Photography by ©2016 Toni Avery
The Mustang Boss 302 is my favorite body-style and favorite iteration of Mustang to come from the Blue Oval. From its aggressive stance to its mean Boss badging and rear window slats, there’s just so much to drool over.
Attending a car show some months back, I set my eyes on this pristine 1970 time capsule. The owner, very willing to share, told me stories of owning the car since 1974 when it was only four years old (his senior year of high school). Not too long after acquiring the car, Mr. Kidman had to garage it due to a piston failure. And thirty years later, and several kids later, the Boss finally got the attention it so craved. And that came in the form of a restoration in 2008. Returning it back to its stock form, Mr. Kidman’s eighteen-year-old kid desire to modify and hotrod it was traded for the more mature decision to return it to its original glory.
I was awe-struck and completely flattered when Mr. Kidman mentioned that I was the first to drive his car other than himself and his mechanic in nearly thirty years. No pressure…
After taking some photos of the car, Mr. Kidman handed me the keys and let me pilot the Boss. Starting the car almost causes you to look around to see if anyone else is watching. It’s that loud. But a good loud, of course.
Compared with the 1967 G.T. 350 I drove a few months back, the Boss 302 feels so much larger. There’s significantly more play when steering the Boss than I experienced in the G.T. 350. Steering is fairly precise, going where you point the wheel, but the amount of play takes some getting used to.
Where as the G.T. 350 felt fairly nimble, even for a car of its size, the Boss felt commanding, authoritative, and just so very pure muscle car.
It’s one of those cars that you have to wind up to really get the most out of it. After about 3,000 RPM the car really comes to life and watching that shaker hood is one of the coolest things you’ll experience behind the wheel. It sounds like it’s about to take off as you wind up through the gears. The standard four-speed Toploader manual transmission is nice for its vintage, with throws being a little long but easy to navigate. The HURST shifter looks like it might be awkward to hold but actually really works nicely in your hand.
The interior is distinctly Mustang with just a hint of the beginning of 1970s styling, without being full-fledged 1970s, thankfully. The seats are as comfortable to sit in as they look. They seem to offer more comfort than the seats in the G.T. 350 while the Boss’s harsh handling is almost on par with the G.T. 350. It handles more in line with a track car than a GT car, feeling every imperfection in the road.
It may not feel as quick as the G.T. 350, but you feel a lot more like a Boss, excuse the pun. Braking is about as progressive as the acceleration. The entire car shakes, when at a stop, due to its cammy nature. We received several thumbs up on our drive and I was thrilled that it was with me behind the wheel.
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Specs:
Engine displacement – 302 cu
Horsepower: 290 HP
Torque: 290 lb-ft
Transmission: four-speed manual
Mr. Kidman has no plans to make any significant changes to the car, now that it’s complete. The biggest hurdle was finding the time to get it done between marriage, kids and life. But the car never became disposable like many do when life becomes too much. I’m grateful for that.
After driving the Boss, Mr. Kidman mentioned that he’d like to add me to the list of who might get his car when the time comes. But I’d have to fight his daughters for it.