Patrick Ernzen ©2015, courtesy of RM Auctions
• The final Kar Kraft Bud Moore Boss 302 Trans Am racer • Completed under the supervision of Bud Moore and sons to 1971 BME specifications • Certificate of Authenticity signed by Bud Moore • Eligible for HSR/SVRA events and a FIA Historic Technical Passport  

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Trans Am
Years Produced:1970, 2011
Number Produced:11
Original List Price:N/A
SCM Valuation:$200,000–$350,000 (depending on history)
Tune Up Cost:$500
Chassis Number Location:N/A
Engine Number Location:N/A
Alternatives:Any in-period Trans Am racer, including Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger T/A, and AMC Javelin
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 127, sold for $200,000, including buyer’s premium, at RM’s Arizona sale in Phoenix, AZ, on January 15 and 16, 2015.

Trans Am racing was a big deal back in the late ’60s, but only briefly. It was a simple format that really appealed to the American audience and brought out record numbers of spectators. For a short period, the over-2-liter class was a dramatic showcase for American manufacturers to display the pony cars they wanted to sell on Monday.

Trans Am was always an entertaining series to watch, but the 1969 through 1971 seasons were really the golden era. All the American manufacturers were represented during that period, with Mopar contributing efforts from both Dodge and Plymouth. AMC was in the game as well, and their Javelin proved hard to beat in 1971 with Mark Donohue at the helm.

But let’s back up a second. The glory days of the Ford Mustang really came during the 1970 season. The legendary Parnelli Jones and hot-shoe George Follmer piloted the Bud Moore Racing (BME) Mustang that season. Together they won an impressive six out of 11 races and the overall championship. This racing success helped establish the Boss 302 Mustang as the street machine to have in 1970, and it continues to spark Boss 302 values today.

The power of history

In general, car collectors tend to place a lot of value on their cars’ history and stories. A car can have all the rarity in the world, but without provenance, it’s often shunned by the large mass of collectors — and they’re the ones who drive prices in the market. It goes without saying that the cars that actually performed the duties in racing combat have the best stories and thus will have the highest values, and that’s what we have here… well, sort of.

The abbreviated version of the story goes like this: In 1969, Ford provided Bud Moore Racing four Kar Kraft-built Boss 302 cars for the 1969 season and three more for the 1970 season. All cars were built by BME and raced through the 1970 season, driven by Jones and Follmer.

Despite the championship success of the 1970 season, Ford saw the writing on the wall and pulled factory support out of the series. As a consolation prize, they left Bud Moore Racing with four more blank-slate 1970 Mustang chassis-in-white for BME to build for the upcoming 1971 season. Three of these final four cars were completed. Chassis #4, which happens to be our subject car, remained unfinished until 2011, when the seller here decided to finish the car to period standards.

Authenticity without glory days

The seller of Chassis #4 went to great lengths to complete the car as authentically as possible, and even enlisted the aid of Bud Moore himself, along with Moore’s son Greg and other members of the crew from 1970. This extensive consultation and blessing by Bud Moore Racing was fully documented and presented with the car for sale, as was a well-documented history of the car prior to its acquisition by the seller.

There is no doubt that this car is chassis #4 presented by Ford, and it therefore goes down in the history books as a piece of Bud Moore Racing history. And obviously, this was a high-quality build, with many pieces sourced directly from Bud Moore Racing. If you were to put this car on the track today, it would give the new owner an experience nearly identical to what Jones and Follmer would have had in 1970. It is said to be eligible for many historic events, and it should have just enough provenance to earn respect on the paddock. Finally, if the new owner decides to vintage-race the car, there is no risk of undoing the elements of history if the car gets stuffed into the wall.

But, on the flip side, it never saw any track action. There are no period pictures. There is no road rash. No battle scars. There is no essence of the race in it, and that’s a driving force for most collectors today. With that in mind, trying to pin a value on our subject car is tough. While all of the other chassis were out there having all of the fun, chassis #4 was warming the bench, waiting to be put into the game.

What’s it really worth?

Looking at some comparable sales inside ACC’s Premium Auction Database sheds some light on this car’s value. Mecum managed a high bid of $300,000 at its Monterey auction in 2012 for one of the other 1971 BME entrants driven by Peter Gregg (ACC# 209471). That car had three podium finishes, but all were in a year that did not see the championship. This resulted in a no-sale, and it was reported that it would have taken around $400,000 to get it sold at that time.

The 1971 Championship-winning AMC Javelin, driven by Mark Donohue, sold five years ago at Russo and Steele’s Monterey auction for $847,000 (ACC# 165836). That car has history. It won the championship. The new owner of that car paid handsomely for it, but no other car has that history, at least not for the 1971 season. Remember, the better the story, the more money it will get.

Racing purists might consider our subject car the runt of the litter because of its limited story. Personally, I think that is the story. Find another race-ready car from a legendary team in a legendary series at a legendary time that never actually raced. You couldn’t acquire and build this car for the price spent here, especially when you factor in the consultation time put in by the Bud Moore Racing brain trust. All things considered, I’d say the price paid here was money darn well spent.

(Introductory description courtesy of RM Auctions.

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