MM: Did you ever meet Larry Shinoda, who designed the Boss stripes?BM: Yeah, I met him several times. I'm sure he came to some of the races, but I can't exactly remember.
MM: There was a lot of travel involved to get to all of the races. How did you manage that?BM: We had some help from the SCCA, talking them into running all of the races on the West Coast at the same time. Then we'd come back to the middle part of the country and then on the East Coast. So when we'd go out to the West Coast, we'd run two or three races out there before we came back to the shop-unless they got tore up real bad or something other happened and we'd have to get another car. But we always carried a spare car.
MM: What was it like working with Parnelli?BM: He was about as enjoyable as anybody I worked with. We worked together real good. He'd go out and run the car, and we'd talk about what would help it a little bit here and there. If things weren't going exactly right, we'd make a few changes to where it made him happy, that's all. I remember one time I had a new-type carburetor I wanted to try. It showed a little more power on the dyno. So I reworked everything on it and I put it on the car. Didn't say nothing to Parnelli about it. He went out and run a lap or two, then he come in and said, "I want my damn carburetor back."
I said, "What's wrong with that one?"
He said, "It's not smooth, and it's not running through the corner exactly like the other one did."
I said," Well, we need to work on it."
And he said, "Let's just put mine back on." So I had to put the carburetor he'd been running back on. He knew right quick it wasn't the carburetor he had to start with.
MM: He was a pretty aggressive driver. BM: One thing I always heard him say-he used to call Donahue and all them "Fruit Cuppers." He'd say, "Ain't no Fruit Cupper going to out-run me if I can help it." And they didn't, either.
MM: Winning the Trans-Am championship must be one of the highlights of your career.BM: We won the Grand National championship in 1962 and 1963. We won that Grand American championship in 1968. Then winning the Trans-Am championship in 1970, it was one of the biggest things in my career. The next thing, I guess, was winning the Daytona 500 in 1978 with Bobby Allison.
MM: We remember seeing that pile of wrecked Trans-Am Boss 302 Mustangs behind your shop. Can you believe what they're worth today?BM: Somebody told me those cars are worth about $300,000 to $400,000. I was out at Monterey last year [for a Trans-Am Reunion] and I saw one of the '69 Trans-Am Mustangs that Vic Edelbrock had out there. And I saw some other '69s and '70s. They have accounted for all the Mustangs we ran in '69 and '70 except one. That car went to Mexico City. Some Mexicans bought that car and it ran a race down there. They wrecked it and brought it back, and we fixed it. They left and I don't know whatever happened to that car. Nobody else does either.
What amazed me was the car that George wrecked at Laguna Seca. That car was tore up pretty bad. We stripped it down and it sat out there back of the shop for, oh, I don't know how many years. A guy come by one day and he said, "I'd like to have some parts off that old Mustang sitting back there." I said, "There ain't no parts worth much on it." Ken Myler sold him that thing. I don't know what he got for it or how they done the deal. He wanted that thing bad. I think he restored it.
MM: Any other stories from your Trans-Am days?BM: Well, I might be able to think up some more by Carlisle.