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						Moore Boss 302
Car #4 — The Unfinished Bud Moore T/A Racer

Bud Moore 1970 Trans Am Boss 302

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

Speed was selling at every corner dealer in the United States back in the 1960s, and every manufacturer was in it to outdo the others. But to prove it, you had to win, and a plethora of homologation models and back door programs sprang up to get the best equipment into the hands of talented teams. Drag racing and NASCAR were a good start, but these outlets were regional and somewhat limited in demographic. By the late ’60s, the manufacturers were looking to the road racing scene to market mid-size cars, and the SCCA’s Trans-Am series became the hot ticket. Previously owned by the Bud Moore Engineering Trans-Am race team, this 1970 Boss 302 is a real piece of SCCA history, but its story is a bit more complicated than it seems.

The whole story starts with Bud Moore, a total badass who served in World War II as a machine gunner and finished the war as a sergeant after taking part in the Normandy landings and the Battle of the Bulge. When Moore returned home, he got started as a stock car crew chief and eventually opened his own company, Bud Moore Engineering. Moore went on to make a big name for himself in NASCAR racing, but he also had a pretty successful career in SCCA Trans-Am racing. His team started with Mercury Cougars in 1967 and ’68, before switching to Ford in 1969. Parnelli Jones and George Follmer drove a pair of Boss 302 Mustangs for Moore, taking a total of three wins, but they were even more successful in 1970. With a combined five victories, Moore’s Boss 302s claimed the 1970 Trans-Am championship for Ford.

But unfortunately the party was coming to a close by 1971, and Ford withdrew from Trans-Am after the 1970 season. When they left though, Ford was kind enough to leave Moore Engineering four Boss 302s to use for the upcoming ’71 season, and this car was one of them.

To be fair, it never saw a day of Trans-Am competition. It actually wasn’t even completed for decades. See, these Boss 302 racers were actually delivered to Moore Engineering as body-in-white Mustangs straight from Kar Kraft. Moore finished two of the cars for the ’71 season and kept an unfinished third as a spare. This car was the fourth one, referred to as #4-1971, and Moore never finished the car for competition use, and it was eventually sold. What followed was a long line of owners stretching from Kentucky, to Connecticut, and finally Georgia.

The Mustang’s next owner was able to find the car after a three-year quest, and I’m sure they were elated to learn that the car remained in its body-in-white condition when they located it in 2008. Furthermore, boxes and boxes of NOS parts remained with the car as well, apparently about 70 percent of what was needed to complete it. For the rest though, the new owner went right to the source, and worked directly with Bud and his son Greg to finish the car.

The finished Boss Mustang is an exact reflection of the Moore Engineering cars used in competition, certified by Moore himself in a signed statement. From the lightweight hood, to the specially prepped 302 cylinder heads, no expense or effort was spared to bring the Kar Kraft body up to Trans-Am specification.

A few years back, the best pricing figures for Moore Trans-Am cars were spread between $300,000 and $400,000 plus. When first offered for sale in 2015, car #4-1971 didn’t meet reserve when it crossed the block, but allegedly sold for $200,000 in a post-block transaction. Since then, its engine has been rebuilt and the car was used on the track once in 2018. It recently surfaced on eBay for right around $160,000, and can still be found on the dealer’s website here.

While car #4-1971 won't come close to the value of the other Moore Trans-Ams, I think this car is a strong value for the $155,000 the seller is asking. For one, we're talking about a genuine Kar Kraft body-in-white Boss Mustang, a body pulled from the line and prepped for racing. It doesn't get a whole lot more nostalgic than that. The car also has a pretty miraculous history, punctuated by a reunion with Bud Moore and a full build in the exact style of his period Trans-Am racers with all sorts of rare NOS parts. Furthermore, this car is a foot in the door to any historic racing event, should you choose to return it to the track.

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