It wouldn’t be a fair comparison if your author didn’t disclose that the 1969 Mustang Mach 1 and the 1970 Mustang BOSS 302 are two of my favorite classic Mustang models – right up there with the 1965 Shelby GT350 and the 1969 BOSS 429, naturally. Which, I would love to talk about on their own, but I’ll save that for a future segment. If you’re a frequent reader of our content, you’ll know that your author owns (and of course loves) a late model Mustang, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the classics as well. These cars have always sparked my interest for their unique lines, and pure, unadulterated performance. In a modern world of analog performance, these cars channel the digital times, and it’s something I’m learning to really cherish, quite frankly.
To piggyback off of that, one characteristic that really draws me to these cars, specifically the Mach 1 and the BOSS 302 in this case, is the history behind them. The way a naturally aspirated pushrod V8 engine performs is truly an organic experience. Furthermore, what really draws me in is the time and effort that went into these cars; not only from a manufacturing perspective, but as an overall design. It really makes me appreciate these machines even more, and it’s why I decided to do a quick piece on how I really like these Mustang models. So, without further ado and continued blabbering, here’s a quick note on each of them.
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Interestingly enough, I chose a ’69 Mustang Mach 1 example that is almost exactly how I would imagine having one. Even down to the color, which is Gulfstream Aqua (a color that I noted in my Top 10 colors Ford should bring back for the Mustang article). This ’69 Mustang features the legendary 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 engine option. I think the only change I would make to this particular car is to possibly swap in a Tremec T56 Magnum XL 6-speed manual transmission. Maybe even throw a little nitrous on top of that 428, and call it a day.
Here’s a bit of history as to why I really enjoy the Mustang Mach 1 cars. Back in the day, when Ford debuted the Mach 1 as a sort of performance-oriented package for the Mustang as a 1969 model, these things really started a wave of high-performance Mustangs almost anyone could own. The Mach 1 iteration was so popular in fact, that these models outsold the Mustang GT nearly 13 to 1 in their first year. Because of the declining sales of the Mustang GT, Ford opted to discontinue the popular nameplate in favor of the Mach 1. And for that reason alone my friends, is why I really enjoy the Mach 1’s heritage.
1970 Ford Mustang BOSS 302
Another one of my Top 10 favorite colors from the list is Grabber Green, and this 1970 Mustang BOSS 302 wears its minty hue extremely well. I’m almost positive the car’s been repainted, but from the pictures via the eBay ad, that paint looks to be in excellent shape. The BOSS 302 is another sort of unicorn-slash-halo Mustang, right up there with the BOSS 429 of course. The color alone makes me want this car so badly – and while some enthusiasts don’t necessarily care for the ’70 Mustang’s facelift, I actually don’t mind it at all.
Here’s your brief yet equally as cool tidbit for the day. While the Mach 1 had a nice run spanning a little over a decade, the BOSS 302 (and the BOSS 429 for that matter) had just a two year run, from 1969 until 1970 (not counting the late model BOSS 302 & Mach 1 models of course). For all intents and purposes, the ’69-’70 Mustang BOSS 302 models were put into production to meet the homologation rules for SCCA Trans-Am Series. Without getting into too much detail here, the short version of what the Trans-Am Series was back in the day was nothing shy of an epic battle between manufactures like Ford, Mercury, Plymouth, Dodge, Pontiac, Chevrolet and AMC.
Which One Is Your Favorite?
This is obviously a tough one, as both Mustang models have such a rich and diverse history when compared to each other – for different reasons, obviously. Now, if you were to ask me which one I would pick, I would have to say I’d choose the ’69 Mustang Mach 1. I really like the idea of having a 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet powered Mustang, and I love the heritage behind the Mach 1 nameplate. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the history behind the Mustang BOSS 302 (in fact, if anything, I probably enjoy that one more), I just really like the Mach 1 for different reasons.
To me, the fact that the Mach 1 back in the late ’60s, early ’70s outsold the Mustang GT nameplate nearly 13 to 1, causing Ford to make the decision to discontinue that nameplate in favor of the more powerful, more potent Mach 1, really speaks volume to me. It’s the classic story of king of the hill, and everyone loves an underdog. Side note – both of these unique Mustang models are available on eBay as of this writing. You can find the ’69 Mach 1 here, and the ’70 BOSS 302 here – but bring the big bucks.
Which one is your favorite?