Tag Archives: Ford Mustang

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Contrary to popular belief, the Chevrolet Camaro was designed from the outset as a more conventional replacement for the rear-engine Corvair and not a belated General Motors response to Ford’s wildly successful Mustang. From its debut in late 1966, the Camaro was value-priced from just $2,466 for the basic 6-cylinder hardtop coupe and available with a wide range of option packages. Best of all for performance fans, the Camaro’s engine bay was able to accommodate virtually the entire Chevrolet passenger-car engine range from thrifty sixes and lightweight small-blocks all the way up to the fire-breathing Mark IV big-blocks.

67 Chevrolet Camaro left side front

  • 302 cid V-8 engine
  • 290 HP
  • 4-speed manual transmission
  • independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms
  • coil springs
  • anti-roll bar
  • live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs
  • front disc and rear drum hydraulic brakes
  • 108” wheelbase

67 Chevrolet Camaro interior

The Camaro proved to be an extremely successful gamble for Chevrolet, with total production for the 1967 model year reaching nearly 221,000 vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford Mustang sales began to stall, reflecting the greater variety of competitors in an increasingly crowded market for sporty personal cars in America. Both would take their showroom battle to the track and their duels would quickly become the stuff of racing legends.

67 Chevrolet Camaro right side

Conceived and built with development spearheaded by Chevrolet’s Vince Piggins as the GM Division’s new SCCA Trans-Am racing contender, the thoroughly engineered RPO (Regular Production Option) Z/28 option package was quietly introduced for the Camaro in 1967 to homologate the car for racing. At its heart, the Z/28 featured a high-winding and tough small-block V-8 engine, combining the basic dimensions of the 327-cylinder block and 283 crankshaft to yield 302 cubic inches. Highly developed underpinnings and other race-bred tweaks maximized the Z/28’s power output, and many generations of race car drivers know how well balanced the 302 equipped Z/28s have always been.

67 Chevrolet Camaro engine bay

All-out racing versions were most successfully campaigned by Penske Racing and piloted by star driver Mark Donohue to back-to-back SCCA Trans-Am championships in 1968 and 1969 against ferocious competition from the Bud Moore and Shelby-prepped Mustangs. Despite its road-racing intent, the Z/28 was also quite formidable on the drag strip. According to period magazine road tests, the Z/28 was a solid 14-second car in stock trim with low-13s easily achieved with narrow slicks, lower rear-end gears (3.73:1 standard), open headers, and expert tuning. Dave Strickler’s famous Bill Jenkins-prepped “Old Reliable” Z/28 ran 11.70s in full-on Super Stock trim, capturing the 1968 NHRA Super Stock World Championship and confirming the vast potential of the Z/28’s small but mighty 302.

For many, the rare first-year 1967 Z/28 represents the pinnacle of the first-generation Camaro series, with features, styling cues, and race-inspired performance that makes it one of the most desirable Camaro models ever.

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Conceived, engineered, and built for one purpose – to help Ford regain its early dominance in the wildly popular SCCA Trans-Am racing series – the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 remains one of the finest and most collectible products to arise from Ford’s “Total Performance” era of the ’60s and ‘70s. It is also one of the most satisfying Mustangs to drive, with balanced driving dynamics and excellent handling to match its high-winding 302 cubic-inch V-8 engine.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 4

    Specs:

      • 302 cid V-8 engine
      • 290 HP
      • Toploader 4-speed manual transmission
      • independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms
      • coil springs and anti-roll bar
      • live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs
      • front disc/rear drum hydraulic brakes
      • 108″ wheelbase

 

With Ford struggling to make the Tunnel Port 302 racing engine work properly and the Roger Penske/Mark Donohue Chevy Camaro Z/28 juggernaut taking the Trans-Am title in 1968, the Ford camp acutely understood that something new was clearly required for success in 1969. The Mustang was faltering on the showroom floor to boot, with Chevy’s new highly engineered Z/28 Camaro package quickly gaining the favor of streetwise buyers.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 3

Ford’s two-pronged counterattack was based on a new Mustang variant designed to homologate an all-new engine design for Trans-Am competition combining a high-strength 302 engine block and internals with the big port, canted-valve cylinder heads from the new 335-series “Cleveland” V-8. A hot solid-lifter camshaft, large four-barrel carburetor, stout Toploader four-speed transmission, and other excellent goodies from Ford’s parts bin rounded out the new Boss 302 package.

 

Suspension development was largely ignored until former key GM executive “Bunkie” Knudsen and former GM designer Larry Shinoda, of Corvette Stingray fame, stepped in. Acutely aware of the relentless development that made Chevy’s Z/28 classic car so successful on both the street and racetrack, they championed comprehensive suspension and aerodynamic tweaks to create the best-handling American car available. Shinoda also eliminated a number of tacky add-ons proposed for the new Mustang, replacing them with a simple flat-black hood, side stripes, spoilers, and optional rear-window louvers. He also contributed the car’s “Boss” moniker – meaning “the best” – in tribute to Knudsen, who was known simply as “the Boss”.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 2

Track-bound Boss 302s were built at Kar Kraft in Brighton, Michigan, and campaigned by teams fielded by Bud Moore and Shelby. While the Trans-Am championship proved elusive for 1969, success was finally achieved in 1970. Unlike many racing homologation specials, the Boss 302 was profitable for Ford and according to experts, a little over 7,600 examples were built in total for 1969 and 1970.

American Modern 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - 1

Freshly repainted in Calypso Coral, the quality of the restoration on this Boss is outstanding.  The floor pans are painted the correct red oxide primer and all the factory inspection marks have been painstakingly duplicated.  The details under the hood are simply outstanding, with the clean 302 V-8 and 4-speed manual transmission, traction-lok differential and 3.91 axle making for a smooth performing classic. Today, all surviving Boss 302s are highly coveted, valuable, and thrilling in every respect.