1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

Horsepower Hierarchy: The Allure of The 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

One of the beautiful muscle cars recently spotted in the wild is an expert-grade restoration! The Autoevolution crew ran an awesome story this week about the allure of the 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351. The scene of the find was the 2023 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN). 

The Allure of The 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

Ford had originally released the Boss 302 so the Mustang could meet rigid SCCA Trans Am regulations. The very cool production model came equipped with a brand-new stripe package. The power source was a 4.9-liter V8 tuned to crank out 290 horsepower. This capable package allowed the Boss 302 to be a fierce competitor for the Chevy Camaro Z28. 

The Boss is Back: The 429 Muscle Experience

The Boss 302 enjoyed a robust number of 8,948 units sold through 1970. The second vehicle to wear this badge was an even more menacing model. The 1969 Boss 429 was an influence for skilled NASCAR domination! The Torino Talledega employed the same 7.0-liter V8. 

This was the most potent Ford model at the time, heartily cranking out 375 horsepower. It remains much rarer than the Boss 302, with only 1,358 models produced. In 1971, the Boss 351 roared to life with its 351-cubic-inch 5.8-liter engine. This powertrain included segment-leading forged aluminum pistons.  

The Boss 351’s Astounding Acceleration Adventure:

This model spotted at the 2023 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is an impeccable find! The body had undergone restoration to factory-spec quality. It was displayed with its original interior, spurning talk of a bona fide miracle! Interiors usually cannot survive more than 50 years in this aged state. 

Upgraded cylinder heads were another feature that made the 351 so iconic. It also boasted a dual-pane aluminum intake crowned by a four-barrel carb. This gem was only built for one year, and could claim double the speed of the Boss 429 during the quarter-mile. The exterior color is a black-and-cream variety that is also now quite difficult to come by. 

This Engine’s Spotless & Untarnished Presentation:

The Autoevolution gang was incredibly impressed by this particular 351’s spotless engine bay. The current owner spent two years reviving it, and it exists as one of the best-kept examples of its kind. Some of the best muscle cars of all time were born in the 1970s! Unfortunately, rising fuel prices and regulations also made for a slight downturn.

The new Mustang was targeted towards a slightly maturing customer base. This had an influence on the larger interior size! This transmission was available in both wide-and close-ratio formats. A heavy-duty Competition Suspension package provided extra stopping power in the form of larger front disc brakes. 

Race-Ready Design: How the ’71 Mustang Boss 351 Earned Its Stripes

This exterior also was decked out with twin NACA hood ducts. There is also a honeycomb grille and very cool bodyside stripes. The Boss 351 ran a 13.8 seconds quarter-mile during official Motor Trend testing in 1971. The testing crew later claimed that “No matter what size or shape it may resemble, it sure looks like a racer.”

The 351 V8 under the hood was a huge contributing factor to this brute’s trademark sense of speed. High-flowing 4V heads were also very helpful when things came right down to helping the car take on bullies from other sinister parts of town! A brand-new 1971 Boss 351 Mustang sold for $4,124, which was 1,000 more than the base Mustang SportsRoof.

A Close Look at an Outright Amazing Auction Find:

In the sunny and delightful Orlando, Florida, another one of these amazing cars was listed for sale on the Mecum Auctions website. With a mere 26,750 miles on the odometer, it had already scooped up multiple awards. It was also presented in quite pristine condition after having just one owner since 2008.

Only 20 of the 1,806 Boss 351 units released sported this very cool combination of paint and trim. This much-loved Mustang was capable of humming along at 3,200 rpm while doing 55 on the highway! Another trait that makes this car so very sought after is its very high compression ratio of 11.7:1. The Boss 351’s carb was a special-made Autolite 4300-D.

Reflecting on the Scorching Speed of the Boss 351:

So much attention has been focused on the coming cars of tomorrow, and we agree that they are still excellent! Older classics such as this are sleek, attractive, and menacingly powerful. The muscle cars of yesteryear were excellent for both formal and informal drag racing. Since a catalytic converter limits exhaust flow, the sound of a straight pipe exhaust is amazing. 

What do you think of the Ford Mustang Boss 351? Is it just what the “need for classic muscle” doctor ordered, or are modern tech features more your style? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or check out another article about the Ford Mustang then and now.

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Jon Weirman
I am a freelance writer in the Midwest who specializes in vehicles built for expert-level off-roading, and anything with a staggering amount of horsepower. In my first life I worked in broadcasting for Starz Network and Discovery Channel. I also love retro video games and sci-fi movies. Everything from the loud and burly muscle cars of the late 1970s to new crossover SUVs with futuristic tech features have populated my inbox!

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