Ways to Determine an Original Boss 302 Mustang


The 1969 and 1970 Boss 302 represent an important part of the first generation Mustangs produced from 1964 to 1973. Mustang's fiercest competitor was the 1967 to 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, which was a better performance car. The 1969 Boss 302 featured a 290-horsepower, 302-cubic-inch V-8 engine, built to directly compete against the Camaro Z28's small-block V-8. The Boss 302 could hit 0-60 mph in less than 7 seconds, according to 302w.com and Mustangspecs.com (See References 1 and 2).

Engine Identification

The basic way of determining whether the Boss 302 is original is to identify the Mustang's engine. The Boss 302's V-8 featured heads from the Ford Cleveland V-8, placed on a 4-bolt heavy-duty Ford Windsor V-8 engine block. The heads were unique, identified as a "tunnel-port" design due to the design of the pushrods, which push straight through the circular intake ports for better oil flow. The tunnel-port design was unique to the Boss 302 (See References 1 and 2).

Exterior Inspection

The Boss 302 did not possess the rear fake fender scoops found on the standard 1969 Mustangs. It also featured a "C" racing stripe, optional rear horizontal window shades, a front spoiler, rear deck wing and a blackout hood. It was also equipped with dual exhaust and a Hurst linkage shifter on the interior console. The 1969 model featured quad headlamps, with two set inside the grille. The 1970 model featured just two headlamps. The side racing stripe differs slightly between the 1969 and the 1970 model (See References 1 and 2).

VIN Plate

Absent a partial breakdown of the engine and recognizing that anybody can produce the visual elements to concoct a Boss 302, the only true way to determine an original is to examine the vehicle identification numbers. Examine the VIN plate through the windshield on the driver's side dashboard. The fifth digit should be the letter "G." This identifies the Boss 302 engine. If the "G" is missing, the Boss 302 is a fake. Raise the hood and examine the shock absorber towers on each side of the engine compartment, at the top of the inside fender panel. Digits are stamped onto the panel. The last six digits should match the last six digits on the VIN plate on the dashboard (See References 3 and 4).

Driver's Door

A metal plate is attached to the driver's side door of the 1969 Boss 302. For the 1970 models, it will be a sticker. Many cars of this vintage may not have these plates or stickers due to body or restoration work, so the VIN plate is the most important tool for identification. However, the numbers and codes on the door identification plate/sticker should match the VIN number and stamped numbers on the inner fender panel (See References 3 and 4). The 1969 and 1970 model years of the Boss 302 Ford Mustang are two examples of a rare, high-performance muscle car that commands a price tag in excess of $100,000 among collectors. The Boss 302 Mustang is also a collectible car that is frequently counterfeited. Determining whether a Boss 302 is an original or a rogue requires thorough examination of the vehicle identification numbers and of other identifying marks; t is not a difficult task, but it will mean the difference between owing the genuine article or a fake.