View Full Version : SPR Models - 1969 Boss 302 Trans Am Mustang (Frank Gardner)

John B
03-01-2013, 08:05 AM
SPR Models has just been appointed the NZ Distributor for the Australian ARMCO brand of models. This relatively new company produces 1:43rd models of iconic Aussie vehicles, including classic Holden cars, station wagons & utes; 1960's-70's race cars; and even a classic FJ Holden drag car & GTR-X Concept car. Production of each model is limited to a certificated 500 numbered units.

One of the first ARMCO models to arrive is this 1969 Boss 302 Trans Am Mustang driven by Frank Gardner in the 1970 British Saloon Car Championship. As is the current trend, resin is used for the body, with fine photo-etched components completing the exterior. The paint finish is excellent, and the model has a detailed interior. It is supplied with a numbered certificate complete with Frank Gardner's printed signature, and is packed in a black hinged-lid presentation case.

The model is available online at www.spr-models.co.nz (http://www.spr-models.co.nz)


This particular Mustang has quite a history. Ford wanted to win the 1970 BSCC, so, at the end of the 1969 US Trans Am race season, Walter Hayes of Ford Advanced Vehicles brought the ex-Bud Moore Mustang to England for Frank Gardner to race. This was one of the Trans Am Mustangs specifically built by Kar Kraft to win the 1969 Trans Am Championship.

Gardner and his crew then updated the car with 1970 parts so it would look fresh for the Group 2 race season in the UK. To comply with the British Saloon Car Championship regulations they also had to return the ground clearance, track and wheelbase back to standard specifications, plus remove part of the car's roll cage (the cage was not allowed to form part of the suspension points, or brace stress areas). The modified car was very successful in the 1970 BSCC, winning 'Class D' ahead of fellow Australian Brian Muir in a Chevrolet Camaro Z28. However Gardner narrowly missed out on winning the overall championship. A bad batch of tyres forced him to retire from the last race of the season, handing victory to the 'Class A' Sunbeam Imp of Bill McGovern.

At the end of the 1970 UK season Gardner and Mike de Udy entered the car in the annual Springbok race tour through Africa with races in South Africa, Zaire, Mozambique and Rhodesia. After a successful African campaign the Boss 302 was shipped back to Australia and delivered to Barry Sharp who was going to race it for the Jack Brabham Ford dealership. However, it was decided not to race it as it would not help the dealership to sell the local four door Falcon, so it was stripped and the parts used in Barry's lightweight XY Falcon. The body was sold to a speedway racer, and a succession of owners used and abused it on dirt track ovals - an ignominious end to one of the great Trans Am Mustangs.

Apparently the sad remains of the car have now been tracked down in Tasmania, and plans to restore this very special Mustang are underway.