Monday Musings: Are These Boss 429 Engine ID Tags Worth The Price?

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Different types of automotive enthusiasts exist; there are those who purchase vehicles to flog them the way they were meant to be driven (we’re firmly in this category), there are the car-show attendees who put the hood up for other people to ogle their most intimate bits, and then there are those who perform 100-point, down-to-the-nitty-gritty restorations that require the use of only New Old Stock parts–and buckets full of cash–in an attempt to defy Father Time and build a period-correct, flawless vehicle that can only be touched by those wearing white gloves and paper booties over their shoes. Those 100-point restorations include every single factory-installed part like the Boss 429 engine ID tags shown here and here.

The third group is what we’re thinking about on this Monday morning. While searching eBay for Mustang parts, a couple of these came up in the feed of “People who viewed this item also viewed…” and it piqued our interest once we saw the prices people were asking for the ID tags from these rare engines.

tag1$1,750? $1,850? For a piece of flat aluminum that’s been stamped with a couple of numbers and a FoMoCo logo? We get it–for those 100-point restorations, it’s important that the part appear original–but we also don’t understand how something like this couldn’t be reproduced easily for 1/100th the price or less. Nobody would ever know except the buyer, who could have $1,700 extra, or more, in their pocket at the end of the day to purchase more expensive mechanical restoration parts instead. We know, we know…original. Somewhere common sense has to come into play, though, doesn’t it?

On the flip side of the discussion, how does the buyer know that these are in fact the original parts and not ones stamped to appear OE to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers? We’re not saying they are, as both sellers have perfect feedback, but the possibility always exists to be separated from your hard-earned cash when purchasing an item that’s been misrepresented, or better yet, counterfeited overseas by an unscrupulous seller.

Then again, if people didn’t spend this sort of money on restoring some of the world’s greatest musclecars, examples like this Boss 429 wouldn’t exist. Maybe now the price of the engine ID tag makes a bit more sense..

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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