Pewter 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 Is a One-Year Gem in Fabulous Condition

1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 9 photos
Photo: Gause Garage/YouTube
1971 Ford Mustang Boss 3511971 Ford Mustang Boss 3511971 Ford Mustang Boss 3511971 Ford Mustang Boss 3511971 Ford Mustang Boss 3511971 Ford Mustang Boss 3511971 Ford Mustang Boss 3511971 Ford Mustang Boss 351
Introduced in 1969 as a homologation special for SCCA Trans-Am duty, the Ford Mustang Boss 302 remained in showrooms for only two model years. But it turns out Ford was actually planning to offer a Boss 302 in 1971 as well. The company even produced a prototype, which was lost for around 25 years. Restored to factory specs, the world's only Boss 302 was showcased at the 2023 MCACN.
However, although the Boss 302 did not make it into the 1971 model year, Ford kept the "Boss" badge in production on a slightly different car. I'm talking about the Boss 351, which looks a lot like the Mach 1 inside and out, but it stands out thanks to a unique engine.

Sure, the 351-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) Cleveland was nothing new in 1971, but the Boss 351 featured a unique iteration of the powerplant. Exclusive internals included four-bolt mains, forged steel connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons, a hotter cam, upgraded cylinder heads, and a dual-plane aluminum intake with a 750-CFM four-barrel carburetor on top.

While the regular four-barrel Cleveland delivered 285 horsepower, the R-code Boss 351 hit the streets with 330 horses on tap. Torque was just as impressive at 370 pound-feet (502 Nm). The most potent iteration of the Cleveland, this bespoke unit made the Boss 351 notably faster than the Boss 302. Moreover, it was only 40 horsepower behind the mighty 429-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Cobra Jet V8.

Even though the 351 Cleveland remained an option for the Mustang through 1973, the Boss 351 was discontinued after only one model year on the market. It's worth noting that Ford did offer an "HO" version of the Cleveland good for 275 horsepower in 1972, but the "Boss" badge was gone for good.

In addition to being a one-year gem, the Boss 351 is also one of the rarest first-generation Mustangs ever built. That's because only 1,806 customers opted to take one home, a number that accounts for only 1.2% of the total production. And not too many of them lived to see 2024 as fully restored rigs. This Pewter Metallic example is one of them.

Spotted in what appears to be a classic car dealership, this Boss 351 looks like it just left the assembly line. The metallic silver is flawless, while the chrome trim shines like new. The black stripes that define the Boss package are also factory-correct in terms of shape and placement.

The all-black interior feels mundane at first glance (especially if you're like me and prefer brighter hues), but it's also very accurate and amazingly clean. Speaking of which, the engine bay has no traces of dust or grime. You could safely eat off the air cleaner. Naturally, the mill is numbers matching. Take a closer look at this fabulous piece of Mustang history in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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