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Boss Reunion 2109 Recap – 50 Years of the Boss

150 Boss cars registered, 200 banquet guests, hundreds of smiles and way too much fun to calculate!

PittRace spectator hill Boss Reunion at CARFEST 2019
Boss cars lined each side of the driveway up to spectator hill at Pittsburgh International Race Complex for the Boss Reunion.

So how did the Boss Reunion end up at PittRace?  In 2017 Randy Ream, Boss 302 Registry and Lisa Leathery, event manager, began discussing plans for the 50th celebration.  Ream & Leathery knew teaming with an existing event was necessary and AutoInterests’ High-Performance Driving Experience combined with CARFEST 2019 looked like a good fit.  AutoInterests conducts 26 to 30 HPDE events a year.  CARFEST is an annual weekend-long festival event offering HPDE on-track driving, Streetlight Drags, AutoX, an on-site Dyno, Car Show, Vendor Midway, live music and more.  PittRace, a fantastic facility, provided clean well-groomed grounds for showing and displaying the Boss cars plus the added attraction of a 2.8-mile road course. Track time for a Boss 50th celebration seemed fitting and AutoInterests could certainly provide the assistance needed for handling the online registration process and event staffing.  The decision was finalized, and planning began.  

BOSS car on track with AutoInterests at CARFEST 2019
Dennis Dilucente driving his 2012 Boss on track.

PittRace's spectator hill provided a great view of track activity.  Around 100 vehicles per day of all makes and models registered for the AutoInterests' High Performance Driving Experience. Of those, approximately 12 were Boss cars.  One 2012 Boss owner came all the way from California. Dennis Dilucente (driver) and pit crew/wife A.B. DiLucente spent three days running on the track. Yours truly (Lisa) received an invite from Dennis for a ride along and I was happy to except. After seven laps my motion sickness kicked in. Dennis, a retired Marine pilot outperformed my driving abilities. The ride along was GREAT fun but also very educational. Reaching top speed of 135, Dennis with comfort, wheeled his 2012 Boss around the track indicating where the breaking points and acceleration points were. Some additional Boss owners that took to the track included Randy Ream with his 2012, Terry Bookheimer with his ’69 302, Michael Vandermeid running his 2013 and Dave Walmer with his 69’ 302.  

Dennis Delucente and Lisa Leathery at Boss Reunion 2019
Boss Reunion manager, Lisa Leathery, shown here with Dennis Dilucente and his 2012 Boss.

Thursday the Marriott parking lot looked like a car show. On Friday trailers arrived at PittRace loaded with Boss cars - some for judging, others designated for special display areas and some for the track activity. All were there to have fun, socialize, meet celebrities and smile a lot!   


CONCOURS RESULTS:

A total of 12 Bosses were judged. Judging began on Saturday morning at 9am. Head Judge Ed Meyer, along with his judging team; Randy Sands, David Davis, Mike Bauman, Dave Riley, Tim Lopata, Nate Jones and Lyle Essick.  With Donna Meyer assisting management and tallying of the score sheets.  

Scoring was based on 900 total points. Undercarriages of vehicles were not fully judged due to time constraints and lack of car lift. To see images of the judged cars click here.

5 BOSSES WERE JUDGED IN CONCOURS/RESTORED

Sponsored by ECS Automotive Concepts & Innovations.

Jim Zappala
‘69 Wimbleton White Mustang Boss 429 (see photo)
and ‘70 Grabber Blue Mustang Boss 429 (see photo)
Both scored GOLD status.  The ’69 achieved the Reunion’s highest points coming in at 892.

Eric Petosa
’70 Special Order Paint Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 (see photo)
Was second highest points scoring 890 achieving GOLD status.

Michael Salsman represented the Salsman family with their
‘70 Bright Yellow Mustang Boss 302 (see photo)
Scoring GOLD.

Alex Hunter
’69 Bright Yellow Mustang Boss 302 (see photo)
Was a fresh restoration and achieved SILVER.

7 BOSSES WERE JUDGED IN CONCOURS/SURVIVOR

Fred Kemmerer
‘71 Grabber Blue Mustang Boss 351 (see photo)
Scored the highest in Survivor achieving 895 points and GOLD. 

Dave Wyrwas
Unrestored ‘70 Competition Blue Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 (see photo)
Scored 893 points and GOLD.

Bob Dailey
‘69 Calypso Coral Mustang Boss 302 (see photo)
Also took home GOLD.

Terry Pletcher
‘69 Black Jade Metallic Mustang Boss 429 (see photo)
Achieved GOLD.

Trey Capps
‘70 Calypso Coral Mustang Boss 302 (see photo)
Achieved SILVER status.

Joe Flowers
‘69 Wimbleton White Mustang Boss 429 (see photo)
Achieved SILVER

Jacques Patenaude
‘70 Bright Yellow Mustang Boss 302 (see photo, visible in background)
Took home BRONZE.


FRIDAY BANQUET WITH GUEST SPEAKERS:

Tim Olive chose The Boss Reunion to unveil a historical race car that had been tucked away for 40 years. 200 banquet guests were treated to the back story of this historical car along with images of the documentation and vintage racing photos. Moises Solana ordered the car to be built from Bud Moore in January/February of 1969. Bud Moore purchased the Mustang in March of 1969, finished building the car and delivered it April 5, 1969 to Moises Solana. The car was also driven by Freddy Van Beuren.   

Saturday morning at 10am attendees were gathered to see Tim’s parents roll off the car cover as Tim presented to the show attendees a small portion of the speech given on Friday evening outlining the car’s history.   

Tim Olive Bud Moore historical race car
The crowd that gathered for Tim Olive's historical race car unveiling.

Other owners that shared their back stories during the Boss Reunion banquet were Dan Medice who had on display his 1969 KK1877. Dan also represented Bill Bartells original unrestored 1971. In addition, Randy Saba shared his story and displayed the Pony Tail car that was featured on a Jerry Heasley Barn Find video. John Grafelman, caretaker to the Shinoda Prototype, spoke about how he and his family found the car and the details regarding identifying unique markings that were proof of the Shinoda ownership.

Banquet guests were also treated to the stories told by Ken Dowd, designer at Ford Motor Company and part of the Larry Shinoda’s design team. Don Eichstaedt, Ford Motor Company Test Engineer at Kar Kraft; and Adam Christian, who was part of the 2012-13 Boss 302 Coyote based “Road Runner” engine team and is still part of the Ford Motor Company Engineering team.

In attendance at the banquet and at the show were Joyce Shinoda (wife) and Karen (daughter) of Larry Shinoda. Both ladies took to the show field on Saturday to make a celebrity pick. Randy Ream's 1969 was on the receiving end of their selection.

We were not expecting Chuck Weiss to attend the show, but he and his daughter Beth made an appearance at both the banquet and the Saturday show. Chuck was a Ford engineer from 1967 until 1995 (most of his career was in Ride and Handling); he owns 20 Ford cars including the last Boss 351 off the assembly line (1971). 

We were all disappointed to learn that scheduled speaker Bill Barr would not be attending due to a fall that he had taken just a few days prior to the event.  Bill suffered a fractured pelvis and wrist.  Bill, an Engine Engineer for Ford Motor Company worked on the Boss 302 and 428 Cobra Jet. He and his stories were greatly missed.  


CELEBRITY PICK AWARD WINNERS:

On Saturday afternoon celebrities walked the spectator hill to select from the general show field. A total of 12 vehicles were chosen. My apologies to some of the owners - my paperwork with winner names was misplaced (lost). So, the list below shows the celebrity that made a choice pick, but some owners names are missing.

Tom Wilds 1970 Cougar Eliminator Boss 302, chosen by Bill Cook, served on the Ford’s secret 6 member “Maverick Committee”, owner and photographer. 

  • Bruce Eilenberger - 1970 Calypso Coral, chosen by Bob Perkins, collector and restorer
  • Randy Ream - 1969 Grabber Orange, chosen by Joyce and Karen Shinoda
  • Tim McGuire - 1970 Grabber Blue, chosen by Randy Ream, Boss 302 Registry
  • Sylvain Poirier - 1970 Wimbledon White, chosen by Lisa Leathery, Event Management
  • Kevin Perry - 1970 Calypso Coral, chosen by Dan Medice, Medice Mfg. & Boss Owner
  • Richard Fricke - 2012 Boss 302 LS, chosen by Ken Dowd, Designer worked on Shinoda team
  • Unknown - Don Eichstaedt Test Engineer Kar Kraft
  • Unknown - Bill Barr, Engine Engineer (Bill was absent due to an accident – Randy Ream made selection for Bill)
  • Unknown - Adam Christian, Ford Motor Company Engineer
  • Unknown - Charlie Henry, Author of Kar Kraft
  • Unknown - Perogie Enterprises

AUTOX RESULTS:

A total of 17 Boss cars were registered to autocross on Sunday, but unfortunately it very much looked like rain would be hitting the course so only 11 of the 17 registered came out to play “avoid the cones and drive fast”, otherwise known as AutoX.

BOSS historical race car autox at CARFEST 2019
Thank you Mark Corich, for bringing out the only vintage Boss and thank you for letting me take it for 1 run. -Lisa

Fastest 2012:
Michael Britvich
Best run time 45.509

Fastest 2013:
Michael VanDerMeid
Best run 45.044

Fastest 1969:
Mark Corich
Best run time 49.23

Other BOSS competitor best times:

  • David Wooldridge 2012 / 45.982
  • Michael Nealy 2013 / 46.000
  • Jim Miller 2012 / 47.918
  • Ernie Abercrombie 2012 / 48.111
  • Brian Marshall 2013 / 48.888
  • Lisa Leathery 2013 / 49.058
  • John SantaLucia 2012 / 50.764
  • Tom Carfagna 2013 / 50.826

PARADE LAP

Perhaps one of the most memorable and by far the most photographed event of the weekend was the parade lap. A little bit of rain fell on the cars prior to our parade lap but that did not dampen the spirit of those that participated. We all got to enjoy coming together for some very historical photos and video; one of many highlights from the weekend. The photos and video captured this historical gathering and allowed us to share the experience with those that were unable to attend.

Boss Reunion 2019 at CARFEST 2019 at PittRace - parade lap

Many states were represented as travelers from across the country joined the celebration, including a family from the Netherlands - Richard Zuidgeest, Jacklyn, Danique, and Linsey were the long-distance attendees. 

Boss Reunion 2019 at CARFEST 2019 - parade lap aerial view

Watch a video of the parade lap here. 


THANK YOU

We thank everyone for attending and being part of the Boss Reunion celebration. It was an honor to organize this event, extremely rewarding to be part of 50 Years of Boss cars. Thank you to Bill Cook for helping with pre and post event, especially thanks for so many photos. Thanks to Doug Everstien for helping organize the trailer parking and swap meet area.  

Thank you AutoInterests, for including the Boss Reunion as part of CARFEST 2019. Thanks to Jason and Sarah Kennedy with AutoInterests for the drone photos and video. Special thanks to our sponsors and supporters which include:

  • Adams Polishes
  • Boss Nationals 2018
  • CJ Pony Parts
  • ECS Automotive Concepts
  • Hagerty Insurance
  • Mecum Auctions
  • MediceMfg.com
  • NPD
  • Perogie Enterprises

A big thank you to Jerry Heasley and John Katz for post event coverage, and thanks to Hemmings for pre-event announcement.  


LOOK BACK: PHOTOS & VIDEOS

From Jerry Heasley
https://www.hotrod.com/articles/celebrating-50-years-boss-mustangs/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD-Z0Q3on9M

Watch FordRacing.com for upcoming coverage from John Katz

From Bill Cook
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bossmustang/albums/72157710692163896

From Hamm Photography
https://hammspics.smugmug.com/

From AutoInterests & CARFEST
Parade Lap video: https://www.facebook.com/carfestusa/videos/1147722758759027/
HPDE photos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/carfestusa/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2482843048612962