The 1971 Mustang Boss 351

The 1971 Mustang Boss 351 - Ford Mustangs grew to their all-time largest for the 1971 model year. Wheelbase was up an inch to 109, length increased 2.1 inches to 189.5 and width grew 2.4 to 74.1. The latter was accompanied by a tread increase to allow the

Ford Mustangs grew to their all-time largest for the 1971 model year. Wheelbase was up an inch to 109, length increased 2.1 inches to 189.5 and width grew 2.4 to 74.1. The latter was accompanied by a tread increase to allow the 429 cid big-blocks to fit with ease.

Though the 429-powered cars were the most muscular, the Boss 351 was the most interesting. The Boss 429 was curtailed early in the 1970 model run and the Boss 302 was of no more use after it was over. Engine sizes were no longer critical to racing legalization, so the Boss 351's purpose was just to tap what was left of the declining performance market.

Like its predecessors, it was based on the Sportsroof fastback. It was considered an option and brought the $2,973 base model up to $4,124. The heart of the new Boss was a 351 hp Cleveland V-8 with four-bolt main bearings, solid iifters and a four-barrel carb. The 1971 models were the last for Ford high-compression engines and the last for gross advertised horsepower numbers, which came to 330 hp on the Boss.

Other mechanicals included a fourspeed top-loader transmission with a Hurst shifter, competition suspension, power front disc brakes, 3.91:1 Traction-Lok gearing, dual exhaust with non-exposed tips and the infamous rev limiter. Visuals were plentiful with side and rear identification decals, a matte black hood with functional scoops and locks and side stripes.

Only about 1,800 Boss 351s were made, making them rare today. There was no 1972 Boss of any kind, but by playing with the option list, you could come close. The last year for the big Mustang was 1973.

Major Standard Features

Standard Boss 351 Features Include:

  • Black ABS plastic grille in honeycomb design with bright Mustang emblem in the center . . . grille includes two sportlamps mounted inboard of the headlights (common with Mach I)
  • NASA-type hood with functional scoops and hood locking pins . . . "Ram-Air" decal
  • Hood painted black or argent
  • Front hood and fender mouldings are color-keyed to the exterior body color
  • Lower body side paint treatment
  • Unique body side tape stripe in black or argent color . . . "Boss 351 Mustang" identification on lower front side panels
  • Bright chrome hub caps with bright trim rings
  • Outside color-keyed dual racing mirrors . . . left-hand remote control
  • Black or argent lower back panel
  • "Boss 351" identification centered on black panel of deck lid


The Boss 351 includes all of the interior features of the SportsRoof plus an instrument panel instrumentation group that includeds tachometer, trip odometer, "OIL", "AMP" and "TEMP" gauges.


  • 351-C.I.D. 4v H.O. V-8
  • Four-speed manual transmission with "Hurst Shifter"
  • Power front disc brakes
  • Competition suspension including staggered rear shock absorbers
  • Special cooling package (Includes extra-cooling radiator, radiator shroud and flex fan)
  • Electronic RPM limiter (Automatically prevents engine from exceeding correct RPM limits)
  • Dual exhaust system with aluminum and stainless steel muffler components
  • Functional black or argent front spoiler (mounted below bumper)
  • 80-ampere battery
  • 3.91 ratio locking axle
  • F60 x 15 belted bias-ply BSW tires with raised white letters
  • Space saver spare tire

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  • While maintaining a basic resemblance to previous Mustangs, the 1971 Mustangs were the largest and heaviest yet. Every dimension increased; Wheelbase was stretched to 109 inches.

    Engine choice still remained high; a total of ten different engines were available on the 1971 Mastang.

    Base engine was the 250 ci six-cylinder on all models except the Mach 1 which came with the 210 hp 302 and the Boss 351 which got a 330 hp version of the 351.

  • 1970 Mustangs were mildly restyled. Headlight configuration reverted to a single seven-inch lamp on each side, this time inside the grille opening, Simulated scoops took the place of the outside headlights. The rear taillight panel was flat rather than concave and the taillights are recessed.

  • 1969 was the second major restyle for the Mustang. Every dimension increased with the exception of wheelbase (it remainedat 108 inches) and height, which was lowered by 1 1/2 inches.

    Including the two Boss engines, there was a total of ten differentengines available. Headlight configuration for the first time went to four, four-inch units. The fastback body style, called SportsRoof, came with simulated rear side scoops and a spoilered rear. Convertibles and hardtops used a simulated rear quarter panel vent.

  • For 1971, Ford completed its fourth Mustang redesign, creating a bigger car. It had the basic Mustang look, with a longer wheelbase, stretched length, more width, wider front and rear track and heavier curb weight. A raked windshield, bulging front fenders and aerodynamic enhancements were evident.

    Here's a performance feature that's standard on the BOSS yet not even available on some Trans-AM competitors. a functional front spoiler. This unit helps to keep air out from under the car, make it more stable, cut drag and even increase gas mileage. It's effective at speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour and a real plus when operating on the track


  • Models:
    Coupe, Convertible, and Sports-Roof Mustang E, Grande, Mach I

    Engine Types:
    I6/250CID ???HP, V8/302-2v ???HP, V8/351C 2v-4v - Boss 351 330HP, 429 - Ram Air 429 370HP

    3 Speed/4 Speed or Automatic

    149,678 Mustangs

    Of Note:
    Boss 302 and the Boss 429 were dropped from this years offerings. The Boss 351 4v was introduced as well as the 429 and Ram Air 429's. Mustangs once again underwent major restyling for this model year.

  • Name: Jeff Eason

    Location: Kirkland, WA

    Comments: 72 Mach 1 Mustang