In the Golden Days of the muscle car wars, the Big Three (plus AMC) were cranking out faster and meaner machines every year. Ford really got things going by enlisting the aid of Carroll Shelby to produce the Shelby GT350, a factory-ready race car. In 1969, Ford decided to take matters into its own hands with the Boss 302 Mustang. While the GT350 was an all-purpose race car, the Boss 302 was designed specifically with Trans Am Racing in mind. Both are special cars in their own right, but it begs the question; which is better?
Now we think its important to note that, as these are 40+ year-old race cars, they have in all likelihood been well modified beyond their stock specifications. From Shelby’s shop, the GT350 was powered by a HiPo 289 engine, was stripped of anything unnecessary to racing (though a folding rear seat was later added as an option). While the GT350 was rated at 306 horsepower, these engines were known to make much more with just a few tweaks. This video is taken from the inside of the GT350, and you can just hear that HiPo engine screaming up to over 8,000 RPM’s. It’s a sweet symphony of performance that really gets our gearhead juices flowing.
Towards the middle of the video, we can see our driver’s main opponent, a Boss 302 Mustang. The slightly bigger engines were allowed for use in Trans Am racing, and the Boss 302 was bigger in every way, from displacement to the heads and everything else. While it was rated at a meager 290 horsepower, anybody who ever drove one knows it made more power than that. However, the way the GT350 driver flies past the Boss 302 Mustang, you’d think he had only half that. Guess we can chalk this one up for the Shelby guys.