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Cobra Jet Torinos, Boss Mustangs Pack the Muscle in This Super Secret Fresno Ford Collection
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By Dean Kirkland
Published 2 weeks ago on
June 5, 2024
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(GV Wire/Dean Kirkland)

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In a quiet corner of Fresno, there’s a shop that would make any car enthusiast’s heart skip a beat. You might call it the “Super Secret Fresno Ford Collection.”

Dean Kirkland Portrait

Dean Kirkland

Central Octane

This collection is a love letter to the golden era of American muscle, filled with legends of the road that roared their way into automotive history. Owned by an anonymous collector, this extraordinary assembly includes some of the rarest and most iconic Ford muscle cars from the 1960s and 70s.

Today, we’re pulling back the curtain on four standout vehicles from this incredible collection: the 1970 Torino Cobra Jet, the 1970 Torino Super Cobra Jet, the 1969 Mustang Boss 429, and the 1969 Boss 302.

The story of the 1970 Torino Cobra Jet is as rich and compelling as the car itself. Ordered brand new in November 1969, this car was the dream ride of its original owner. With a 429 Cobra Jet engine cranking out 370 horsepower, it wasn’t just a car; it was a rocket on wheels. This baby came fully loaded — air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, console, and bucket seats. It was the Swiss Army knife of muscle cars, ready to tackle the streets with style and power.

Our anonymous collector drove this beast for 100,000 miles, making memories at every turn. From racing down local streets as a kid to using it as a family car, this Torino was more than just metal and paint — it was part of the family. There was even a moment when the collector almost traded it in for a measly $1,300 to buy a more “practical” family car.

But thank goodness sanity prevailed, and instead, the Torino was parked and preserved for the future. Like a muscle car Rip Van Winkle, it sat dormant for 25 years until it was brought back to life with a complete restoration. Today, with just 40 miles on the clock since its rebuild, this Torino looks better than ever — practically a brand-new car with a heart full of history.

World's Coolest Garages: 1970 Torino Cobra Jet
The 1970 Ford Torino Cobra Jet (GV Wire/Dean Kirkland)

1970 Torino Super Cobra Jet

Next up, we have the 1970 Torino Super Cobra Jet. Now, this car takes everything great about the Cobra Jet and cranks it up to 11. Packing 375 horsepower, this Drag Pack monster is rarer than a politician who keeps his promises. Only 241 of these were ever built, making them highly coveted gems in the muscle car world.

Our collector originally wanted this Drag Pack setup when he ordered his first Torino, but practicality won out, and he opted for air conditioning instead. Fast forward a few decades, and the dream was finally realized with the acquisition of this Super Cobra Jet.

This car is the epitome of raw, unfiltered power. It features a four-bolt main block, solid lifter cam, Holley carburetor, and an engine oil cooler — all part of Ford’s legendary Drag Pack. This setup wasn’t about creature comforts; it was about dominating the drag strip. The car underwent a full restoration, every nut and bolt meticulously replaced or rebuilt. With just 75 miles on the odometer since the restoration, it’s essentially a brand-new car with the soul of a vintage racer. The four-speed manual transmission delivers an exhilarating driving experience that’s hard to match. Imagine gripping that shifter and feeling the raw power surge through the car — it’s like holding the reins of a wild stallion.

World's Coolest Garages: 1970 Ford Torino Super Cobra Jet
The 1970 Ford Torino Super Cobra Jet (GV Wire/Dean Kirkland)

1969 Mustang Boss 429

Now, let’s talk about the 1969 Mustang Boss 429, a car that’s got more legend than King Arthur’s sword. This beast was built for one purpose: to dominate NASCAR.

Once you’ve experienced the Boss 429, your daily driver will feel like a tricycle in comparison.

Under that sleek hood lies a 429 cubic inch V8 so powerful it made NASCAR officials break out in a cold sweat. Ford had to sell at least 500 of these monsters to the public to get the engine homologated for racing, but they went above and beyond, producing 869 in total. This car is a masterclass in raw power and aggressive design, with a front end widened to fit the massive engine.

Our collector snagged this beauty when it was just 2 years old, picking it up from the original owner. Back in the day, the original owner got so frustrated with blowing engines that he swapped the Boss 429 out for a Thunderbird motor. The Boss engine sat in his garage until our collector bought it for a steal at $300. Eventually, he reunited the car with its original engine, and the rest is history. The car has seen its fair share of drag races and street races, leaving a trail of awestruck competitors in its wake.

Driving the Boss 429 is like harnessing a thunderstorm. The moment you hit the gas, you’re launched forward with the force of a slingshot. The handling is surprisingly tight, hugging corners with a confidence that belies its size. Every shift of the four-speed manual is a dance with raw power and precision. Cruising in this thing reminds you of what real driving feels like when muscle cars ruled the earth and every drive felt like a race. Once you’ve experienced the Boss 429, your daily driver will feel like a tricycle in comparison.

World's Coolest Garages: 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
The 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 (GV Wire/Dean Kirkland)

1969 Boss 302

Finally, we arrive at the 1969 Boss 302. This car was built for the Trans Am series, where it duked it out with Camaros, Challengers, and even AMC Javelins. It was a battle royale of factory hot rods, and the Boss 302 was Ford’s answer to the call. Only 1,628 of these were built, making it a rare and prized possession for any muscle car enthusiast. The Boss 302 engine isn’t your run-of-the-mill 302. It’s a four-bolt main with cannon valves, an aluminum intake, a solid lifter cam, and a Holley carburetor—designed to deliver peak performance on the track.

Our collector fell in love with these cars when they first hit the streets, but it wasn’t until about 20 years ago that he could afford to make the dream a reality. He bought this Boss 302 and gave it a full restoration—every nut, bolt, and screw meticulously replaced. The result is a car that’s as close to brand new as you can get, with only 60 miles on it since the rebuild. The undercarriage looks as clean as the day it left the factory, and the engine purrs with the satisfaction of a job well done.

World's Coolest Garages: 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
The 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 (GV Wire/Dean Kirkland)

Driving the Boss 302 is like stepping into a time machine set to “awesome.” The engine roars to life, and you can feel the raw power coursing through the car. This isn’t just a drive; it’s an adrenaline-fueled trip back to the golden age of muscle cars. The acceleration is smooth, and the handling is tighter than a drum. Every turn, every straightaway feels like a victory lap. The Boss 302 hugs the road with a confidence that makes you understand why it was a force to be reckoned with in the Trans Am series.

Every Car Comes With a Story

The Super Secret Fresno Ford Collection is more than just a gathering of cars; it’s a tribute to a bygone era when horsepower was king, and every drive felt like an adventure. Each vehicle in this collection has a story to tell, from the family memories of the 1970 Torino Cobra Jet to the long-awaited dream realized in the 1970 Torino Super Cobra Jet. The 1969 Mustang Boss 429’s journey from frustration to triumph, and the 1969 Boss 302’s legacy of racing glory, all contribute to the rich tapestry of automotive history preserved within these garage walls.

As we walk through this collection, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and nostalgia. These cars aren’t just machines; they’re rolling pieces of history, each one a testament to the innovation, passion, and sheer joy of driving that defined the muscle car era. They remind us of a time when driving wasn’t just about getting from point A to point B — it was about the journey, the thrill of the open road, and the roar of a powerful engine.

So, whether you’re a die-hard muscle car fanatic or just someone who appreciates the beauty of automotive engineering, the Super Secret Fresno Ford Collection is a treasure trove of American muscle that’s sure to leave you speechless. And, as you stand among these legendary vehicles, you can almost hear the echoes of their past adventures, beckoning you to fire up the engine and take a ride into history.

World's Coolest Garages: the 1970 Ford Torino Super Cobra Jet Burns Rubber
The 1970 Ford Torino Super Cobra Jet burns rubber. (GV Wire/Dean Kirkland)

About the Author

GV Wire Producer Dean Kirkland is the founder and director of Gas and Gears, an independent film production company that has produced numerous television series and feature films, including the award-winning documentary “Racing Through The Forest” (2014).

 

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