Blessing or a curse? Time will tell.
It's been a weird few days for me. I am a normal guy that happens to love all cars, but more specifically Mustangs. I have owned seven Mustangs now over the course of my life if you count the 64.5 my dad bought and told my mom was for me when I was older and the 2012 Boss 302 I bought this week. That Boss 302 has turned out to be quite a whirlwind. The story has been online already and all over Facebook and Twitter if you follow that sort of thing. I never thought it was a big deal to anyone other than me and a few of the car geeks that I talk with on various Mustang forums online.
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With the story everywhere and having turned into a much bigger deal than I ever expected I decided to write it myself and let you all in on the story of how I came to be the very proud, anxious, excited, and confused owner of 2012 Boss 302 #0001.
The beginning of the story is easy enough, I wanted a 2012 Boss 302, but a very specific color and with certain options. I wanted Competition Orange with the Recaro seats and Torsen differential. I searched high and low to find one that was ready to ship and in stock but with the Japanese tsunami and earthquake and other factors there are few of these 12 Boss 302 cars around right now and the ones that are on the lot going for more than I would pay for the car.
I found a Ford dealership in San Antonio Texas called Jordan Ford that were the nicest people to work with. I ordered a Q4 allotment and put my $1,000 down to order my dream car in the color and with the options I wanted. I was happy. I did a lot of negotiating with Jordan Ford, all of it over the phone since I am six hours from San Antonio. The big rub was that to get the very good trade in price they were offering me I would need to trade my 2010 Mustang GT in on the Boss long before the Q4 allotment car rolled into the dealer. I agreed anyway since the Boss 302 is so hard to find right now at straight MSRP.
Over the next few weeks leading up to me having to take my 2010 Mustang in to them I started to come to the realization that I would never make it until Q4 without a Mustang. That would mean no car shows this summer, no autocross, and no track days. I started looking around for another Boss 302, thinking I would end up just having to wait. All of the cars I found were a long way from me and at least $5,000 over sticker and I just didn’t want to pay that much.
I purchased my 2010 Mustang GT form a dealership in Garland Texas called Prestige Ford and had such a good experience there that I bought a 2010 Ford Edge for my wife there a few months later, sent my mom to buy a 2010 Ford Fusion from them, and she then sent a coworker to buy a car from them too. I had talked to the salesman we all used about a month ago now and asked if they had a Boss 302 allotment.
He didn’t know and said he would get back to me on it. He ended up leaving before we talked again for another dealership. I forgot about it and took it as a sign to just wait for my Q4. Last Friday I got a call from Prestige from a sales person asking if I ever bought my 2011 Ford Mustang I was interested in. I explained that I had talked to my salesman about a 2012 Boss 302, but didn't buy one because I didn’t know if they had an allotment.
She told me they had a 2012 Boss 302 sitting right on the showroom floor. Knowing that any of the cars on the dealer lot were going for big markups generally I didn’t have hope of buying it. I was set on the Competition Orange and Recaro/Torsen option. I asked her what the car had on it and she said it's orange.
I looked up the window sticker to see what it had and it turned out to be the exact car I ordered in San Antonio. I still didn’t think much of it, knowing they would likely still want $5,000 over. I called back and told them I would take the car at MSRP and no more. It took me a few days to get someone on the phone that could hammer out a price for me and as it turned out, they did in fact want $5,000 over sticker. I refused and again told them MSRP.
Monday rolled around and they finally came back with an offer for $1,500 over MSRP. I wasn't happy with the mark up and wanted MSRP, but at the same time I knew I would never make it until Q4 and decided the extra $1,500 wasn't that big of a deal and agreed to buy the car. The looked at photos of my trade in and offered me a fair price over the phone and the deal was completed all without me laying eyes on the car.
My daughter and I jumped in my 2010 GT for its final drive and headed the two hours to Garland from my home to pick it up. All this time no one ever told me what serial number the car was. I didn’t ask because I didn’t care. I wasn’t looking for an investment; I was out for a badass car I could race. If you aren’t familiar with the 2012 Boss 302, each of them have a little plaque on the intake under the hood that has 2012 Boss 302 on it and then lists the VIN number and the sequential build number of the car in a #XXXX format. There will be somewhere around 3,500 of these normal Boss 302 cars built, and another 500 Boss 302 Laguna Seca cars built. The Laguna Seca cars have their own sequential serial numbers so there will be a LS #0001 car too.
The important part at this point is that no one told me what the serial number of this car was and I had not asked. We get to the dealership and find my salesman. After we did a little paperwork and I handed salesman my down payment, we walked out to check the car out. I walked around the car, started it up, revved it a bit and generally looked over very well just to be sure there were no scratches or anything on it. As we were going to go back inside, I popped the hood to see what number the car was. It didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to see.
I looked at the little plaque on the intake for a bit and told the salesman that this car is #0001. He smiled and said yeah, it's the first of this color. I told him that it was the first one built, he smiled, and we headed back inside. At the time I thought it was really cool to have the first one and felt much better about paying over MSRP and wondered more than a bit why no one was marketing the car with FIRST BOSS MADE in huge letters. In the end, I just counted my blessings and went in to sign the papers.
The first time I drove the car was after it was mine and I started it up to drive home. It's an awesome machine. After I got back home, I shot some pics to share with pals on the forums and posted them up. Almost immediately, I started to get feedback from other members about how lucky I was. At that point, I really just felt lucky to get the exact Boss 302 I wanted at a small markup.
As time went by, I had more and more comments and a reporter from Mustangs Daily asked if he could print the story of how I came by the car. That story quickly went viral and it was a shocking thing to behold. The more attention the story received, the more people told me I was an idiot for driving the car and how dumb it was for me to daily drive a car with such value. Some people even said that I should have more respect for that car and sell it to someone "who can really appreciate it."
I didn't spend my money on an investment to pay out in 30 years or a garage queen to sit in the garage under a cover and be ogled every month or so at a car show. I bought a car that could lay waste to M3's on the track, cruise with my kids and win some trophies at the car show. This is the point where I started to feel guilty. I understand the car is important in that it is the first street Boss 302 made since 1971. I felt bad because I was driving it to get groceries, and picking up my kids, and just using it like any other car. I know it will eventually get stains, dings, and the little imperfections that go with being a driven car
That didn't stop me from putting as many miles on it the last few days as possible though. I bought this car Monday April 18, 2011. As it sits now I have already had people tell me to put it on eBay, to call Jay Leno and get him to buy it, or to send it to Barrett Jackson and make a bundle off the car. The rub for me is I didn’t buy a car to flip; I bought it to drive and enjoy. I joked that I would sell the car if someone would pay off the loan on my current car and buy me another Boss 302 just like it. I said that honestly, because that was so far out of the realm of possibility as to basically say I don’t want to sell the car. I don't really care about the number, even though as I said I appreciate the importance of it. I would have bought this car if it had been #2995. I just happened to be the first one made; I was as shocked as anyone was.
The story of Boss 302 #0001 still isn’t over and it just keeps getting more nerve racking for me. As of today, I have people coming at me wanting to buy the car. Will I sell it? I'm not sure what will happen, I know that while I am not a rich man, I am comfortable and the car means more to me for what it is, the exact car I wanted and searched for, than a bit of extra money over what I paid.
If I sell the car, I will miss it and eventually I will be that guy that used to have something great and let it go. If I keep it, I will feel bad because the car is important and will someday be a very valuable car. I didn’t want a life decision; I wanted to buy a Boss 302. What I do know is that neither option has me owning a car that isn't driven. I almost wish the car had been some insignificant number. Then I could just drive it and have fun. I know how the people that win the lottery feel now.