Realistic price for a decent Boss?

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Jhornet

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Looking to buy a 72 -73 Mach 1
Hello team-

I'm in the market for a '71-73 mustang and I think I have settled on Boss 351. Wow,  the prices are all over the map!

For example this one at $119 K: https://www.hendrickperformance.com/details-1971-ford-mustang_boss_351-perfectly_restored_boss_351_mustang_-used-1f02r182242.html

How realistic is that price point (I picked this one because there are a lot of pics)? 

i'm trying to come up with a strategy for selecting a vehicle. I'm not looking for numbers matching/ concours ready vehicles, because I plan on putting some miles on it, but by the same token I want to avoid some cobbled together POS where nothing is right. Any suggestions on finding a happy medium and not getting ripped off?

 
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I would start by doing as much research as possible on what is correct and what isn't. The B1 has a lot of specific parts which can be spendy to source, if not already there. Read through the B1 section on this forum. There is a Facebook group ran by Rick Ybarra dedicated to the B1. If you're on Facebook (I'm not), search it out. When you think you have a good grip on the info, search places like CarsOnline.com. They usually have several for sale at different price points.

Steve

 
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You can get a really nice Mach 1 for 25-30k and be able to drive it. Why spend triple that price for a B351 if you’re not concerned about a numbers matching car? You can still get a really nice car with a numbers matching driveline and not be afraid to take it out and drive the wheels off it. There were only 1800 ish b351’s built, so they are pretty rare. With the way people are driving these days, I would be afraid to drive such a rare car, but they are really cool!

 

Mister 4x4

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You can get a really nice Mach 1 for 25-30k and be able to drive it. Why spend triple that price for a B351 if you’re not concerned about a numbers matching car? You can still get a really nice car with a numbers matching driveline and not be afraid to take it out and drive the wheels off it. There were only 1800 ish b351’s built, so they are pretty rare. With the way people are driving these days, I would be afraid to drive such a rare car, but they are really cool!
Other than being in that exclusive club and everything that comes with owning such a rare car, there's really no benefit to having a Boss 351, IMHO.  As John eluded to, you're not really buying a 'car' anymore, but rather an investment into a piece of history.  Sure, you might fire it up for a quick burn around the block or even on/off a trailer for an event or a car show every now and then - but if you're wanting a '71-'73 Mustang to drive around and really enjoy, I'd say take John's advice and find a nice Mach 1 instead. 

 
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Other than being in that exclusive club and everything that comes with owning such a rare car, there's really no benefit to having a Boss 351, IMHO.  As John eluded to, you're not really buying a 'car' anymore, but rather an investment into a piece of history.  Sure, you might fire it up for a quick burn around the block or even on/off a trailer for an event or a car show every now and then - but if you're wanting a '71-'73 Mustang to drive around and really enjoy, I'd say take John's advice and find a nice Mach 1 instead. 
I too would agree. Find yourself a nice 71 M code, 351C 4V (closed chamber heads ) and again my preference, a 4 speed with a 3.50:1 traction-Loc rear end. Properly timed and tuned, you would have a great car to drive anywhere, reasonably good on fuel and pretty good off-the-line pick up.

I have a friend who has owned a B351 for many years and I've never seen him drive it. It just sits in his garage. Of course though, he had to F it up by installing a roller valve train. It does however have all the (reproduced) factory chalk and check marks, so I'll give him that.

 

Mister 4x4

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I too would agree. Find yourself a nice 71 M code, 351C 4V (closed chamber heads ) and again my preference, a 4 speed with a 3.50:1 traction-Loc rear end. Properly timed and tuned, you would have a great car to drive anywhere, reasonably good on fuel and pretty good off-the-line pick up.

I have a friend who has owned a B351 for many years and I've never seen him drive it. It just sits in his garage. Of course though, he had to F it up by installing a roller valve train. It does however have all the (reproduced) factory chalk and check marks, so I'll give him that.
And there ya go - general consensus is that if you monkey with things no matter how subtle or 'invisible,' you'll mess up the car and bring down 'the value.'  Well, they're really not worth anything until the day of the sale... or the insurance adjustment, if that's the case.  Just like any other investment, you won't see any return value until you cash out.  If that's the goal - go for it, I say.

If you're really not worried about 'numbers-matching,' or 'concourse condition,' look into getting a 'lesser' model, adding some performance mods and have something even more potent than a Boss 351.  I know mine is pushing 400hp at the crank - if I'd gone with a 4-speed and 3.50 or better gears. I'm pretty sure I could smoke a Boss 351 in short order (not a goal of mine by any means, of course).  Even with an AOD and 3.00 gears, it moves out smartly and is a lot of fun to drive.  The sky's the limit with restomodding - go as crazy or conservative as you like and come out ahead of the game, while not dicing up a rare and/or collectible car.  My mods are mostly performance enhancing with some period-correct cosmetic mods, because I wanted what I would've built back in the '80s had I been able to have one back then.

One more piece of advice (that you kind of eluded to in your original post): always start with the best car you can afford, but make sure it fits into your plan so you don't over-buy and wind up back-tracking.  For instance, if you have a specific color in mind, maybe that one with the faded paint turns out to be the best deal (since a color change is planned anyway).  Some folks will buy an I-6 or 302 car to build a race car, then drop in a big-block or Coyote 5.0... or one with an automatic and swap-in a manual.  Build it how you like - you'll just enjoy it just that much more.

 
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7173Vert

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Well, interesting comments here to your request.  So, you indicate no numbers matching, concourse car’s therefore the $119k car is not a good example for your purposes. There are many on the various resell web sites for sale, all in various state of true B1 configuration.... IMO, a Boss without its original driveline is just another fastback with an “R” in the VIN. The price you pay for such a vehicle should reflect this lack of originality... Good original driver Boss’s should be available in the $40k+ price point. 

You have to decide what is important to you in a Boss forvthe $$$ you want to spend. Good luck in your search.

 
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1971 Mach 1, Grabber Blue w/Argent stripes. Original 2V 351C Auto, Tilt, rear defog, Black Comfortweave Interior. Under restoration. Original colors, 4V 351C, 4-Speed, Spoilers, Magnums, Ram Air. All Ford parts.
Great points all through this post.  Something else to consider is the dishonesty in the business.  Over the years as the "Rare" cars increase in value, some dealers out there take big shortcuts to make big money.

Here is what I mean.  If you were to find a "numbers matching" Boss 351 for a "Numbers matching" price, you have a nice, rare complete car, Correct?  Well, who checked to make sure the numbers matched?

1) Did anyone verify that the original date coded crankshaft and rods are in the engine?

2) Have the pistons been replaced or upgraded?  Block bored?

3) Is the VIN on the block what Ford did? Or did someone buy a "close enough" cleveland block and stamp the VIN numbers on the block?

4) Is it the correct 4-Speed with the correct tag?  Who verified before you sent your money?  Same wit the rear end?  Did someone keep the tag on the differential, or just make a tag and put in on  a non-boss rear axel.

I ask all these questions because I know for a fact that no one dismantles the car before they buy it to verify all that stuff.  A few years back a Nationally know restorer of high end Shelbys was caught up in law suits for switching out original CSxxxx part number seals and components for non-Shelby parts.  I am not sure what made the victim check those parts, but they had been swapped.  What about the OE Lemans rods used in the old 428's.  When people buy these old high end number matching Shelbys, does that pretty little big block under the hood have Lemans components or station wagon parts?

Just food for thought.

kcmash

 

7173Vert

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Great points all through this post.  Something else to consider is the dishonesty in the business.  Over the years as the "Rare" cars increase in value, some dealers out there take big shortcuts to make big money.

Here is what I mean.  If you were to find a "numbers matching" Boss 351 for a "Numbers matching" price, you have a nice, rare complete car, Correct?  Well, who checked to make sure the numbers matched?

1) Did anyone verify that the original date coded crankshaft and rods are in the engine?

2) Have the pistons been replaced or upgraded?  Block bored?

3) Is the VIN on the block what Ford did? Or did someone buy a "close enough" cleveland block and stamp the VIN numbers on the block?

4) Is it the correct 4-Speed with the correct tag?  Who verified before you sent your money?  Same wit the rear end?  Did someone keep the tag on the differential, or just make a tag and put in on  a non-boss rear axel.

I ask all these questions because I know for a fact that no one dismantles the car before they buy it to verify all that stuff.  A few years back a Nationally know restorer of high end Shelbys was caught up in law suits for switching out original CSxxxx part number seals and components for non-Shelby parts.  I am not sure what made the victim check those parts, but they had been swapped.  What about the OE Lemans rods used in the old 428's.  When people buy these old high end number matching Shelbys, does that pretty little big block under the hood have Lemans components or station wagon parts?

Just food for thought.

kcmash
Generally, #’s matching confirmation will not include disassembling an engine to check for correct factory installed parts. If a car is at this level today, it is done for driving in its lifetime; could not risk damaging these parts. What you describe is a true museum piece. The block, the heads and all other factory identified exterior pieces are not that difficult to confirm. 
 

At the end of the day, the consumer must be sure of what they are buying. Your suspicions noted here would make it next to impossible for a purist to purchase an original “average person” car. One is correct to perform their due diligence to the level they are satisfied with confirming #’s matching components. 
 

In my case, there was no way the original engine would be intact as you describe. The car had been driven year round for 30+ years meaning the engine had been rebuilt more then once.... Hiwever, remarkably, the original block, heads, exhaust manifolds were still there. The rest, I sourced keeping a 60-90 day build date window for these parts, in line with the car’s actual build date. So yes, #’s matching by the accepted means today for a car that has been driven and not lived in a museum all it’s life. 
 

I agree with you in that one must be sure of what they are paying for....

 
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I have a Grabber Lime Boss 351. The added bonus is it has a Gear Vendor overdrive for added drive-ability.
I think I read that B1 prices are declining so this may not be a bad time to find a decent one and haggle. I like having a rare and unusual car and drive mine often.

 

SVO2SCJ

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As a 1971 R code owner, Boss restorer and follower of the cars/market and ENGINE date codes .........I actually agree with the thought of NOT buying a Boss!!     Let me say "NOT BUYING A BOSS from the retailers, resellers of car bought cheaply and DOLLED UP to sell .

Cars with good history, bones and 75% or more of correct Autolite parts are out there!   If you find a long time owner, you will find a seller that wants to see their car go to the next guy that will drive, fix up or "do what they never got to!'    As you find cars that are less of a project abit 90% correct parts (Read D1ZF-ZA carb, Autolite Dual point, working CORRECT date coded Rev limiter, Boss manifolds etc etc) will be 30% higher!

I have owned over 125 collector cars yet I have never bought from dealer or auction!!  (well one Mustang, but that was when it wouldn't start off the block and my money "saved the auctioneer") Every car, came with a story from the owner, rarely wasn't what it was to be and provided me a great hobby!     I lost money on the first 20, broke even on the next 20 and made money on every car since BEACUSE " you make money on the buy, not the sale!"

It doesn't matter if you buy a Boss or a Mach I .......just don't buy the WRONG car.      

Mark

P.S.  The 1971 Boss was the car all the retailers bought at auction for under $40K "thining" they could double their money !!  The motus operandi  is to make you think the car is worth $120K so when you pay $100K (or even less) YOU GOT A DEAL !!!       (let me look at it now................I'll only reply IF it is a Nancy Reagan Car !!

IMG_3472.JPG

 
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With the Boss you put the link up being in the Hendrick collection he usually knows what he is buying. The car is restored way better than 99% of them are. If you go buy a run of the mill Boss and have it restored to this level you will have more than $115,000 in the car. Just jumping through the pics only a couple things do not look right. Small things for sure and could be fixed. The door speaker grills are from 1972 or 73. The 1971 has only one vertical bar in the middle changed at model change. I think the T-handle is a repo. Cannot remember there is something odd about the alignment of the name and numbers on original. I think the trans Vin# does not match.
It has all the documents and they show all the numbers. If you think about buying I would request them to do a compression check and leak down check on the engine to show it is good inside. I would check inside the cowl with bore scope and look for rust. 
If you are going to use the car a lot and drive you for sure need to put theft tracking device on it you can steal one in two minutes easily.

I usually bash the builds posted but they did pretty good on this one. Pic is the correct style speaker grill would be black on the black interior boss.

2-17_lg.jpg

 

Graham Man

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I wanted my 1972 Mach CJ back, I had in high school, could not get it.... wanted a Boss 351 looked for a while... found this for sale locally...

1972 Fastback 302, cam , intake, carb, glass packs out in front of the rear wheels.  Original Ford 15" magnum 500 wheels, 1965 dual piston Shelby disk brake kit (about 4 hours), put in a 4 speed, car was originally a 3 speed (took about an hour).  I drive the wheels off it, don't stop at a gas stations if you are in a hurry.  Never lock the doors or even roll up the windows full Mach One interior with fold down rear seat.  I have a 1971 M 351 to put in, but the 302 sounds and runs awesome.  My biggest problem is getting my 20 year old out of it.

1972 Mustang.jpg

 

airfido

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Ours is a case in point for the tribute/clone. It's certainly not an attempt at a perfect reproduction, but it is close enough for us, and very drivable without fear of damaging an investment-grade Boss. It started out life as an H-code car and was Bossed-up by the previous owner. We started out making it truly driveable with all new stock (Moog) front suspension and quick-ratio rebuild stock steering gearbox (what a difference).
Sure, the purists at car meets can find the flaws, but it is always a crowd favorite and a blast to drive. The project also saved an H-code car that might have been neglected into dust. It's a 351-4V with a 4-speed top-loader now. The rear-end is next. The stock 2.75 open will be replaced by a 3.00 LS 3rd member.
Good times!
JB
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