Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Spring 2020
						1969 Boss429
They’re Only Original Once

1969 Mustang Boss 429 survivor

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

Cars are both more and less than an impressive spec sheet. Sure, when new the ’69 Boss 429 boasted a stout 7.0-liter semi-hemi head engine released for NSACAR homologation, but it was also just a car. As such, the vast majority of Boss 429s were destined for the street, not track use, leaving us to muse about the lives they must have lived. Off the road since 1973, this ’69 Boss 429 tells a mixed history of daily-driver duty and deep sleep.

The Boss’ backstory is really more about an engine than anything. Ford knew Chrysler’s HEMI was hot, and a new engine would have to be developed to give the Blue Oval a fighting chance on the high banks. So Ford went to the drawing board, starting with a 385-series engine block (think 429, 460, etc.), along with all the most trick hardware they could muster, including four-bolt mains, forged steel crank, forged connecting rods and new aluminum cylinder heads with semi-hemispherical combustion chambers. Breathing through a 730 CFM Holley and exhaling through an improved dual exhaust, the 429 put down between 350 and 370 bhp in street trim, as the engines would really require further tuning by racers to achieve their true potential. Through their dedicated job shop Kar Kraft in Brighton, Michigan, Ford released 859 Boss 429s into the wild in ’69, along with another 499 in 1970.

Very few visual features separated the Boss 429 cars from the standard cruising model Sportsroof Mustangs, with only Magnum 500 wheels, Boss 429 badging and a large hood scoop (the largest ever fitted to a production Mustang) to signify the beast that lurked within. Along with the survivor condition, the missing Magnum 500 wheels separate this Boss from the rest. Coincidentally the wheels were actually stolen off the car in the original owners driveway in 1970, leading him to replace them with American Racing daisy mags that retain their Goodyear Blue Streak racing rubber.

But non-D.O.T. tires aside, it’s reported that the car was predominantly used as family transportation by the original owner’s family until 1973, when it was placed into storage in running condition. Along with some sideswipe damage to the passenger rear quarter, a damaged passenger door was replaced with a color-matched original, and the owner had undertaken some mechanical tweaks. Currently, the original 730 CFM Holley carburetor is missing, along with various underhood accessory items, and the owner swapped the original 3.91:1 rear gears out for 3.50:1 gears. The Mustang’s second owner purchased the car in 1988, keeping the car stashed away as a non-running project for the next 32 years.

What’s available today then, is the rare opportunity to become the third owner of a top tier muscle car. The Boss is highly original, but also unique for its somewhat original paint and replacement American Racing wheels. Sure, some Boss-specific items are missing, and the car does have a few cosmetic and mechanical issues, namely its non-running condition, the quarter-panel damage, corrosion around the taillights and damaged driver’s side front quarter. But don’t let those items fool you, this car’s going to grab some big bids.

That brings about the question of what should come next for the Boss, and an eternal conundrum. Conventional wisdom says that the car should be restored, as its presentation is lacking and you’re talking about a well-documented, low-mileage collector when it’s finished. However, you know damn well I’ll argue that this one should be preserved just as it is after a sympathetic mechanical restoration. This car oozes character and wears its life story on its sleeve, from the replacement wheels, to the body damage and various decals on its exterior and interior. In addition, I’m sure a thorough restoration would cost a whole pile of cash, leaving the potential for the next owner to come up upside down on his investment. But hey, I suppose you’d have a minty Boss 429 in the garage to soften that blow.

Currently Hagerty values a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 at $180,000 in good condition, and $352,000 in concours condition, so I guess there’s some room there. The Boss has a current high bid of $55,000 with three days remaining in the auction.

See the Candyapple Red Boss 429 here on BringaTrailer.com.

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Muscle Cars Mustang