Dave Miller's 1969 Boss 429 Mustang
(from Volume 21, Issue 259)


Dave Miller, owner of MP Classic Restoration and The Toy Shop in Orlando, Florida, was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up surrounded by muscle cars and classics. Through the 1960’s his dad raced professionally for Sesi Lincoln Mercury in Ann Arbor, and he held the record 3 years in a row at Milan Raceway. Growing up, Dave’s dad purchased several 1947 Mercurys that he and his brothers slaved away on, learning how to do body work and repairs. In 1976 they moved to Florida, and his dad and a partner bought Town & Country Lincoln Mercury in Longwood, Florida, and then changed the name to Longwood Lincoln Mercury - which is still there today. Every year when the new cars would come they would also display all of the Mercurys that Dave and his brothers had restored.

Dave purchased his first Boss Mustang in 1970, a 302 for $2,500. He loved the way they looked, sounded and ran, and was hooked. This led to purchasing many more Boss Mustangs over the coming years, plus as many Shelby and Super Cobra Jet Mustangs as he could find. Every time he purchased a Boss car Dave would ask if they had any extra parts, and the answer was usually yes. This is how he acquired so many rare parts throughout the years.

Shown here is his 1969 Boss 429, which looks like it just came off the assembly line. It is painted Jade Black (other colors available were Raven Black, Wimbledon White, Royal Maroon, and Candyapple Red), and the only available interior color for 1969 was black. The Boss 429 Mustang was only produced in 1969 and 1970, with 857 rolling off the line in 1969 (plus two Mercury Cougars that received the 429 engine and used for drag racing by “Dyno Don” Nicholson and “Fast Eddie” Schartman), and in 1970 a total of 499 Boss 429 Mustangs were made. With their high performance and low production numbers Boss 429 Mustangs are among the most valued muscle cars today, and certainly legendary.

As was the inspiration for many high performance cars back in the day, the Boss 429 Mustang came about as a result of NASCAR. Ford was seeking to develop a Hemi type engine that could compete with the famed 426 Hemi from Chrysler, and NASCAR’s homologation rules required that at least 500 cars be fitted with a particular motor and sold to the general public in order to qualify for racing duty. The 429 features distinctive looking aluminum cylinder heads, which have a modified Hemi type combustion chamber that Ford called “crescent”. The 429 was officially rated at 375hp, but by all accounts that is very conservative. This was a typical practice by all manufacturers back in the day, and among the reasons was so buyers could still get reasonable insurance rates. Actual output was well over 500hp, as proven by dyno tests over the years with factory stock engines. All Boss 429 cars came with a 4-speed manual transmission, and there was no air conditioning available due to the dimensional size of the complete engine.

The next obstacle was the current Mustang could not fit the massive Boss 429 engine, so Ford hired Kar Kraft out of Brighton, Michigan to modify 4-speed Cobra Jet Mustangs to properly fit the new Boss 429 engine. This included widening the shock towers and extending out the inner fenders to allow clearance for the engine. The front suspension mounts were also chopped and displaced to create room for the block and exhaust manifolds. The battery was repositioned to the trunk, and since the car was now nose heavy with the big engine, a stiff 3/4-inch sway bar was added to the rear end to improve handling. This made the Boss 429 the first Mustang to be fitted with a rear sway bar, and it notably handled much better than other big block Mustangs of the era....something that would of course help greatly on the track. The only external cues that these special cars were indeed a Boss 429 were decals on the front fenders, and the fully functional hood scoop which was noticeably larger than anything else offered on any Ford product at the time (and to this day it remains the largest factory hood scoop ever installed on a factory produced Mustang).

Dave has owned over 6 Boss 429’s, over 25 Boss 302’s, plus Shelbys, 4 Sunbeam Tigers, and a few Panteras. He also has a lot of personal projects that he is trying to finish up in between doing customer’s cars. A couple of Dave’s favorites that he is trying to complete are a 1964 Galaxie 2- Door post with a 427, a little red Sunbeam Tiger, and he hopes to start on his 1968-1/2 R Code Mustang GT....but it is very difficult lately since he gets easily distracted playing with his 2013 Boss 302 or 2010 Super Snake Shelby with 750hp. Believe it or not Dave does also own a few Chevrolets, with his favorite being a numbers matching 1962 Impala SS with a 409, dual 4-barrels, 4-speed, black paint, and a blue interior.

Dave still enjoys restoring cars, and stays very busy in the shop where they are currently working on a ‘70 Ferrari, ‘72 Pantera, a couple 427 Super Cobra Jet Mach 1’s, and a few Shelby’s....of which they actually have one of every year in the shop. But make no mistake about it, when he brings out the 1969 Boss 429 Mustang to shows, it is a real crowd pleaser that he is awfully proud of! CN