Ford Racing Techline (800)367-3788
li er camsha and a 780 CFM 4-barrel carburetor, the
engine was rated at 290 hp – a conservative figure. The
transmission was a Toploader 4-speed manual with
either 2.23:1 or 2.78:1 first gear, and the 9-inch rear end
carried either a 3.50:1 or 3.91:1 ratio. The chassis featured
a special front “Competition Suspension” with special
spindles, 350 lb.-in. coil springs, and heavy-duty shocks.
Unique refinements, including 15x7-inch wheels, made
this Mustang special. The most striking feature of the
Boss 302, other than its name, was the large “C” graphic
on its sides and the matte black treatment to the hood,
front air dam and rear spoiler. The car’s body was
modified to eliminate a simulated air scoop atop each
The Boss 302 graphic scheme was applied to the 1970
Bud Moore factory team cars, which were driven by
Indy winner Parnelli Jones and Can-Am road racer
The 1970 Trans-Am season is considered by many as
Trans-Am’s greatest, with huge factory support and a
year-long, hard charging, fender banging contest among
teams from Ford, General Motors, American Motors and
Chrysler. They employed big-name drivers, including
Mark Donohue, Peter Revson, Dan Gurney, Sam Posey,
Swede Savage, Jim Hall and Vic Elford. The fields were
made up of Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds, AMC Javelins,
Dodge Challengers and Plymouth Barracudas. Chief rival
for Jones and Follmer, though, was still the Penske team,
now fielding AMC Javelins for Donohue and Revson.
When the dust had settled a er 11 hard-fought races, Jones
and his Boss 302 had defeated Donohue and his Javelin
by a single point, Jones with five wins and seven podium
finishes, Donohue with three wins and nine podiums.
Out, but not down
For Ford, that turned out to be the racing high point
for quite some time, because in October of 1970 Ford
withdrew from all forms of racing. The reasons included
an economic recession and budget cuts, and a looming
fuel crisis from an OPEC oil embargo.
During an 11-year hiatus, the company may have been
out, but Ford cars didn’t stop racing. In drag racing, for
instance, Bob Glidden, Don Nicholson, Wayne Gapp
and Jack Roush kept campaigning Fords. In fact, Don
Nicholson drove a Mustang II to the NHRA Pro Stock
championship in 1977, and the IHRA Pro Stock title in 1979.
In road racing, drivers like Charlie Kemp kept the
Mustang in the hunt, with the Mustang II that he ran
in the IMSA series, competing against Chevy Monzas,
Porsches, and BMWs. And when Ford decided to return
to active competition in 1981, it did so on the back of
another Mustang - the Miller Mustang, a turbocharged
4-cylinder entry driven by Le Mans-winner Klaus
Ludwig. The car came within 0.14 of a second of winning
its very first race, and then later in the season did score
the first two victories of Ford’s renewed racing program.
Back with a vengeance
In the early 1980s, Ford successfully raced Mustang’s
Mercury sibling, the Capri, in the Trans-Am series,
collecting 4 manufacturers’ championships and 2
drivers’ championships from 1983-1987 and then
switched back to Mustang for the car’s 25th anniversary
in 1989. Dorsey Schroeder, driving for Roush Racing,
made the anniversary a happy one, scoring Mustang’s
first Trans-Am title since Follmer’s epic 1970 victory.
Meanwhile, Roush raced Mustangs in the IMSA GTO
category through the mid-1980s, winning the title in
1985 with young Canadian John Jones, and again in
1986 with Scott Pruett. Tom Kendall added a third IMSA
title for Mustang in 1993, by then the GTS class.
In February 1985, at the 24 Hours of Daytona, John
Jones, Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Doc Bundy led the
GTO class in a Motorcra -sponsored Ford Mustang. It
was the first endurance win for Ford at Daytona since
a GT40 victory in 1966, and it started a nine-year win
streak for Roush and Ford Motor Company that wasn’t
broken until 1994, when they did not enter the race.
In 1995, the team came back and made it 10 wins in
10 attempts, when the winning Mustang Cobra was
driven by Paul Newman, Mark Martin, Tom Kendall and
Michael Brockman. Mustang was the winner of seven of
those 24-hour races. Mercury Cougar won twice, 1989
and ’90, and a Merkur XR4Ti scored the 1988 win.
Back in Trans-Am, Mustang dominated the second
half of the 1990s, with manufacturers’ championships
in 1994, ’96, ’97 and ’99. Tom Kendall won the drivers’
title three times: 1994, ’96 and ’97 where he won 11
consecutive races. Paul Gentilozzi won the drivers’
championship in 1999.
A new concept and a winner
In 2005 Ford introduced an all-new Mustang, and
Ford Racing was quick to develop a turnkey race car
version, the Mustang FR500C. Carrying a part number
as opposed to a VIN, the car was specifically designed
for the track. Racers in the GRAND-AM Cup series (now
the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge) could buy the
complete car or build their own out of the Ford Racing
Performance Parts catalog.
Right out of the box, co-drivers David Empringham and
Scott Maxwell guided the FR500C to the 2005 drivers’,
manufacturers’ and team championships. Not satisfied
with conquering the USA, Ford Racing wanted the world
– so it homologated the car with the FIA and entered the
European FIA GT4 Championship. Belgian driver Eric de
Doncker raced it to the 2007 and 2008 titles.
Late in 2009 Ford Racing announced a newmodel for
the coming 2010 GRAND-AM season – the Boss 302R.
This new Boss was a very real link to the original. Not