The Ford Motor Company developed an engine then they looked for the best place to put it for testing. The new power plant has a 429 cu in displacement and is based on the earlier Ford 385 engine. Four bolt main bearings with a forged steel crank-shaft and forged steel connecting rods are used in the engine blocks. Hydraulic lifters are in the 1969 models but for 1970 they have a camshaft with mechanical lifters and an upgraded dual exhaust system but both can still develop the same horse power. Passages for the oil and water are sealed with an “O” ring at each cylinder. The heads have a type of modified hemispherical combustion chamber that Ford calls “The Blue Crescent.” There is a Holly four barrel with a rating of 735 CFM bolted to an aluminum intake manifold. The valve covers are made of magnesium and these earliest engines are reputed to be more powerful than the later “T” and “A” code replacments. This engine is an experiment by Ford to produce a Hemi type power plant to rival the Chrysler 426 Hemi doing so well on NASCAR circuits. NASCAR homologation regulations at the time required that the engine be available in a minimum of 500 vehicles for sale on the retail market during each year.
The Mustang was the vehicle Ford chose to put the engine into and “Boss 429 Mustang” is the chosen moniker. For the two years that the 429 is in production there are a total of 859 units of the engine manufactured. Ford out-sourced the needed modifications on Mach I and Cobra Jet shells to Kar Kraft who were active in a number of Ford Mustang projects at the time. The engine compartment must be modified to accommodate the exceptionally large hemi block. Kqr Kraft shortens the front suspension mounts, widens the shock towers and extends the inner fenders to allow the block with exhaust manifolds to fit. There is no room for a battery under the hood so it is mounted in the trunk and a ridged ¾’ sway bar is added in the rear to beef up the handling of the front heavy car. The Boss 429 is the first Mustang fitted with a rear sway bar which improves the track performance greatly over any other big block Mustang model of that era. The engine has an oil cooler and the 3.9:1 rear axle is equipped with the “Traction-Lock” limited slip differential. The Hurst shifer is standard equipment in 1970 but because of the engines size no air conditioning is available for either year.
The Boss 429’s all black interior features an 8,000 RPM tachometer, the AM radio and has a hand lever to operate the hood mounted air scoop which is the largest ever used on a Mustang. There is a front spoiler with a lower profile than the Boss 302 version and the two racing mirrors are color coded. No 429 came with factory installed rear window louvers
The 1970 model features an expanded choice of paint and sports matt black scoops on all body colors. There was an extremely rare six pack complete with intake and carburetors available as a dealer installed option but only two units were installed. There were 499 units produced in 1970 and can be worth in excess of $500,000.00 before restoration.
There were three different 429 engines manufactured during its two year production. The “S” code 429 is the first version and it is assembled with a host of high performance parts but it has warrantee issues, possibly due to incorrect assembly. The 429 engine is revised and the “T” code is the replacement with a host of lighter duty internal parts. Reaching the end of production the “A” code 429 is the last variation with a new valve train and more pollution control equipment than the earlier engines. All of the 429 power plants produced during the two years were very under rated at 375 hp (280 kW) but will have no problem producing 600 plus horse power with a little tweaking. The Boss 428 engine is highly regarded with each unit revised by Kar Kraft getting a NASCAR “KK” number placed on the driver’s door. The first unit produced has the number KK 1201 and the last is KK 2558.
The 1967 GTX or Belvedere GTX was introduced as a Gentleman’s luxury car with muscle car power. It has a body style similar to the Belvedere s with a different grill, mock hood scoops, chrome gas filler cap, and the optional racing stripes. The rear fascia was the same as the Plymouth Satellites. The car had heavy duty suspension included with the basic package. The GTX came with the TorqueFlight three speed automatic with a choice of a 440 cu in (7.2 liter) Commando V8 rated at 375 hp or the optional 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi – “The Elephant”. A four speed floor mount transmission was an available option on all the engines.
The 1968 GTX had a completely redesigned body from last year’s model with a choice of a two door convertible or two door hard top with the same power options available.
Minor cosmetic changes took place in 1969 with black side lower body paint to differentiate it from the racing strip on the 1968 model, as well, a functional “Air Grabber” hood scoop was included with the hemi engine or an option with the 440 power. There were 701 GTX convertibles made by Chrysler in 1969 with eleven powered by the hemi engine.
In 1970 there was no convertible model offered in the GTX line. The GTX coupe had a few minor changes to it such as new grill and headlights as well as a hood bulge sporting a single “Air Grabber” scoop and non-functional rear brake air scoops as well as many luxury items included in the basic package. The car looked too much like the Roadrunner a poor man’s car and the “Sport Fury” was often chosen by consumers as the Chrysler choice for a performance luxury car for discriminating mature gentlemen over the GTX. Even with the addition of a GTX GT model the car was not a big seller in 1970. The car was available with a basic 440 and had a four barrel on top, the “440+6” option – three two barrel carburetors, or the 426 hemi was the top power option.
A completely redesigned GTX was on show room floors in 1971; the last year for the car as a separate model. The engine choices were the same as 1970, but due to emission standards rising, the engines had less power than the earlier models. With lower compression and faster choke operation the basic 400 engine horse power dropped 5% and the 440+6 option dropped to 385 hp (287 kW). The hemi engine horse power rating remained the same at 425 hp (317 kW) all the engines still came with the three speed automatic or the four speed standard transmission as an option. The emission regulations in previous years and the new and ever rising insurance rates on muscle cars made for low sales. There were less than 3,000 units produced in 1971.
From 1972 until 1974 the GTX was a luxury option package for the “Road Runner”
Four generations spanning eleven years, the Barracuda was repeatedly at the top of the list for a large number of muscle car fans. The most valuable year is a 1970, but any Barracuda in good condition will unquestionably remain a coveted car and will bring a trend setting price anytime one is sold.
1966 Generation one
1967 Generation two
1970 Generation three
1971 Generation three
1973 Generation four