Ford Mustang Boss 429 - Classic Muscle Car 2020 Review - Muscle Car

Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Classic Muscle Car 2020 Review

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Written by Elise

28th September 2020

Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Classic Muscle Car 2020 Review
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Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Classic Muscle Car 2020 Review

By Owen Pham

Ever since it was introduced to the market in 1964, the Ford Mustang became the most popular muscle car ever and an American car industry icon that gathered the attention of many car enthusiasts worldwide.

As an attempt to make the Mustang more attractive to buyers, Ford Motor Company has released numerous high-performance variants of this charming muscle car, one of the most memorable among them being the Boss 429 Mustang. The following is a review and biography of Ford Mustang Boss 429, including background, interior/exterior details, specs, comparison, appearances in pop culture, and conclusion.

Alternative Text (ALT tag): Red 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 in front of an abandoned facility Source: (creative common license)


After Carroll Shelby’s Terlingua Racing Team Mustang Notchback won the SCCA Trans-Am championship in 1967, Ford faced a serious rival in ’68: the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. They decided to respond it appropriately with a new model based on the 1969 Mustang Fastback. Accordingly, Bunkie Knudsen, the then-new president of the Blue Oval, assigned the styling of a new NASCAR homologation to Larry Shinoda, who was a talented Art-Center graduate designer, hot-rodder and drag racing enthusiast. He had previously worked on some of GM show cars and designed the legendary 1963 Chevy Corvette Sting Ray. The fruit of this effort was the very special and cool Boss 429 Mustang.

The car was engineered, developed, and assembled by Kar Kraft, Michigan. Race Experimental department of Ford’s Engine and Foundry Division developed an exceptional engine with massive aluminium heads and hemispherical combustion chambers to be mounted on the car.

The Ford Boss 429 Mustang was first introduced for the 1969 model year. Since the car was meant to be a NASCAR homologation, Ford Motor Company needed to manufacture at least 500 examples. The exact number of units produced in 1969 was 859 units. The production continued for the next year with less than 500 units of 1970 Boss 429 manufactured, and it was ultimately axed in the same year with a total number of 1,358.


Similar to other high-performance variants of the Mustangs boss edition at the time, such as Boss 302 and Boss 351, the Mustang Boss 429 had a streamlined exterior design. However, it was easily distinguishable from other performance Mustangs with its Boss 429 decals on the front fenders and its enlarged hood scoop, which was completely different than aforesaid models’. 

Five exterior colours were available for the ’69 model year. For 1970, again, there were five exterior colour options, which were different from the 1969 model years’. The single interior colour choice for 1969 was black, which was later joined by a white option for the ’70 model year.

Alternative Text (ALT tag): 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 black interior

Boss 429 Mustang Specs 

Equipped to a Holly four-barrel carburetor, the engine mounted on the Boss 429 Mustang was an evolution of the Ford 385 engine and directly competed against Chrysler 429 Hemi engine. According to Ford Motor Company’s published specs, the power output and torque figures were 375 hp at 5,200 rpm and 450 lb.ft at 3,400 rpm, respectively. There was only a single choice available for the transmission, which was a 4-speed manual. 

As MotorTrend remarks, the car was capable of accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, while the quarter-mile time was 12.3 seconds at 112 mph.

Engine 428.8 cuin/7027 cc OHV V-8, 1×4 bbl Holley carburetor
Power 375 HP at 5200 RPM
Torque 450 lb-ft at 3400 RPM
Wheelbase 108.1 Inches
Weight 3,860 lbs
Drivetrain 4-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
0-60 5.3
Quarter Mile 12.3 sec at 112 mph
Dimensions Length 187.4 in, Width 71.7 in, Height 51.5 in

Boss 429 Mustang in Comparison to Rivals

Not many muscle cars were comparable to the Mustang Boss 429 at the time, but one of the closest rivals was the Yenko 427 Camaro. As the name suggests, it used a 429 engine, which produced 425-hp and 460 lb.ft of torque. Using a 4-barrel carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission-just like the Mustang Boss 429, it could sprint from 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 13.5 seconds at 105 mph. Comparing these figures to Mustang Boss 429’s, it was evident that the Mustang had the edge.

Also, there are recreations of Boss 429 to buy out there. A licensed 1969 Boss 429 built by Classic Recreations will cost you a minimum price of $209,000, which can increase depending on options, while an original 1969 Ford Mustang Boss in concours condition can sell around $317,000 or even more. The difference in price is proof of much higher collectability of the original Bosses.

Appearances in Pop Culture 

The Ford Mustang has appeared in many films and TV series over the years. As for the Boss 429, in the 2014 crime-action thriller John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves, the protagonist appears to drive a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss, as specified in the movie dialogue. However, the movie car is actually a 1969 Mach 1 rather than a 429 boss, as multiple elements in both exterior and interior prove this. For instance, the hood scope and pins, and rally strips on the hoods, show that the car is a Mach 1 and not a Boss 429.

Also, the gear shifter reminds the viewer that the vehicle has an automatic transmission, but automatic transmission was never available for the Boss 429 Mustang. Referring to the car as a Boss 429 led many users on the internet search the related keyword online, making it a popular world trend. Perhaps the beginning of a Mandela effect?

John Wick’s 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 in a movie scene

Aside from John Wick’s falsified Mustang, some well-known celebrities have owned Boss 429s. In 2020, a black ’69 Mustang Boss 429 previously owned by Paul Walker, the late star of Fast and Furious film series, went to Mecum Auctions. The car was in original condition, with a covered mileage of just 14,575 miles. Another famous Boss 429 owner is the comedian and actor Jay Leno, who welcomed a restored red ’69 Boss 429 to his car collection in 2016.

Bottom Line

Buying and owning a muscle car is more than just a hobby; it’s a dream come true for many. The Mustang Boss 429 is one of the most precious classic cars due to its rarity since less than 1360 units of these cars were ever manufactured. And obviously, a much lower number of these are still in existence nowadays. Although there are continuation models of Boss 429 around, none of them quite hold the same gravitas as an original classic Boss 429.  Add this to the great feeling you can have while owning a rare classic car with a powerful engine, excellent exhaust note, and acceleration that is fast even by today’s standards.

However, Boss 429 Mustang is not a daily driver, as driving a classic car on a daily basis is no bed of roses. With its ultra-large engine capacity and the 4-barrel carburettor, it is not the most fuel-economical car for sure. The massive size of the engine also results in imperfect weight distribution, which leads to not-so-good handling. The rarity of the Boss 429 comes at a literal price: running costs can add up, especially as spare engine parts can be expensive and tricky to track down due to low number of units.

Having said that, such problems are common in almost every classic muscle car. The fact is none of these would be a big deal if you have a passion for a true muscle car. When petrol runs in your veins, you make it fuel you, not stop you.

Not so many Boss 429 Mustangs are available for sale in the UK. Some are in original condition, while others enjoy a restored condition that could be either kept stock or used for tuning purposes. Even found in a junkyard, this legendary muscle car would be a good candidate for a restoration project from sheer worthiness.

Author: Owen Pham

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