Jay Leno Enjoys Life In the Fast Lane By Driving a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 in Jay Leno's Garage 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
Over the years, Ford produced hundreds of variants of the pony car that started it all. Some Mustang models were good, some were bad, some were downright awful. The Boss 429, however, is a legend. As to be expected, Jay Leno had to have a go in one.
By one, I’m referring to one of the most extensively restored of the 1,356 units Ford manufactured between 1969 and 1970 in Dearborn, Michigan. As the name implies, the belly of the beast is a 429 cubic inch (7.0-liter) V8. Derived from the Ford 385 mill, the 429 boats thicker main bearing bulkheads, four bolt mains, and a different oiling system. Another mechanical highlight comes in the form of the aluminum cylinder heads that boasts “crescent” combustion chambers.

Although the big-block V8 was underrated by FoMoCo at 375 horsepower and 450 lb-ft (610 Nm) of torque, we forgive the Blue Oval for this lie because of rising insurance costs. Frankly speaking, all the Big Three in Detroit did so for the same reason. When all is said and done, the Boss 429 wasn’t born because Ford wanted to build a street-legal brawler. In fact, Ford just wanted to qualify its new racing engine for NASCAR.

Due to the go-faster equipment and that fabulous motor, the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 commanded $4,925 when it was new. Calculated for inflation with U.S. Consumer Price Index data, that sum translates to $32,238.75. Considering that a 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback starts at $32,645 excluding destination, it’s fair to say that the hairy-chested 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 was great value for money.

These days, however, a Boss 429 will set you back an arm and a leg. In 2013, for example, Mecum Auctions fetched $550,000 on a Boss 429 with 902 miles on the odometer. The record hammer price, however, was achieved by Barrett-Jackson in 2007: $605,000. Why are collectors willing to pay a fortune on this thing?

Funny guy Jay Leno and Marcus Anghel of Anghel Restorations have the answer to that question.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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