The Dearborn factory showed amazing speed in turning this Boss from paper order into reality. The Marti Report shows the order being received on May 25, and the car subsequently built the following Monday, June 1-four days ahead of its original build schedule. The SportsRoof's finish may reflect some of that haste and its Monday build. After encountering many lovingly over-restored Mustangs over the years, we were somewhat surprised to see the rather indifferent build quality in evidence on such things as the irregular, somewhat blotchy texture of the matte black hood and rear deck paint. The windshield cowl panel is a lighter shade than the rest of the Grabber Orange hue. Location and orientation of the paint masking between body color and black around the perimeter of the trunk opening is surprisingly different, side-to-side. Also, one headlamp bucket is body color, the other black. And the underside of the hood shows obvious evidence of insufficient top coat-the primer is clearly visible in some spots. The Boss striping, too, is anything but precisely aligned. Let's just say there's no way a Mustang would be allowed to leave the factory today looking like that, yet that's just the way it was nearly four decades ago.
Some of the spray-gun indifference shows up underneath in the rather random application of the black undercoating and seam caulking. But we're nit picking, because those same hoist photos reveal this to be an amazingly preserved museum piece of proper Boss 302 chassis detailing right down to the factory paint daubs and markings.
We also had the joy of briefly driving it around a parking lot to pose for our exterior photos. That's where its 2,400-mile originality really proved itself, from the way the driver's door closed, to the fresh solid-lifter eagerness of the 290hp small-block, to the tantalizing "factory" sound emanating from those classic turn-down exhaust tips. Even the ignition-key warning buzzer was there in all its irritating glory. I was lucky enough to get some new Boss seat time as a teenager, and this thing is as original as they come.
If there's any moral to this tale of discovery, we suppose it's that we should all curb our cynicism when scouring the ads for interesting finds. Who knows what other survivors might be out there waiting to be "rescued" from the obscurity of dusty hibernation?