Team Polaris Drag Car: 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 429

This 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 429 presents me with some internal conflicts. First, this was basically built with a rich kid’s play money back in the 70s; second, at the risk of an internet mob hunting me down, the transporter built to move this famous “Team Polaris” drag car was far cooler than the car itself. All that said, it’s hard to deny the cool factory of a patriotic drag racer, and this Mustang comes with a well-documented history. Find the Mustang here on craigslist in New Hampshire with no price listed but a request for trades including a Challenger Hellcat or 1969 Cougar Eliminator R-Code.

Yes, I realize my nitpicks are pretty juvenile in nature, but hopefully you’ll realize they’re served up with a heavy dose of sarcasm. Still, the story goes that the son of a wealthy business owner got the racing bug and enticed his friend to trundle down to the Ford dealership and buy a Mustang. It didn’t stop there: a custom race hauler was built, and then a top-shelf racing team was assembled, including the likes of corporate brass from Ford that headed up various drag racing programs. Jack Roush was a consultant on the engine build, for God’s sake. And the name of the team was lifted directly from the yacht belonging to the young owner’s father.

Eventually, the team moved onto a new car, this time a 1971 fastback – the very car you see here. Extensive work was done to fortify the chassis by the best funny car builders of the era, and a highly over-built Boss 429 engine paired to a B&M C6 transmission was slotted under the hood. The patriotic design continued inside the cabin, and you have to give the team some serious style points – they had the looks down, including the awesome transporter pictured below. The Mustang took home some hardware over the years, but the team’s future literally came to a dead stop when the wealthy heir’s parents pulled the plug on future funding.

The fact that the Mustang has survived so well is truly commendable to the owners that looked after it in the years following the disbanding of the team. The seller says all necessary paperwork and trophies come with the car, though sadly, I cannot find any references to what became of the transporter. Honestly, it would behoove the next owner to try and bring that combination back together, as historic transporters are almost as desirable as the car itself. While I doubt the Mustang will return to competitive use ever again, it sure would make a pretty centerpiece to any drag car collection.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    This car ran Pro Stock, classes like that eat money. There will always be someone involved with this sort of race operation that has deep pockets, be it self financed, family member, friend or sponsor. That’s the way it works. To belittle someone who was financed by their parents isn’t particularly fair. Someone worked hard to earn the money and has the right to spend it as they like without the peanut gallery chiming in.

    At least this car seems to have had some amount of success. The majority of beginners that jump into racing especially at a high lever fail spectacularly, that’s common even at entry level Friday night racing too. I’d say about 75% of people that try their hand at competitive racing never win a race.

    Whoever built this operation didn’t waste their money, they were at least smart enough to seek out people with actual knowledge, rather than someone that is only capable of talking a good game.

    Steve R

    Like 29
    • RSwanson

      I understand where Jeff is coming from and have witnessed these out of control expenditures first hand. I’ve spent my entire career in the new car service business only to watch multiple “career” attempt failures funded by daddy’s money. One in particular comes to mind when JR. wanted to become an airplane pilot. I’m guessing most budding pilots start with an instructor in a trainer or in some sort of rental situation. Nope not here. Daddy bought him a plane then a small jet so he could log time flying circles. When your done flying you need to drive home in a Ferrari like Mgnum PI. This spending threatened my job and eventually daddy had to sell the franchise because he could not commit to expansion ordered by the franchisees. At least this guy learned when to say no.

      Like 4
  2. Troy s

    Sure looks the part of an early pro stocker, wonder how well it really did. Wild looking graphics, very groovy, although the patriotic theme would seem to go over better now than back then.
    The two factory boss429 Cougars were deemed non-competitive by their very well respected driver’s, that’s why I’m curious. Dyno Don actually called the Boss ‘nine a dog, he would be one to know things like this.
    Still a crazy cool ride here.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      The Boss 429 Cougar ran in Super Stock, which has a very restrictive set of rule, no so for Pro Stock. The Boss 429 style head was the head of choice for Ford racers when NHRA changed the rules to allow 500cid engine in the late-70’s, Bob Glidden dominated the class for many years running Thunderbirds and Probes.

      Steve R

      Like 12
      • Troy s

        Oh yeah, I remember Bob Glidden and those Ford’s of his, at the time I thought of it cool that Ford was giving the Chevy guys fits, Lee Shepard comes to mind. But that was some years after Ford pulled the plug on any further development of this shotgun motor.
        Odd that those two Cougars were actually allowed in Super Stock racing, as you state, very strict rules, and the Cougar was never offered in any amount with the 429, besides the two race cars. Nicholson actually ran a 427 SOHC instead of the Boss.

  3. Marty

    Built with a rich kids play money, huh? Jealousy will get you no where, but it does make you sound like an a$$. An uninformed one at that.

    Like 7
  4. Rube Goldberg Member

    Old fire trucks make good ramp trucks as race car haulers, if you could handle driving an awkwardly loaded C series Ford for 200 miles, that is. The car is really cool, Boss 429,,,awesome motor. And for the record, all drag racing is rich kids playing with daddy’s money,,,

    Like 7
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      BTW, I read, the best pass this car did was 10.09, around 135mph, while impressive, not competitive enough, as most in this class were in the mid 9’s. It was just too heavy, but did win the best appearing in class award. The team was to build a Boss 429 Pinto in 1973, but as stated, mommy and daddy pulled the plug, and the fun stopped there. Bet it was a heck of a ride while it lasted, and if we had wealthy parents, every one of us would have done the same thing.

      Like 9
    • Steve R

      If you spend much time in the staging lanes at your local track, you will find a disproportionate number of racers that are self employed, next on the list would be government employees, especially police and firemen. Racing cost money, but most of all it takes time. Anyone that races a class legal car or runs big buck bracket racing will generally be at the track, or traveling to and from a minimum of two to three weekdays per event. Many racers will travel to a dozen or more events per season, that doesn’t include two day races at tracks close to home. How many employers do you know that would be happy to give their employees 25+ days off a year so they can go racing?

      It’s nice to say “daddy’s money”, but in cases I know of, where the parents pay for the kids racing, the kid busts their butt working on their cars along with whatever full time job they have and are also generally racing alongside their parents.

      Steve R

      Like 9
    • 38ChevyCoupeGuy Member

      Why all the comments busting Jeff Laverys balls? Did any of you ballbusters read the article any further? If so, maybe he should have written it in layman’s terms so you could have better understood. He said he was being sarcastic in this write up…. Maybe you butt-hurt folks commenting are/were in fact the the real life real life rich kids?? Chill out, we all love our hot rods and any history documented about one such as this. Good write up Jeff, keep em coming.

      Like 10
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    In the ’70s Ford’s leading advertising thrust was on racing their cars. You couldn’t consider a “plain Jane” car with all the hype about power, handling, etc. Only problem I saw, being heavy into racing myself, was the number of cars that were raced being scrapped after a few years of use. In the mid ’80s we rescued a ’60 Porsche SCCA race car that was a couple days from heading into the crusher full of old exhaust pipes and headers. Turned out in was built in ’66 and had a national race history. After finding most of the original engines and parts we restored it and eventually sold it to folks who were into Vintage racing. Car is presently in California, still racing, and went from a 4k purchase to over 100K present day value. Just seeing this Mustang now makes me glad it’s still here.

    Like 14
  6. Ted

    In my world with the motorcycle roadracing on one hand and the NHRA stuff on the other it’s not uncommon to trip over people with huge dosh and little talent. Not slagging anyone, it’s their money to play with, only issue I ever had with the monied is that they bring a certain amount of me me me to whatever they’re involved in. There were a handful of racers over the years who were/are always choked they weren’t/aren’t on the box, expecting the results they felt they deserved because of the cost of their equipment instead of where their talent left them. You think motorsports is bad for this way of buying in? When my ex wife was doing dressage it was 60 times worse with the monied and the stinknose attitude spenditalllookatmerichparents types, don’t miss that sh&%show… I’m all over this Mousetang because of the history and the fact it’s been vacuum sealed, this would look good at Leno’s garage……..

    Like 3
  7. Morley Brown Member

    Ok, I do not care about a rich kid, and certainly not about Mustangs but I do want the engine. One of the best looking engine on the planet. What would I do with it, well I have a 59 Elcamino with a big block Chev and a 6-71 blower and I think the Boss 429 and a 8-71 blower would be a great up grade. The rest of the car is swap meet material.

    Like 2
  8. moosie moosie

    Weren’t most of the big name Ford drag racers, Bob Glidden, Gapp & Roush, ETC. running Pinto & Mavericks & later on Mustang II bodied pro stockers with more success back then ? Yeah I know about class breakdowns, Cubic inches/weight, just asking, just saying. A lot of these big bodied Mustangs fell better into Stock and Super Stock classes.

    Like 1
  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Correct moosie…..

    Like 1
  10. TimM

    Bad ass car!!

    Like 2

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