1969 Boss 429 Meticulous Restoration
Slideshow: Watch the beautiful restoration unfold as the hands of time are reversed on this Boss Mustang.
The Perfect Restoration
The word immaculate is a word reserved for things of a superlative nature; of the highest quality or degree. It is something of a flawless nature; and while we realize there's no such thing as "flawless," you will be hard-pressed to find a cleaner frame-off restoration for as long as you live! (Seriously!)
[Photos courtesy of Hot Rod Network]
The Razor Thin Line
Muscle cars ride a fine line, and anyone who's ever owned one knows what that means. On one hand, they are (subjectively speaking, of course) the most aesthetically beautiful machines on the planet. On the other, they were built for war - and war they did. Forged in a rare fire of passion and power lust, engineers indiscriminately packed them with as much horsepower as they could stuff between the wheel wells.
The 40-Year Time Capsule
Although the first few years of this Mustang's life remain a mystery, we do know that it was purchased by Charles Avery while serving in the Air Force. He paid a whopping $1,475 for it (in 1973) from a used car dealership in Fort Worth, Texas. The car would eventually follow him to Bismark, North Dakota, where it would end up sitting in storage for four decades.
This is how it was uncovered.
The Boss Is Back
We know it was stored for 40 years. What nobody seems to know is "why" it was parked. Charles had only put 500 miles on the car - racking up a grand total of 27,845 miles on the odometer.
The decision was made to preserve the original condition of the car as much as possible. That meant salvaging every single serviceable part they could - no small undertaking.
To really find out the truth of its origins, everything had to be torn down and tediously scrutinized for casting numbers, date codes, abnormal wear, and anything else that could point to clues. Identification of each component was paramount.
Evidence And Confirmation
As the Muscle Car Restorations team gingerly peeled parts away from the beefy casting, clues began to slowly confirm the team's suspicions of an abusive (but horrendously fun) racing history that may have graced her early days. Though this is speculative, tell-tale signs of extensive engine work (including a rebuild, at one time) were becoming more and more evident as the team dug deeper.
The Chosen Ones
The car came under the knife with oversized cylinders, undersized crank journals, a Crane cam, a welded block, a busted pushrod, a cracked crankshaft, and a set of '70 Chevelle heads...at 27,000 miles! It's hard to justify these findings by any other hypothesis than heavy racing. One could speculate that the engine, already on its first rebuild, snapped the pushrod tip at the rocker, thus knocking it out for the long run.
New 0.060" oversize pistons were used with the original rods - only essentials were to be replaced.
All Coming Together
When the engine finally made it back into the Boss 429, it was practically factory fresh. The extensive attention to detail is absolutely phenomenal; the team troubled themselves to replicate every stamp, paint mark, grease pencil marking, and sticker that it was originally assembled with. Thousands of documents, records and photographs were used to accurately revive the factory condition.
A Fresh Start
Tending to the engine and mechanical aspect was a monumental task, but the interior was just as needy. The wear on it was surprisingly minimal and fairly consistent on a car with less than 30,000 on the odometer. What wasn't consistent was the putrid stench that had to be thoroughly removed.
This meant cleaning...EVERYTHING!
To accomplish the team's vision of a genuine article, studious care had to be implemented in the restoration techniques used. Highly abrasive (and highly effective) degreasers and shampoos were substituted for mild solutions that would work just as well...with 10 times the effort!
Although it may not be "factory-fresh," it's as close as you could possibly get with the original carpet - and for what they started with, you really can't complain much! It's amazing what a little elbow grease can do with the proper tools and techniques. The Muscle Car Restorations team had all the know-how and experience, which played a pivotal role in the project's success.
Done And Done
The final product is nothing short of stunning! Everything you can see (save for a few odds and ends, like the occasional strip of burlap that was unsalvagable) is original factory. Even the gauge cluster was resued. After a bench test proved everything to be in good working order, the team disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled it so perfectly, you'd never know it wasn't brand-spanking new!
Dirty Side Down
Everything underneath the car was about as perfect as you could ask for, even the factory pipes and resonators were in place. A coat of surface rost kisses every visible steel surface, as would be expected. But, since it spent its last 40 years indoors, there wasn't much a little WD-40 and quick whack with a ball peen couldn't solve.
The Fine Details
The fine details - that's what this whole build is about. If you look closely, you'll begin to notice a myriad of foreign markings that you've likely never, ever seen on a Mustang before. That's because the team went through the tedious task of locating, noting, researching, and replicating every single factory paint mark and pencil score - on the entire car. The seldom-seen undercarriage was no exception to this design method.
An essential part of any frame-off restoration, the rotisserie was employed to allow the access to every inch of the body. The car was taken down to bare metal and - with more care than the factory - worked into the masterpiece you see today.
THE BOSS IS BACK!
Fresher than the day it rolled off the line, the Boss is back! The meticulous attention to detail shows is a quality of work that is second to none - but don't be surprised to see it light the tires up every now and then. After all, it is a Boss 429!
For help with service of your car, check out the how-to section on our sister site MustangForums.com