The 1971 Mustang Boss 351 followed on the success and performance heritage of the Boss 302 and Boss 429. Although physically larger than its predecessors, the Boss 351 didn’t take a back seat at all when it came to performance. Magazines of the day that put a Boss 351 through its paces posted 0-60 MPH times below 6 seconds and quarter-mile times in the high-13s. Those times put you in the upper echelon of the favorite muscle cars of the era. What put the Boss 351 into that exclusive club was a 351 Cleveland engine built to take on the big-blocks of the era. Whereas the 1969-1970 Boss 302 combined a 302 Windsor block with 351 Cleveland heads, the Boss 351 started with 351 CI, which meant more torque than the Boss 302—90 lb-ft more, to be exact.
The Boss 351’s short-block featured 4-bolt mains, forged pistons, shot-peened connecting rods, an aggressive high-lift camshaft and an 11.0:1 compression ratio. Up top, the Cleveland heads were known for airflow, so a high-revving camshaft optimized output to 330 HP and 380 lb-ft of torque. An aluminum intake and Autolite 4-barrel carburetor finished off the Boss 351. Ford’s Ram-Air cool air system was designed to feed fresh, cool air to the hungry small-block. Rounding out the Boss 351 package was a Hurst-shifted 4-speed transmission and standard 3.91 gears within a nodular iron 9-inch rear end. On the outside, there’s no way one walks right by this Boss 351. The “Boss 351” decals on the fenders and rear decklid will stop you in your tracks.
Those callouts let you know this is a special Mustang. This particular Boss 351 is one of 1,806 built in its only year of production, and its restoration was overseen by none other than Mustang Club of America Technical Advisor Bob Perkins. As optioned, this Boss 351 is just one of 20. Furthermore, only NOS parts and components were used in its restoration It wears Raven Black paint, Magnum 500 wheels, Goodyear Polyglas GT tires, power steering, power front disc brakes and front and rear spoilers. All of the above resulted in an MCA Concours Gold award in 2019.
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