Super cool RA!
As a dyed in the wool Ford fanatic, I can't help but to feel a little proud of Ford for bringing the name back. For some of you non-Ford types out there, I'd like to make some clarifications.
1. The Trans-Am series of the era was the closest to show-room stock racing possible. AMC, Chevrolet, Plymouth, heck even Mercury were all heavely involved. The '69 season was especially close. But many manufactures compeated in other classes. The Mustang, Camaro, and other 'pony cars' ran in the 5 liter class. The Z/28 was ment to homolagate Chevys engine in much the same way the Boss 302 was for Ford.
2. The Boss name was almost not used, instead SR-1 was the intended name. Larry Shinoda was a designer brought in from GM along with 'Bunkie' Knudson, who ran the company before being ousted by Lee Iacocca. Larry penned the tape stripes seen on the '12 Boss for the '69 car. He also was responable for the front chin spoiler and choosing the 'Magnum' 500 wheel design.
3. While the 302 cubic inch engine found in the race car was the class of the field, the street car suffered from the high-revving nature of this motor. After a poor showing in the'68 season, Ford decided to up the ante, and revamped the race engine in preperation for the '69 season. The same 4 bolt main bearing block was retained but the addition of huge 2.23" intake valves into the canted-valve heads meant that bottom end torque was a little soft. High RPM was limited on street cars to 6150. At 5800 it would begin to cut out, just as the power was peaking.
4. The Boss 429 was introduced before the Boss 302. And with a 429 cubic inch hemispherical head motor intended for use in NASCAR, I'd say that the Boss 302 wasn't the 'biggest and baddest' Mustang of the era. The 428 Cobra Jet Mustangs were the fastest Ford had to offer. By '71 all 3 engines were gone, with the Clevland based Boss 351 and the '385' based 429 Super Cobra Jet being the top options. The Boss 429 also used the '385' engine architecture as it's foundation. The 428 Cobra Jet traced its roots all the way back to the '50s, with the 'FE' engine series, of the '58 332.
5. The changes to the suspension made the Boss 302 the best handling car at the time. The '60' series tires were the first use by a manufactuer as standard equipment. The different springs and larger tires made it necessary to cut and roll the fender lips around the wheel-wells. This was one of the early ways of spotting a 'genuine' Boss 302. You would have to feel under the fender for the tell-tale roll, done by hand at the time.
6. The '12 Boss 302 may have a hard time taking down an '11 GT500. While the Boss is undoubtely lighter, the 110 HP advantage of the Shelby would most certainly prove to be too much to overcome at an acceleration contest. And while it may prove to be the best handling Mustang that is mass produced, the '00 Cobra R was able to hit 1.00 G around the skidpad some 11 years ago.
Sorry for the soap-box, but I am amused by the enthusiasm with which Ford marketing types deliberatly mislead consumers. The Boss 302, while a great name from Fords past, should be a regular production car that we can actualy buy. We should not have put a 10,000 'deposit' down a car that is readly available. There were 1,934 '69 Boss 302 Mustangs made. Another 6,319 were built in '70. They had trouble selling these cars then. With no 'preimum' to have to shell-out other than normal higher cost performance equipment, lower-cost Mach 1s flew off the lots with 72,458 being sold in '69 alone.
I love the new Boss 302 and what it represents. I just wish it wasn't doomed to fail from a sales point. Maybe we will see improvments to regular production GTs as a result of this model. But as in '69 or '70, I'd really rather have a Mach 1!