Smokey Yunick's T/A BOSS 302

One of only seven BOSS 302 Test Mules in 1969

© Steve Francis, Wolfgang Kohrn 2001 - Last updated on December 18th., 2014

Note the special relocated steering linkage set up and - of course - the inner fender apron cut-out. This is not like it was back then. Originally it came - as Steve says - with a RHD steering linkeage to make more room for the headers - probably from an Australian Ford. The apron was cut as for the debut of the car this RHD linkeage could not be located in time, so the normal linkeage had to be mounted differently.

Zero compromise - 
created by Kar Kraft and Smokey Yunick.

In January 1969 Ford Administration Service ordered 7 test mules in the Dearborn factory to be shipped over to Kar Kraft for a new exciting project - the BOSS 302. These pre-production BOSS 302 were all delivered as 351 Windsor (M-code) Sportsroof 69 models with VINs ranging from 9F02M148623 - 9F02M148629.

All of them received special suspension treatment by Kar Kraft, but only 3 of them received full dressing including an engine change, as most of them went to race teams, that wanted to develop their own combo for a real winner. One of these 3 got a 429 wedge engine and was later delivered to Smokey Yunick for further development of a road racer, as Bunkie Knudsen had his friend requested.

When it was almost finished and ready for testing, Smokey got a call from Bunkie to have it ready for the Talladega race a few days later. Smokey was not amused, but changed the car again for the specific set-up needed for a circle track. The 429 engine was pulled and a smaller Yunick-modified engine installed. Smokey knew that the rocker arm assembly was the weakest part of the engine and had disputes with stubborn Ford engineers for a long time. He told Bunkie that it would not stand it for a race and that is how it exactly went. Upon qualifying with Bucky Blackburn at the wheel, he led the race most of the time ..until a valve stem made its way through the rocker arm just 2 laps before the finish and that was the end. Anyway Bunkie Knudsen was fired the day before so there was no more pushing. The car was put on a trailer and rolled home.

This ultrarare BOSS 302 T/A Racer has been bought soon after parking it at the Yunick facilities by Ed Rose and raced in stock races. Ed Rose was the same guy who probably bought another blue BOSS 302 T/A, that was not raced at all, from Smokey together with the black/gold one and the acid-dipped 68 BOSS 302 test mule, that was in Yunicks shop at that time.

The Yunick Boss was restored around 1990 by Brooke Mossgrove in a 2 years period with some help from Rich Rodeck on specific suspension parts. 

Smokeys exhaust manifold set-up from 'down under'

Nothing beats this set-up, I'd guess. Handfabricated art of an 3" exhaust organ that can be only played in the correct tune by a high-revving T/A engine.

Note the special separate 4-in-2 tube collectors and the double crossover draft tubes. Considering the thightness under a lowered race car, exhaust modelling without sacrificing highest possible flow stream for sure can be called an art in itself.

Everything hand-fabricated!

11,7" Kelsey-Hayes disc brakes from '69 Lincolns up front with cooling vent tubes were set-up with billet-machined hubs for the special 15" racing wheels.
Quick-rim-mounting was made possible with the extended center hubs and screw-on-style spinners.

The rear axle was fitted with 4-caliper 10,5" front disc brakes from 65 Shelbys.
This 4-disc brake combo made a stopping power of 80-0mph in only 180 feet possible, a mere 116 feet less than a later stock BOSS 302.

Kar Kraft also used very expensive C7AX-rear ends in the T/A cars that cost about 5.000 dollar. Smokey stated in an interview that all these things were just beautiful and probably around 20.000 dollar worth, but he was not really convinced of the parts to withstand a circle track race like in Talladega.
He pulled even the handfabricated parts and turned the transmission front cover so that the turned around starter allowed more room for the exhaust manifold.
(text passage sources: Alex Gabbard - Fast Mustangs and Dr. John Craft/Boss and Cobra Jets)

Exclusive on this site!
The Ford factory invoice of Smokey Yunick's Mustang!

9F02M148626 - Stamped to VVIN
The factory invoice - issued on 10th January 1969 reveals interesting details.
It lists
  • special paint ID 178-D-406*
  • the special DSO 89-280 order, which was probably the same for all 7 consecutive numbered test-mule cars.
  • Rim-Blow Steering Wheel
  • rear tinted glass (standard in 1969)
  • 4-speed manual transmission
  • E78x14 P.R. BSW Tires
  • Interior Code 2A (Black Vynil)
  • Note the special mentioning of "All Dealer and Sound Deadener Delete" at No extra charge.

This is really an ultrarare piece of historic documentation. Thanks to Steve Francis for sharing it with us.

According to the Mustang Production Guide by Jim Haskell/Jim Smart the 7 cars were probably built around 14th. of January 1969.

Kevin Marti ( has some more on this from his Ford Files.

"Actually, it (the print on the invoice) was supposed to say "Delete all SEALERS . . .". It was a typographical error. Yes, all 7 vehicles were identical including the Rim Blow. The tinted rear window was standard in all sportsroof Mustangs in 1969. The 178-D-406 is the tag code for keeping track of the car within the Ford system for inventory purposes."
Thanks Kevin, for looking this up.
More pictures On Display at the Ford 100th. Anniversary (Pictures thanks to Steve La Riviere -

The car in Ross Myers garage as of 2010

Steve Francis took these latest engine bay pics in late 2014.

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