Trans-Am Racing once dominated the television and radio sets of American gearheads, with privateer racers and factory-backed teams duking it out on some of America’s most famous race tracks. Legends rose and fell, but one racer in particular is remembered better than most; Parnelli Jones, who during the 1970 racing season took his School Bus Yellow BOSS 302 Mustang to five wins and, eventually, total victory.
In this exclusive video interview with Ford, Parnelli Jones kicks back and talks about his life, how he got into racing, and what it was like driving that incredible BOSS 302 Mustang race car. This is the latest in the Mustang Countdown series of videos celebrating the Mustang’s 50th anniversary.
The interview starts off with Jones talking about trading his horse for a hot rod, and how he just seemed to have a natural talent for road racing. Eventually Ford hired Jones and Dan Gurney to drive for them, using Bud Moore Engineering to develop race-ready Mustangs and Cougars for the Trans-Am competition.
Jones recalls with great detail the epic final race of the 1970 Trans-Am season, which he needed to win to take home the championship. After being knocked off course, Parnelli looked to be out of the running, but Bud Moore’s crew used some creative engineering to get the Mustang back on track. Parnelli Jones managed to take the last race of the season on the last lap, making for one of the most exciting motorsports finishes in history. Jones will always be a legend, and there have never been anyone better behind the wheel during the heyday of Trans Am.