To the casual observer, the color is the main attraction of Rick Parker's beautifully restored '69 Boss 429 Mustang. Boss 429s look bad in black. But Rick looks at KK1220 with an educated eye knowing the first production Boss 429, job No. 1, was KK1208.
Black has emerged as the most desirable color for Boss 429 collectors, but this '69 is also one of the first sold to the public. Steve Strange's standard reference book, Boss 429: Performance Mustang Style, states: "The first 50 cars built were priority cars, going to preferential dealers, factory-sponsored racers, or any area where the cars could be given exposure."
None of those preferential dealers were in the little hamlet of Parma Heights, Ohio. Rick grew up in Columbus and had not even heard of this small town. Yet KK1220, one of the first Boss 429s built, went to the dealership in Parma Heights, a small town near Cleveland. Truth is often stranger than fiction.
Rick says it hit him that during the early '80s, the Performance Ford Club of America staged a gigantic show at Ricart Ford in Columbus. "Singer Ford in Columbus was also a gigantic Ford dealer," Rick tells us. "They were Boss 429 crazy. And Dick Mashiter Ford was performance crazy. They actually had a performance club." Cars came from all over the nation. This black fastback must have been the Boss 429 he and so many thousands of others ogled year after year at this big show.
"Nobody looked at KK numbers in 1982," Rick says. "People just passed by the car." In other words, the KK number didn't matter or even mean anything at that point. People didn't know they were looking at one of the most unusual and rarest Boss 429s ever built.
Rick opened Signature Auto Classics (SAC) in 1999 when his hobby started consuming the majority of his time. What better way is there to serve your passion for Cobra Jets, Cougars, 427 Galaxies, Shelbys, Fairlanes, Torinos, and Boss Mustangs? On a recent trip to SAC, we spotted 37 such vehicles. A few belong to customers, but most of them belong to Rick. Meanwhile Rick, Larry Marcum, and Doug Klinger restore the factory Ford musclecars in a smaller section of the shop.
Rick generously dispenses information to restorers and collectors; no doubt because he's a collector too. Helping others can lead to car purchases, as it did with KK1220. Rick and the gang at SAC were guiding a customer through a Boss 429 restoration a few years ago. After about a year and a half of work, the restorer was weary of the job.
"One day he called and said, 'I'm done," Rick told us, "' I'm not going to finish it.' So he towed it all the way to Columbus in an enclosed trailer."
Rick bought the Boss, which was a non-roller still on a rotisserie jig. The engine and four-speed had been rebuilt. The body was in red oxide primer. To the neophyte, the car might have looked like a chip shot to restore. However, Boss 429s fall on the exotic side of Mustang restorations. Obviously, the factory smog equipment is hard to find and therefore expensive. Ditto for other unique parts like the air cleaner and its snorkel, the unique battery and caps, and a host of other parts. But Rick and his crew had the expertise to round up the special parts and bring the Boss 429 back to its original factory glory.