Aside from an unassuming Boss 429 decal on the fenders, the car's discreet image belied the powerhouse that lurked beneath the hood. There were no stripes or other radical graphics, or blacked-out trim. Exterior colors were limited to five hues: Wimbledon White, Royal Maroon, Raven Black, Black Jade, and Candy Apple Red.

Assembly of the Job One 1969 Boss 429 Mustang was completed on January 15, 1969 at Kar Kraft's Brighton facility. Kar Kraft affixed a production sticker on the driver's door of each Boss 429, just above the warranty data plate. The first Boss 429 received number "KK NASCAR 1201." Because of the less-than-expected street performance of the early Boss 429s (one magazine called it a "stone"), Ford bowed to critics by making some revisions to the engine's internals by changing the bulletproof NASCAR rods for lighter units. This was done after job number 279. Not long after that revision, the magnesium valve covers were replaced with aluminum, and the valvetrain switched from hydraulic to mechanical.

Even these changes couldn't bring out the incredible top-end racing power of the Boss 429. The 735-cfm Holley carburetor didn't flow enough air, the camshaft was ground for low-end torque, and the factory-installed rev limiter all combined to prevent most adolescent speed jockeys from losing control and wrapping their FoMoCo-financed Boss 429 around a light pole.

When production ended in July, the last 1969 Boss 429 Mustang was numbered KK NASCAR 2059. Each engine block had the serial number stamped into the rear of the block as well as the transmission housing, the chassis, and the inner front fenders. A total of 859 were assembled (including two Boss 429 Cougars), although NASCAR homologation rules required only 500 be built.

Because of all the modifications necessary to fit the Boss 429 into the Mustang, Ford lost money on each one built, even with the hefty $1,208.35 tariff added to the Mustang's window sticker just for the engine. Each of the mandatory options for the Boss 429 were also tacked onto the bottom line, running the price tag up to nearly $5,000. Other options like the Shinoda-designed Sports Slats backlight louvers and rear deck spoiler were available at buyer preference.

The financial hit Ford took on each Boss 429 was considered a successful investment in NASCAR exposure and victories. Knudsen had coined the phrase: "Win on Sunday and sell on Monday," and believed the image rub-off was worth every dollar. During the 1969 racing season, Ford dominated the NASCAR circuit with the new Boss 429, winning more than half of the 54 races that season. At one point during the summer of 1969, Ford won 11 straight races thanks to the Boss 429. And while the Boss 429 did show up on the dragstrip in limited numbers, it never captured a national NHRA win.

The Boss 429, like the Boss 302, would continue through the 1970 model year. There were a few minor changes made to the '70 Boss 429, and Kar Kraft produced 499 before the program was canceled in January 1970. Knudsen had been railroaded out of his position of president at Ford in September 1969, and his successor, Lee Iacocca, didn't subscribe to Knudsen's enthusiasm for racing. It was a short-lived period of GM-style "go-go" product development and marketing, and Knudsen and his magnificent Boss Mustangs soon faded into Ford's more conservative culture.

Thanks to hardcore loyalists like Gregg Montgomery of Dayton, Ohio, the Boss 429 still stands as one of the most desirable Mustangs ever built. Gregg has an affinity for Ford's NASCAR connection. Before buying this Candy Apple Red '69 Boss 429 Mustang, he owned a Torino Talladega, which was Ford's introduction to NASCAR high-bank aerodynamics.

Gregg located the Boss 429 in December 1994 in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and brought it home. An expert machinist, Gregg tore the engine apart for a total rebuild. He kept the engine stock, faithfully following factory specifications; however, he did bump the compression ratio up a few points.

With the help of Bob Perkins, John Gumbert, and Doug Monroe, Gregg completed detailing and perfecting the Boss 429's pristine, 32,000-mile appearance. Along with all the mandatory Boss 429 options, it's also equipped with high-back bucket seats, center console, power steering, and power brakes.

Gregg's Boss 429 is a certified show winner, snaring awards like Best of Show at the Ford Expo and at the Dayton Concours de Elegance. It could just be the best Boss 429 in the country, recalling a time when motorsports competition was essential in Detroit, and dropping racing engines into street cars was a commitment that Ford called "Total Performance."