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Three Reasons Why: This Is the Best Restored Mustang Ever

© Hot Rod Network Staff

By Jerry Heasley, HOT ROD

[post_ads]By all odds, there is not a finer restored Ford Mustang than this 1970 Boss 429, and for three main reasons; the first being a starting point of just 1,608 original miles. Reason No. 1's importance, originality, matches Bob Perkins' restoration philosophy of the last 37 years, which he summed up, off the cuff, as we talked about the undercarriage of this car. He said, "The best cars, when they're done, were the better cars to start with."

Perkins' 20/20 vision of foresight, which he has possessed since his start in the hobby in 1981, has led him to buy the best Mustangs. He's bought cars such as a Black Jade Boss 429 with 902 miles, a 1970 Grabber Orange Boss 302 with 1,554 miles, and, of course, the 1969 Mach 1 with 54 miles that has never been titled or dealer-prepped.

In his words, "30-odd years ago" Perkins first saw this Grabber Orange 1970 Boss 429, right after Gary Erickson bought the car from its original owner. "He came by my old shop in Oconomowoc [Wisconsin] with the car and being that it was Grabber Orange, the same color as my Boss 302, I thought, 'Boy, what a pair of cars that would be. '" Erickson was so proud of his new purchase he would not sell. Over the years, the two men bought and traded parts and kept the car in the conversation.

In November of 2015, Perkins told his friend and Mustang collector Dave Steine, "I bet Gary Erickson will show up in Chicago [Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals] because he will not be able to stay away from an event where one of every color Boss 429 will be on display." Sure enough, Gary showed up. Bob introduced him to Dave Steine, and by the end of the show Dave made an agreement to buy Gary's 1970 Boss 429.

Perkins had a plan: Steine had two of the three Ford West Coast Drag Team cars of 1969-1970—the Cobra Jet Super Stock Mustang and the Pro Stock Mustang, both driven by Ed Terry. He lacked the third car, the Fairlane Cobra, which Bob Perkins owned and was restoring to its racing glory. "I think that Dave knew eventually that we were going to trade. That's the only way he was going to get the Cobra Fairlane out of me," said Perkins.

This past year the deal was done. Perkins tossed in a 427 SOHC engine built for him by George Montgomery (aka Ohio George). With his dream Boss 429 in his garage, parts gathered over the past 30-odd years, and restoration expertise, Perkins went about building a masterpiece.
© Hot Rod Network Staff   1970-Boss-429-mustang-019.jpg

People might wonder what difference it would make if the starting point of a restoration was 1,608 miles or 56,608 miles. Certain aspects of a restoration are easy to duplicate, and others are hard to duplicate. For example, 100 percent virgin sheetmetal is a major plus in a restoration. The higher the mileage, the more likely to find rust pits that must be repaired in the metal. Perkins cited date-coded door strikers, which show wear even when replated. "You can see where they've been opened and closed on a car with, say, 50,000 miles, and that's where low mileage makes a difference."

Another issue with these high-end restorations is the interior. Ford did not sell new interiors. "You couldn't buy a new seat," Perkins said. This 1,608-mile car had mint seats, dash, and instrument cluster.
Reason No. 2 that this 1970 Boss 429 is by all odds the best restored Mustang ever is Perkins' massive storehouse of N.O.S. parts. Over the past 37 years, he's stopped at more than 3,000 Ford dealers in his pursuit of N.O.S. Mustang parts, heavy on his favorite—Boss Mustangs. At one dealer, he recalls finding an N.O.S. 1970 Mustang carpet in its original box, date-coded December of 1969, fitting the window of production for this Boss 429.

"There's never been a shoe placed on the heel pad. Nobody has ever stepped on the pad on the front of the carpet in that car," Bob said as we took pictures of his incredible 1,608-mile 1970 Boss 429—a car that we pushed in and out of the shop for photos and that he will never start up or drive. "Most likely, no one ever sat in the rear seats of the car."

Perkins turned passionate about a "100 percent perfect trunk wiring harness," which he said is ultra-rare, and an N.O.S. trunk mat and underlayment, the latter not readily visible but MCA-judged. Also high on the list is the pair of N.O.S., date-code correct 1970 Boss 429 mufflers, the only set Bob has ever seen on a car at a show. "In the back of my mind, I had been saving all that stuff for all those years because I had the feeling that eventually I would get that car."

Reason No. 3 that this 1970 Boss 429 is by all odds the best restored Mustang ever: Bob Perkins' restoration skills and understanding of the stock show car classes in the MCA—classes that are constructed to nurture authentic restorations. Perkins has been one of the key sources of information and expertise in the development of these rules.

Due to incorrect storage, the original Grabber Orange paint, except for some areas in the doorjambs and under the decklid, could not be saved. However, the car had a wealth of other original features that he could integrate to win MCA's Authenticity award in the Thoroughbred class.
This Mustang is one of four Boss 429s to achieve this MCA Thoroughbred Authenticity award—we have photographed the previous three for features seen here. Whether or not this fourth Boss 429 is the best restored Mustang ever, it is Bob Perkins' masterpiece.


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Autos News: Three Reasons Why: This Is the Best Restored Mustang Ever
Three Reasons Why: This Is the Best Restored Mustang Ever
Autos News
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