If the stripes look familiar, it's because they are close copies of those on the '69 Boss 302. But John Wilgus' fastback is a '70 model, and the C-stripes lack the Boss 302 designation on the fenders, which tells us John's Grabber Blue Mustang is one of the Grabber fastbacks produced in the spring of 1970. Officially listed as a Grabber Special Value, the Grabber Mustangs debuted in early-'70 to highlight the bright new Grabber colors in blue, orange, green, and yellow hues.
Available for the SportsRoof only, the Grabber package came with dual sport mirrors, black-out rear panel (but without black-out taillight bezels like the '70 Boss 302s), flat hubcaps with trim rings and F70 tires, and the black reflective C-stripes. The package added only $83 to the price of a basic SportsRoof. Most came with the standard 302 two-barrel engine and an automatic. Basic and inexpensive, yet sporty with a musclecar look.
According to Kevin Marti's book Mustang . . . by the Numbers, Ford produced 5,120 Grabber Mustang SportsRoofs in 1970.
John stumbled across the Grabber while chatting with a shooting buddy at the gun range. "I had driven my '69 Mach 1, and my friend said he also owned a Mustang fastback-a '70 with Grabber Blue paint and reflective stripes down the sides. I headed right over to look at it. As soon as the garage door went up, I decided it was going to be mine."
Aside from the Grabber package, John's fastback is about as bare bones as it gets. The drivetrain is the basic 302 two-barrel with a three-speed manual and 2.79 gears. There are no power options, no air conditioning, and no upgraded stereo, although John has replaced the original AM radio with a USA AM/FM.The only factory option is the fold-down rear seat in the standard white interior.
John spent two years restoring the Grabber himself, finally finishing the project in December 2000. "Everything was kept original," John says, "except for the radio and a larger front sway bar." John even painted the car himself, thanks to buddy Fred Rodriquez for the use of his paint booth.
It may not be a Boss, but John's Grabber Blue Grabber grabs its own share of attention with its beautiful blue paint and Boss-like stripes.