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1970 Mustang Retromod - Boss 351

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I know I am getting the cart before the horse here, but I am comfortable enough that we will be pulling home the lucky rust bucket within the week.  I say "we" because this is going to be my son's build.  He is more into cars than I was at his age.  He has his favorites, but also has my sensibility.  His first choice was to build a 1965 Shelby GT350 clone.  1965 fastbacks in decent condition are hard to come by.  After that he wanted to jump into a 1969 Boss 429 clone.  The hardest part of that project was, again, finding the lucky pile of rust that would serve as the platform... and the $20k needed for a motor.  So he has gone to his 3rd option. 

In 1969 the Boss 302 was introduced.  The same year the 351W was introduced with the Mach 1 as a stop-gap measure until the 351C was introduced in 1970.  Had Ford been on its game, the Boss 351 would have began with the 1970 model as it should have given the absolute brute mentality of the engine.

So that is what he wants to do.  He wants to build a "what if Ford had gotten it right" 1970 Boss 351 Mustang.  We have it all planned out:

  • 1970 Fastback
  • Trunk mounted battery
  • Stock front disk brakes (manual, not power)
  • Borgenson power steering using manual linkage
  • Grabber Blue with Boss 302 style graphics (that obviously say Boss 351)
  • Blacked out taillight panel, decklid, and taillight bezels
  • Chin spoiler, decklid spoiler, and rear window louvers
  • Hood shaker but NO twist locks (he hates them)
  • A stout 351C motor (should be around 10:1 compression)
    • Stock block, crank, rods
    • Modifications to help more oil get to the right places - restrictors and lifter bushings
    • TFS Aluminum heads - 72cc chambers, 313cfm at .600 lift (painted blue of course)
    • TFS Roller Rockers
    • Howards hydraulic roller cam and lifters
    • Aluminum intake manifold (gotta figure which one works with the shaker)
    • Holley 650 with mechanical secondaries
    • Original style Boss 351 valve covers
    • Original distributor with Pertronix 2 module
    • FPA coated headers
  • David Kee Toploader - not sure about close or wide ratio yet
  • Detroit Locker TrueTrac, 31 spline, nodular case, 1350 u-joints, and unknown gear ratio
  • Hurst Shifter - hopefully an original 1970 OEM, but new aftermarket is available
  • Black interior, black carpet
  • We really want a gauge cluster with tachometer - might have to go aftermarket though

We are going to make it as much "stock" appearing as we can without obsessing over paint daubs and chalk marks.  Stock external voltage regulation.  We want to use a stock steering pump, but I am not sure if it will work with a Borgenson box.

We are going to go get the car on April 1.  It is incomplete, no motor or transmission.  Interior appears to be complete.  All the glass is there.  Only one piece of rear glass trim.

Buckle up!  This is gonna be wild!

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Love it. A Boss 351 in grabber blue has always been a dream of mine ('71 not '70 obviously)

Yours sounds like a great project. And you can enjoy all the car show folks who will tell you their buddy had an identical '70 Boss 351 back in high school...

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So the car we are building started life as an H-code Mach 1 built in San Jose in May of 1970.  Options on the list are:

  • Power Steering
  • Power Brakes
  • 4 speed transmission
  • 3.25 conventional rear end
  • Sport Deck rear seat (fold down)
  • Grabber Orange
  • Tinted glass

We will retain most of this in some fashion, but the color will be Grabber Blue unless I can convince the boy to do the orange.  It has collision damage to the passenger side which bent the rear axle housing and axles.  The first step is tear down, which wont start for a few weeks while I finish dad's 1969 Dart. Currently the plan is to replace most everything below the roof.  We have most if not all of the trim for the car.  We have a full interior (not the fold down though) except for the dash pad.  We need a windshield, but the rest of the glass is in great shape.  All in all, its going to be a heck of a project, and a heck of a lot of fun.

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I did score my first body panel off ebay.  Passenger side fender.  No rust, but a bit of damage that we will work out.  Its in an accessible area, so hammer and dolly it is.  I drove to central Michigan to get this panel.  The guy had a plethora of old cars.  1968 Cougar with a 428.  1988 Mustang with a 500+ stroker big block.  1967 Falcon with a 572 stroker big block.  1969 Mach 1 Q-code 428 car with 4 speed, 1968 SBF drag car.  And to top all of that off... a 1967 Fairlane with a 427 SOHC engine.  Was a really cool visit!


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So we haven’t been standing still, we just haven’t started on it.  Still finishing dads Dart.   I am collecting parts where I can. Mainly when I see a good deal on original parts.  I found a rear valence that needs some work but is in good shape.  I found a grille support bracket as well.  Finally, my Dynacorn floor came in!  Got a killer deal on eBay, and it shipped direct from Dynacorn.




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My dad had a 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 back when he was a senior in high school and freshman in college. He sold it while in college to help pay for college. That was back in 1974. He loved that car, but knew he was better off getting his degree. His car had a 4 speed, bench front seat, signal indicators on the fenders, B5 Bright Blue Metallic with a white vinyl top - NO stripe.

Back in 1997 (I was 20) he wanted to get another car. He searched and searched, and the only one he could find that hadn’t been chopped up to be a race car was in South Carolina. We flew down there and purchased the car. It ran and drove, but the speedometer didn’t work and the gas gauge was stuck on empty. He bought it, and we drove it all the way back to Indiana that night. We timed ourselves between mile markers to keep speed. We stopped every 150 miles for gas. Made it home. It is a real Swinger 340 with a bench seat, 4 speed, T5 Copper Metallic with a white vinyl top and a white stripe. No signal indicators on the fenders. It has since been painted an awful orange, and has signs of body filler on the driver front fender and door.

That's the preamble.  The rest is over on the FABO forums.  Dad's 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger 340

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