460 hp, 302 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with upper A-arms, lower transverse arms with drag struts, coil springs, tube shocks, and an anti-roll bar, rear live axle suspension with multi-leaf springs, upper trailing arms, Watts link, and an anti-roll bar, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 108 in.
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
“The 1970 season was the year that all of the stars would finally fall on the Trans Am series. With a serious racing effort from all four major automotive manufacturers—Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and American Motors—and their backing of top-notch teams running Mustangs, Camaros, Javelins, Dodge Challengers, Plymouth Barracudas, and Pontiac Firebirds, the entry list was a spectator’s dream. With the factory teams fighting to contract the best available driving talent—including Parnelli Jones, George Follmer, Mark Donohue, Peter Revson, Sam Posey, Jim Hall, Ed Leslie, Vic Elford, Dan Gurney, Swede Savage, and Jerry Titus—it was truly a year in which at least 11 to 15 different drivers could potentially win any race on the 12-race schedule.” – Dave Friedman, Trans-Am: The Pony Car Wars, 1966–1972
Bud Moore Engineering became involved in the Trans Am series in 1967 with Lincoln-Mercury and the newly introduced Cougar model. Thanks to Moore’s long-time experience as a NASCAR crew chief and team owner, it was a natural connection. The two-car Cougar team under Moore’s leadership came within two points of winning the manufacturer’s championship. Unfortunately, the Mercury program lasted only one year, as Ford realized that its two teams (Mustang and Mercury) were equally competitive and running both was not cost effective. This success, however, led to the Ford Motor Company’s support, with Kar Kraft supplying Mustang Boss 302s for the 1969–1971 seasons.
With the intention of supporting a winning effort for 1969, Bud Moore was brought back to form a team that was based on the Boss 302, and he pulled out all stops by hiring Parnelli Jones and George Follmer as drivers. The 1969 season would become the hardest fought in the series’ first four years. The Bud Moore Mustangs, driven by Jones and Follmer, and the Penske Sunoco Camaros, driven by Mark Donohue, Ronnie Bucknum, and Ed Leslie, brought out record crowds, causing the series to be vaulted to instant stardom and resulting in some of the most anticipated races on the North American calendar. But alas, by the end of the season, Chevrolet won its second manufacturer’s championship in a row.
However, things changed in 1970. Penske (and his drivers) switched to AMC Javelins, and the remaining factory-supported Chevrolet teams were managed by Jim Hall. Fords, which were arguably the fastest cars in Trans Am, were further dialed in for 1970, with further development being made to the initial Boss 302 Mustang configuration. Bud Moore’s Ford Mustang team fought hard and emerged as the victors of the Trans Am Manufacturer’s Championship in 1970.
Bud Moore Engineering had been first provided with four serialized Mustangs by Kar Kraft in 1969, along with three more for 1970. At the end of 1970, in preparation for 1971 competition, Kar Kraft provided four additional “bodies in white,” identified as chassis numbers 11971–41971. Once in possession of Bud Moore Engineering, these last cars were christened BME 1–4 and have been identified as such ever since. As the 1971 season approached, the Ford Motor Company discontinued support for the Trans Am program. Bud Moore Engineering ran a shortened schedule, using two of the four “bodies in white” that were previously provided.
BUD MOORE ENGINEERING NUMBER FOUR
Due to the truncated season, chassis number 41971 (BME number 4) was never completed in period and had passed through a series of owners, all of whom are documented, until it was acquired by its current owners in December 2008. They also acquired a majority of the original Trans Am components that were required to finish the car. One of the owners recounts the following story: “The excitement in finding and obtaining the last Bud Moore Kar Kraft Boss 302 Trans Am Mustang has turned out to be only a chapter and not the book. Immediately, the question came to mind, ‘How to finish what Kar Kraft and Mr. Moore had started 40 years ago?’ The significant historical nature of this last car led to contact with Bud and Greg Moore and the soliciting of their opinion. Without hesitation, they said, ‘Finish it.’ When asked if they would guide the project, their response was a resounding yes!” It was decided that the car would be completed precisely as they would have done it back in 1971, had they pressed it into service. The result of this effort by the owners and Phoenix area restorer Phil Roberts is what Bud, Greg, and Daryl Moore wanted this last car to look and perform like.
There is only one “last” Bud Moore Trans Am Boss 302, and today, it is essentially as fresh as when delivered to BME, but it is now completed for the current owners and has never been raced. One of the owners elaborates: “Of the eleven Bud Moore Mustangs, it appears that the last two were not completed by Bud Moore or raced in Trans Am back in period, with only mine left unfinished until now. Over a period of approximately five years, under the direct supervision of Bud Moore and his sons, chassis number 41971 was built to accurate 1971-sepcification BME 4 form, with the upgrade including the installation of Bud’s notorious, specially engineered heads for the engine. Moore has since authenticated the car and the build (a certificate is included). In addition, Moore was insistent that the car be liveried with his championship colors and numbered with his famous ‘15.’”
A piece of history heretofore unfinished is now complete and ready to come alive at vintage events, where it will entertain not only those of us who remember the Trans Am series but also a new generation of fans. As the car has been built to original period specification, it is properly configured to run in HSR/SVRA and is eligible for a FIA Historic Technical Passport, opening the door to European racing events as well.