HomePick of the Day1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351


The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored
The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored

Now that we know Mustangs are the most-searched-for collector cars in the U.S., here’s a roaring example of the Ford pony car as pure muscle.

The Pick of the Day is a 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 coupe, the beneficiary of a ground-up restoration and powered by its correct Cleveland 351cid, four-valve V8 with Toploader four-speed manual transmission. All the ingredients needed for a hot trip down the quarter mile, on a straight-ahead back road or, if unlucky, to traffic court.

The near-horizontal back window and wide pillars create a rear-view dilemma
The near-horizontal back window and wide pillars create a rear-view dilemma

Model year 1971 was when Mustang bulked up and lost the lightness that had drawn legions of admirers, moving instead into the luxury/performance market with a bigger, heavier vehicle. The result was not to everyone’s liking, but there were some unique highlights, such as this Boss 351.

A continuation of the earlier and beloved Boss 302, as well as the Mustang Mach 1, the 351 was both an acceleration machine and a luxury transporter. This one shows a rare purity as so many of these were personalized with custom treatments. Its array of fresh paint, graphics, trim, wheels and tires, designed to attract the attention of young hot-shoe drivers, look like real time-machine stuff.

A framed Marti Auto Works Elite Report that confirms its authenticity comes with the car.

Naturally, power and performance are of primary importance, as the Charlotte, North Carolina, dealer notes in the ad description on ClassicCars.com.

The engine compartment shows like new
The engine compartment shows like new

“Under the car’s ‘long and low’ hood you’ll find 351 cubic inches of Ford V8 that’s been mechanically and aesthetically restored to correct factory specifications,” the dealer says in the ad. “As one of the most-popular pony-car mills ever created, Ford’s venerable Boss 351 utilizes Boss 302 heads, a radical, solid-lifter cam and shot-peened and magnafluxed rods to turn stout 11-to-1 compression into an honest 330 horsepower.

“At the top of the big engine, a 750cfm carburetor snipes wind from a restored, single-snorkel air cleaner that’s decked in a sweet combination of factory fresh decals and bright blue paint.”

Other performance goodies include the correct 9-inch Traction-Lok rear with 3.91 gears, Flowmaster exhaust, factory disc brakes up front, competition suspension and a Hurst shifter.

The body and interior are in excellent original condition after the thorough restoration, the dealer says. Fifteen-inch Magnum 500 wheels are shod with staggered BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires for an authentic look.

The clean-looking interior is said to be mostly original
The clean-looking interior is said to be mostly original

“At the front of this Ford’s body, prominent, silver-trimmed spotlights and inset, crystal-clear headlights combine with a traditional galloping horse emblem, a bright chrome bumper and an aggressive chin spoiler to construct a clean and solid face,” the seller says. “Sprinkled down the car’s fuselage you’ll find fresh marker lights, flush door handles, vivid “BOSS 351 Mustang” call-outs and traditional Ford racing mirrors.”

Apparently in top-notch condition, this Mustang Boss 351 seems like a muscle-car jewel, and it is priced accordingly at $74,900. Though not having the panache or value of the Boss 429, it is still a great representation of the ’71-73 Mustang models. And it does look badass.

For those who were not there back then, and who wonder about such things, the word “boss” had a short-lived connotation around that time, something like the word “awesome” is used today, denoting something that is both cool and impressive. Ford picked up on it for its awesome lineup of performance Boss Mustangs.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Having a “four-valve V8” makes it incorrect. Another detail is backwards; the BOSS 302 used Cleveland heads, not the reverse. So much garbage info re: the 351C is propagated as truth………….


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