As the points piled up, Fran learned that driving the Shelby led to 15-20 hours of clean up and detailing before a show. "I would put it up on jackstands and wipe the driveshaft down," he says. "Judges look for dust and dirt, and even fuzzies on the carpet." Eventually, keeping the car pristine took precedence over driving. So, for a replacement driver, he went looking for a Boss 302.
Fran soon discovered that Boss 302s are extremely hard to find. To quench his enthusiasm for the solid-lifter 302, Fran looked at cars in Canada, Ohio, Maryland, and New York. "I just found junk," he says.
Then, at a local cruise night near his home in Churchville, Pennsylvania, Fran found his Boss. "The owner drove it occasionally and really wasn't ready to sell," he says. "But I guess I wanted it more than he did."
The Boss 302 came with original sheetmetal, and a numbers-matching engine. Like the Shelby, it was in good condition overall. The Boss looked good and, best of all, Fran could drive it right away.
Fran underwent his detailing program, same as with the Shelby. Pulling the engine and painting the body were not necessary. He installed new leaf springs, mufflers, and exhaust, and "did the driveshaft thing again." Fran entered the Boss in one show, not at an MCA event but at a Shelby event, where the car earned a Silver.
Why did he enter just one event with the Boss? "I was still trying to show my Shelby. I was only a couple points away from a grille medallion. I bought the Boss to drive because the Shelby was too nice. But I ended up making the Boss just as nice and quit driving it, too."
At the 2007 MCA show in Augusta, Georgia, Fran hit 20 points with his Shelby and mounted the grille medallion. It included his name and the car's VIN. Fran estimates less than 200 Mustangs have ever received these awards.
Since we photographed Fran's cars, he has sold the pair and bought a pair of new Mustangs. He says, "I have a new Shelby and a new Boss. I'm not out of the Mustang hobby; I just changed years and colors, that's all."