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|Cars + Coffee Combo: 1970 Mustang Boss 302 Trans Am and Ford 8000 COE Transporter|
|Written by Rich Truesdell|
|Saturday, 18 April 2009 08:14|
Another example of "you never know what will show up at Cars and Coffee" is this tribute to Ford's legendary Total Performance era and its 1970 Trans-Am championship.
What makes the weekly Cars and Coffee gathering at Ford's Western Regional Headquarters such a great event is that every week is a surprise; today was no exception. Whether it's seeing Lamborghini's latest parked next to a vintage Ford pickup, or this week, more than two dozen Boss Mustangs commemorating the 45th birthday of America's most popular Pony Car, nothing can quite beat this combination: a period-correct recreation of a Bud Moore Ford Race transporter with a tribute to Parnelli Jones' 1970 Trans-Am championship-winning 1970 Boss 302 Mustang on top.
Among all the Boss 302 and 351 Mustangs on display, Les Werling's transporter/race car combination was a standout. At breakfast at Irvine's Strawberry Farms after Cars and Coffee, Les took time to explain how the combination came to be.
"In 1970, Ford Motor Company--under the name of Muscle Motor Sports--published two books on how to make your Boss 302 Trans Am race-ready. My Boss 302 has been constructed following the guidelines outlined in those publications, including the engine and all suspension. The engine features a 1969 steel crank, J & E Pistons, Carrillo Rods, original Bud Moore Mini Plenum 750 cfm Holly carb modified by Pro Mod, Crowler roller rockers, and a 4-speed Top Loader transmission with a 4.33:1 rear-end." Basically built in a little bit more than a one-year period, this car morphed from a well-used drag car to a near-perfect authentic tribute to Parnelli Jones' Trans-Am Championship winning stallion. Although the Boss 302 is street legal--it is registered in California--Les noted that it's a bit of a bear to drive given its almost perfect recreation of a Trans Am race car. The only major deviation from a 1970's era car are the brakes, which are upgraded to a Wildwood 4-piston, 4-wheel system.
As far as the transporter is concerned, Les mentioned that Ford built essentially the same cab-over-engine truck from 1957 to 1990, a mid-duty truck that used a variety of gasoline and diesel engines. In the case of Les' truck, it's powered by a Cat 3208 V8 diesel, displacing 636-cubic-inch, a powerplant that is very popular not only in trucks but boats as well. This particular truck started life as a fire truck/tanker/hauler. Les consulted with Bud Moore as to the kind of transporters used by the team back in the Trans-Am era. Bud noted that two transporters were built by Holman-Moody in North Carolina for themselves (Holman-Moody) as well as Bud Moore Engineering. Weber 3W Truck and Equipment supplied the period-correct ramp bed. The total time to build the truck covered about nine months, well after the car was built in 2005.
Be sure to check out the additional views of Les Werling's Parnelli Jones-Bud Moore Boss 302-Transporter combo in the Automotive Traveler image gallery.