How the Mustang Became Boss
Growing up, my dad had a lot of Mustangs. As he's gotten older, he’s really gotten into Japanese and European cars, which are biased more towards handling delicacy than outright speed and thunder. Like with most things, our taste develop more towards subtlety and sophistication as we age—but my dad has never forgotten his Detroit Muscle roots. He still tells some incredible stories about twisted frames, three-foot-wide street slicks, 4th-gear powerslides, massive, life-threatening wrecks, and ungodly HP figures. We all love a nuanced handling/ride balance, but sometimes there’s nothing like turning the rears into block-long sticky black lines, fire, and acrid smoke.
The Mustang I remember most vividly and most admirably was dad’s Grabber Blue ’70 Boss 302 four-speed with the optional flat-black hood and rear-window strakes. My very first moments of consciousness took place on the torn and duct-taped black vinyl passenger bucket. I remember cheesy wood grain, a stop sign, and a hot summer breeze through the open windows, then suddenly, lots of revs and the feeling of being smashed into that ugly, ripped-up seat. My dad’s arms and feet were a blur—they were busy stoking that iron V8 furnace, and keeping it all in a straight line on shoddy old bias-plys. God, what a car. It was 1983 and I was 3 ½ years old. A few months later, my little brother was born and the Boss was traded in for a Shelby GLH, which I hated.