What Is the Mustang Boss 351?

As the “muscle car wars” of the late 1960s raged on, Ford needed to come up with a high-performance Mustang to stave off the challenge posed by the Chevy Camaro, Pontiac Trans-Am and other worthy competitors. Ford offered two beefed-up alternatives in 1969-1970, the Boss 302 and the even more powerful Boss 429. In 1971, Ford replaced these two initial offerings with a revamped Boss Mustang known as the Boss 351.

Boss 351 MustangMustang Boss 351 Features

As the name implies, this Boss was equipped with a robust 351-cubic-inch V-8 engine that provided a power output of 330 hp. The 351 was definitely built for speed — it was capable of going from 0-60 mph in a heart-stopping 5.8 seconds and reaching 100 mph in just under 14 seconds.

The 351 was also constructed with a more even weight distribution than its Boss predecessors, which provided improved handling and better braking. One common criticism of this vehicle is that it offered poor visibility for the driver. Car and Driver magazine equated sitting inside the Boss 351 to sitting in a bunker.

The End of an Era?

Many auto historians consider the Mustang Boss 351 to be the last true muscle car of the era. By the mid-1970s, soaring gas prices and mounting concerns about protecting the environment led Americans to favor smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and muscle car sales dwindled accordingly.

The Boss 351, however, remains a popular model among Mustang enthusiasts. Complex Rides even ranks the 1971 Mustang Boss 351 at #13 on its list of “The 100 Best Mustangs of All Time.”

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