1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Sounds Vicious up the Goodwood Hill

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car 9 photos
Photo: 19Bozzy92/YouTube
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 race car
Established in 1966, the Trans-Am Series attracted ten automakers in its inaugural season and became a highly popular competition. While European carmakers usually contested the "Under 2 liter" class, the "Over 2 liter" category saw the Big Three battle for glory.
Ford was the dominant force in the first two seasons. It scored a comfortable win in front of Plymouth and Dodge in 1966 and won the 1967 edition after a close fight with Mercury and Chevrolet. Ford's winning streak ended in 1968 when the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 won 10 out of 13 events.

Following this bitter defeat, FoMoCo began working on a more specific competitor for the Trans-Am series. The car arrived in 1969 as the Boss 302. Sporting a host of unique aero features and a 302-cubic-inch (4.9-liter) small-block V8 built to meet homologation guidelines, the Boss challenged the Camaro Z/28 in 1969.

Although competitive, the Mustang had to settle for second place that year. With four wins and six podiums, the Boss 302 finished ahead of the Pontiac Firebird and AMC Javelin but behind the seemingly unbeatable Camaro Z/28. Things changed dramatically the following year.

Both carmakers returned with updated cars. However, Chevrolet lost both Roger Penske and Mark Donohue, who spearheaded its dominant run. The new team led by Jim Hall of Chaparral Cars wasn't as successful, and Ford stepped in to win six out of 11 events and the championship. It was the Boss 302's first and only triumph in the SCCA series.

More than 50 years have passed since then, and the Boss 302 nameplate is synonymous with the production, street-legal cars Ford sold for homologation purposes. But some of the race-spec rigs are still around. The orange No. 15 car driven by Parnelli Jones is arguably the most iconic, but the white example you see here was also a part of Ford's Trans-Am campaign.

Unlike its more legendary stablemate, this Boss 302 also achieved success in Europe. The car was entered in the British Saloon Car Championship by Fleetwood Motor Engineers and scored four wins with Richard Lloyd behind the steering wheel. Fortunately, the Mustang survived to tell its story and join classic car events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The No. 17 racer was entered in last year's event and drove up the Goodwood Hill alongside other legendary race cars from the era. And unlike previous appearances, the Boss 302 was converted back to Trans-Am specs, a rare sight at a European event.

Arguably the only Boss 302 that had a successful racing campaign on the Old Continent, this Mustang still looks the part, and its race-ready V8 sounds vicious when the pedal hits the metal. You can find out more about that in the video below, but make sure you crank up the volume before you hit play.

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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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