The 1969 (L) and 1970 (R) Boss 302 Trans Am Mustangs from the Jim Click Collection. Photos by Patrick Ernzen, courtesy RM Sotheby’s.
In mid-August, a pair of Boss 302 Mustangs will cross the auction stage at the RM Sotheby’s sale in Monterey, California. One was raced by a roll call of Trans Am greats, including Peter Revson, Dan Gurney, Sam Posey and George Follmer. The other, prepared in-period as a back-up car for the Bud Moore team, later saw action with barrier-breaking driver Wendell Scott in the IMSA GT series. One will almost certainly draw larger bids than the other, but both cars from the Jim Click Collection have earned a spot in motorsport history.
Chassis 9F02M148628 (or 628, as it was known in–period), the 1969 Boss 302 Mustang finished in the blue-with-white stripe Peter Revson livery, was one of the three cars delivered to the Shelby team from Kar Kraft for the 1969 season. As Wallace A. Wyce recounts in Shelby: The Man. The Cars. The Legend., conversion from body in white car to race car was carried out by Shelby American, based upon the Boss 302 Mustang prototype that had been developed by Kar Kraft.
The Shelby team was allowed to build its own 302 V-8s for the 1969 season, and in-period figures state that the cars produced over 470 horsepower at 9,000 RPM (though chassis 628 is now said to produce 525 horsepower in current tune). A four-speed transmission was fitted, and the Shelby team opted for Hurst shifters while the Bud Moore team rowed gears through the stock Ford shifter.
Compared to assembling G.T.350s, the conversion process from body-in-white Mustang to Trans Am-spec Boss 302 was remarkably complex, expensive and time consuming. Using parts supplied primarily by Kar Kraft, it took roughly six weeks for the conversion at a cost of approximately $20,000 per car. The end result was a Mustang reduced in weight to 2,900 pounds, with 50/50 front-to-rear weight split and a suspension that was optimized to work within the rules. Since mounting points could not be altered, the roll cage was used to strengthen the suspension mounts as much as it was to protect the driver.
For the start of the 1969 season, the Shelby team enlisted the services of drivers Peter Revson and Horst Kwech. Revson was first behind the wheel of 628, but his season-opening race would end with a DNF. At Lime Rock later the same month, Kwech would produce the exact same result in 628, but Revson would deliver a fourth-place finish at Mid-Ohio the following weekend in the same car. Kwech never managed to find a rhythm with 628, next delivering back-to-back DNFs at Bridgehampton and Donnybrooke. In fact, Kwech had just a single finish (in 10th place) for the team throughout the 1969 season, prompting Carroll Shelby to replace the Australian driver with Dan Gurney for a series of late season races.
Shortly before this, Revson delivered a third-place finish in 628 at Bryar Park, proving the car could be competitive in the hands of the right driver. Gurney duplicated the result at Laguna Seca in his first outing with the car, following it up with a 10th place finish at Kent Pacific Raceway. Revson delivered mixed results (a DNF at Sears Point, followed by a third place at Riverside) for the remainder of the season, and for 1970 chassis 628 was sold to the Bud Moore team for use as a backup car.
Under the Bud Moore banner, 628 saw action with George Follmer at Lime Rock in May, though his day ended with a DNF. Parnelli Jones drove the car at St. Jovite, delivering a third-place finish, but later that same weekend the car was reportedly crashed by A.J. Foyt in testing. The Bud Moore team repaired the car, but it saw no further action in 1970 and was sold to Jerry Thompson for the 1971 Trans Am season. Thompson competed in nine events with 628 that year, with his highlight being a third-place finish at Road America.
In 1987, chassis 628 was acquired by Brook Mossgrove, who restored the car to its 1969 livery. Through 2002, the car passed through two more owners and was routinely campaigned at historic racing events. Jim Click purchased the car in 2003, and it has made regular appearances at Historic Trans Am Series events on the West Coast since.
Chassis 628 is the only surviving Kar Kraft Mustang delivered to the Shelby team in 1969, and it was raced by some of the best drivers of the period. Given its unique history and provenance, RM Sotheby’s predicts a selling price between $1 million and $1.3 million.
The second Boss 302 Trans Am from the Jim Click Collection is a 1970 model, though it’s identified as chassis 3-1971. One of four body-in-white cars shipped to the Bud Moore team by Kar Kraft for 1971, 3-1971 was prepared as a backup car for drivers George Follmer, Peter Gregg and Parnelli Jones, but never saw action during the season. Ford’s withdrawal of corporate sponsorship for 1971 left the team scrambling for funding, and at the end of the 1971 season, sister cars 1-1971 and 2-1971 were sold off. The car offered here, 3-1971, was sold to Morris Davis at the start of the 1972 season, fitted with a 351 V-8 instead of the 302 V-8 used in the Trans Am series.
It’s not clear if the car was raced by Davis in 1972, but in 1973 he hired Dan Daughtry to drive the Mustang in the Paul Revere 250, an IMSA race at Daytona International Speedway. Though scored in 36th place, Daughtry did not finish the event, retiring after 28 laps. Later in 1973, Davis sold 3-1971 to Len Cammack, a New Jersey resident who enlisted the help of Wendell Scott in driving the car.
Best known for breaking the color barrier in NASCAR, and later, for becoming the first African-American driver to win a Grand National Series race, Scott also ran in IMSA GT competition. As Cammack’s driver, Scott campaigned the 1975 season as the team’s budget allowed, finishing as high as 15th place at Road Atlanta in the season-opening IMSA GTO race and duplicating the result at Talladega in August. In between, Scott delivered a 20th-place finish, an 18th-place finish and a DNF, but the performance was more a reflection of the team’s limited finances (and by then, outdated race car) than of the 54-year-old Scott’s talent. At the end of the year, 3-1971 was parked at Scott’s shop in Danville, Virginia, where it would remain for nearly a decade.
In 1984, 3-1971 was purchased by Mike Durham, who recognized the car as one of the body-in-white Mustangs delivered to Bud Moore for the 1971 season. A restoration was started, but prior to its completion the car was sold to Mark Hereford in 1988. By 1991, the restoration to a 1971 Bud Moore team livery was complete, and 3-1971 achieved a perfect score in three SCCA concours events. Raced occasionally in vintage events, the Mustang passed through two more owners before being acquired by Jim Click a few years ago, and 3-1971 returned to the track for the 2015 Monterey Historics, where it finished first in the Trans Am class.
Though 3-1971 lacks the racing pedigree of its sibling from the Jim Click Collection, it still represents a part of racing history, campaigned by a driver that under other circumstances, may well have been mentioned in the same breath as racers like Revson, Gurney and Follmer. RM Sotheby’s has not published a pre-auction estimate for this lot.
For more information on RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, visit RMSothebys.com.