Dennis Mortimer's 1970 Mustang Boss 302
(from Volume 21, Issue 248)

story by owner Dennis Mortimer, photos by Michael B. Kelly


I never was a Ford man! My first new car was a 1970 Chevy Nova SS, with a small block motor, 4-speed transmission, posi rear end, and bucket seats. With a little tweaking, that was one bad small block. I never should have sold it!
In the early 1980’s we built our home. After that I needed a project, and found a 1963-1/2 round body Falcon Sprint convertible. I wanted a drop-top and this one was all there, plus the price was right, so that was my conversion to Fords. I started the restoration in 1985 and finished it in 2001, with it taking 16 years since I was “Married with Children”. We went to the NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup in Ocala, Florida in 2002 and won the Editor’s Choice Award for the Best Restored Ford. Now I was really hooked.

While at the NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup, I saw all of the Boss 302’s displayed. I mentioned to a good friend, who was into Shelby’s, that my little brother had started taking apart a 1970 Boss 302 to restore. My friend immediately told me that I needed to buy it. I got in touch with my little brother about selling me the car, and he said “No Way!”. I of course asked “Why Not?”. He said, “Because I’ve driven it”. At that time I didn’t understand. After 5 years of asking and being told no, he called one evening and agreed to sell me the car. I asked why after all these years, he changed his mind. He said “The car needs to be restored”, and now HE was the one that was “Married With Children” and could not afford to do it. Besides that, he said, “You will let me drive it when you’re finished with it”.

So I started an 8 year, ground-off total restoration to bring it back to an all original W-code Boss 302. That included the Factory 430 traction-lok rear end, and wide ratio 4-speed with Hurst shifter installed by Ford. Along with the 430 rear end comes an oil cooler, which Ford installed because of the high RPM’s. Other items include a factory shaker hood, rear window slats, spoiler, and Magnum rims. My little brother had saved all of those “hard to find” original parts, which made my job easier. Doing a restoration yourself takes a lot longer, but in the end you know it is right! It doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with great friends who know their stuff - and thank goodness for the internet.

Now that I have finished the car, I finally understand what my little brother meant about driving it.....and why after doing so himself even in its then un-restored state, he was so reluctant to sell. This is one fast automobile, and a real eye-catcher. Living out of state, my little brother has yet to drive the car, but one day I’m sure he will. -Dennis Mortimer