The granddaddy of American pony cars, and the car from which the pony car genre’s moniker was derived, Ford’s Mustang is the oldest and longest continually running nameplate in its class.
Where Camaro and Challenger — today literally caricatures of themselves — have come and gone and come again over the years, the Mustang has galloped on like Hidalgo across the Arabian desert. Overcoming unheard of adversities—like that four-legged equine legend—Ford’s Mustang continually defies conventional wisdom to chalk up win after win after win.
Surviving the emasculating emissions regulations of the seventies, a potential loss of focus in the eighties (when Ford briefly flirted with making the front-wheel drive Ford Probe a Mustang) the car grew and thrived through the nineties—despite its reliance upon live rear axles when the rest of the world went to an independent rear suspension configuration.
To say the Mustang has endured much would be an extreme example of understatement. However, today the storied Ford is once again one of the most powerful performance cars on the road. There have been a number of revered models of the Mustang over the years. However, without question, one of the most legendary is the Boss 302.
Developed specifically to compete in the Trans-Am racing series, the original Boss 302 used something of a “Frankenstein” engine. While it ran the tunnel port Windsor V8 block, it used the larger Cleveland heads. Displacing 302 cubic inches (thus the “Boss 302” name), the engine produced a quoted 290 horsepower (although nearly everyone agrees it was considerably more). With it, the 1970 Boss 302 did 0 – 60 in 6.9 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds.