsterer on that issue. If an upholsterer can repair it, that is the path that I would probably choose. Sourcing a replacement cover is an easy matter, but a complete set would be required if a consistent finish is to be achieved. It seems a shame to replace the lot due to one problem, especially if the buyer is keen on retaining the car as an original and unrestored survivor. The Boss is not loaded with luxury equipment, although the AM radio and the column-mounted factory tachometer are great touches.

The key to what made the Boss 302 so special is clear to see when we open the hood. Ford developed the 302ci small-block with an eye to Trans Am competition. This was not your average motor, and comparing it with any other 302 in the Ford range was like comparing chalk and cheese. The Boss featured so many changes that it almost requires a book to list them all. However, while the best that an owner could hope for from their production 302 was 220hp, the Boss pumped out an impressive (and “official”) 290hp. There is plenty of evidence supporting claims that the actual figure was significantly higher, with numbers north of 320hp being often quoted. The difference was graphically demonstrated when you pointed both a production 302 and a Boss at the ¼ mile. The regular 302 would complete the journey in 16.4 seconds, while the Boss would hammer it in 15 seconds. The story was no different if the driver kept the pedal to the metal. The production 302 ran out of breath at 121mph, while the Boss could easily make 133mph. The news seems to be all positive with this classic. It is a 100% numbers-matching vehicle that features that beautiful little engine, a 4-speed manual transmission, and nodular differential. While the owner hasn’t touched the car cosmetically, he has put some time and effort into coaxing the vehicle back to life. His work has paid dividends because the engine runs sweetly, the transmission shifts smoothly, and the power disc brakes are said to feel strong. After 35-years in hiding, the open road is beckoning for this Boss.

Ford did an admirable job squeezing impressive performance from its legendary small-block V8. Fitted under the hood of the Mustang, the Boss 302 achieved significant racing success on multiple continents. Today you will struggle to find a good example in the market for less than $60,000, while it isn’t unprecedented for a pristine example to get well into six-figure territory. Given this car’s condition and originality, I wouldn’t be surprised if bidding doesn’t meet the reserve until somewhere around the $50,000 mark. This will be an auction worth watching. Of course, you might want to take it to the next level by submitting a bid. If you do, I can’t say that I’d blame you.


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    There are many desirable and collectible Mustangs, and the Boss 302 would be on the short list for many people. This one looks pretty good. Appears to be a straightforward restoration, or as the seller suggests, it might make a good ‘survivor’ (and you wouldn’t feel guilty driving it on a cruise with your Mustang Club friends).

    Like 19
  2. Steve R

    It the rust truly is minimal and cosmetic, rather than structural in nature there is no compelling reason to restore it. Doing so will all but guarantee it will be locked away permanently in a garage only to come out for an occasional show where it can park next to all of the other restored cars that live a similar life. Better to make sure the mechanicals are in good working order, then drive it. That’s what these cars were meant for and the reason enthusiasts bought them when new.

    Steve R

    Like 26
  3. JOHN Member

    I would simply clean this up and drive/show it “as-is” Simply maintain it with originality in mind and enjoy. Relatively low option car, love the Ford branded tach, and this car also has a factory AM/FM stereo radio, not an AM. Cool car.

    Like 16
  4. gaspumpchas

    Cant see too muh under the hood, but appears smog hardware is in place. Wrong distributor. Driving a healthy Boss 302 is a thing of beauty. I’d leave this beauty as is after going thru the mechanicals. Watch her go- I’m thinking 80k?? Will be interesting to see. Good luck and happy motoring!

    Like 1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      What makes you say “wrong distributor”? Looks like it has the original style vacuum advance on it, and the wire looks like it’s going into the right location for a dual point setup. I’d still want to see the numbers on it, but from the pics I don’t see anything obviously wrong with it.

      Like 1
      • JOHN Member

        I thought so also, maybe he meant the blue cap?

        Like 1
      • gaspumpchas

        Thanks for the commentary, Gentleman. The correct distriutor for a true Boss 302 has dual points and mechaniccal advance, therefore no vacuum advance. BTW, set one of these up with .020 on both sets of points, and your dwell will be right where it should be. Good luck and happy motoring.

        Like 3
    • Mike_B_SVT

      “The correct distriutor for a true Boss 302 has dual points and mechaniccal advance, therefore no vacuum advance.”

      No Sir. The correct distributor for a Boss 302 has both mechanical AND vacuum advance. The vacuum advance has both an advance port and a retard port (for emissions purposes). The vac advance units used on the Boss cars are typically stamped with an X12 identifying number.
      The unit in the picture appears to be correct, but like I said, I’d want to check the numbers to be sure.

      Like 3
      • gaspumpchas

        Mike B I guess you know more than I do about the distributor, as the Boss I worked on had no vac advance. Never saw one with dual points and vac advance. I had trouble with the one I worked on with the distributor seized into the block, and I wanted to do a slight timing adjustment, and the owner reminded me that it would be a sad day in town if I broke that dist. Left ‘er alone. Good luck and happy motoring.

        Like 2
  5. chelsea_dale

    Clean it up and drive it. Nothing like the sweet sound of that solid lifter cam in the Boss engine.
    A word of caution, based on personal experience with my car. The photos of the interior passenger side, showing the floor mat, indicates there is a coolant leak from the heater core. More than likely the coolant has leaked behind the floor mat and has been soaking the carpeting. While it’s possible it started leaking since it came out of storage, it also may have been leaking for years. Something to look at before writing the check.

    Like 1
  6. BleedNRed

    I’ve always been curious. Many… many years ago, I owned a 70 Boss 302 with shaker hood. I know it was an option, but I’ve noticed over the years that it seems like most did not have it. Is a “factory” shaker hood a rare option?

  7. Howie Mueler

    Yes very nice, did these come with a rear wing?

    Like 1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Rear spoiler was optional, just like the shaker.

      Like 1
  8. Haynes

    Did he say the car has been idling for 35 years….Cool

    Like 3
  9. Mike W H

    The area this car is located, Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, was just pounded by superstorm Sandy. It’s entirely possible this car spent some time underwater. Heads up. If not, nice cruiser.

    Like 2
  10. Robert Garcia

    I don’t recall seeing a Boss 302 with the molding along the bottom below the doors.

    Like 1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      A buyer should want to see the VIN, just to be sure.
      Very possible that the rocker molding was a factory mistake ~ or added at some point.
      See that sometimes on ’70 Eliminators too ~ somewhere / somehow they occasionally ended up with wheel well molding or rocker trim.

  11. Eric B

    Why are on earth would the word restoration ever enter anyone’s mind when looking at this amazing survivor? Survivors are worth more anyway, so whatever it sells for wouldn’t make it feasible for someone to buy that had intentions of restoring it. Break out the clay bars, DA polishers, shampooer, degreaser and send it off for dry ice cleaning (look it up) if you really wanna treat it. Appreciate the history, imperfections and drive.

    Like 4
    • Howie Mueler

      As they say, its only original once.

      Like 3
  12. Desert Rat

    For years this has been one of my most liked Mustangs but as I day dream about this little stang, I ask my self, if back in the day would I really want this Boss, and the answer is no. You see to me it was all about drag racing and street racing ,stoplight to stoplight. So why would you want a Boss 302 or a Z28 for that matter, that was hampered ,some what, by it’s small displacement unless you were in to some form of autocrossing which I was not. Sure you could hop-up your Boss to run with some of the slower big blocks out there with hotter cams and steeper gears but now the Boss can no longer take a road trip of any distance, bummer. So as I step out of my “way back time machine” I walk right past the Boss 302 and head to the 428 cobra-jet powered Mustang, with the 4speed, thank you very much.

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