MARYSVILLE, Kan. – Could the ghosts of the Pony Express past have been responsible for the 2018 Boss Nationals? Otherwise, how – one might ask – did close to 150 Boss Mustangs show up from across the country for a show in the tiny town (population 3,200) of Marysville, Kansas?
Funny thing, behind the Ford dealership in Marysville is the last remaining “Pony Express Home Station No. 1, Barn & Museum,” the only Home Station on the Pony Express route of 1860-61 remaining on its original site.
This national show for these very limited high-performance Fords took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of September 7-8-9, 2018, and was chock full of coincidences. Perhaps the biggest was the name of the Ford dealership hosting the event – Boss Motors, celebrating for 2018 its 80th anniversary of being owned by the Boss family. Greg Boss, its current owner, still has the Mustang Boss 351 that he bought in 1971 when he was fresh out of high school.
Greg brought that ’71 Boss to the Muscle Car Nationals in Chicago in November of 2016, when fellow Boss collector Rick Ybarra suggested that Greg host a Boss Nationals at his dealership in Marysville.
Greg didn’t put much stock into the idea. Marysville is in the middle of the country, which is a plus for travelers but far from population centers -- the closest being Kansas City, which is 160 miles east (and 90 of that via a two-lane highway).
Amazingly, Greg did know of 13 different Boss Mustangs in his immediate area. With that small bunch as a start and an explosion of interest on Facebook, Greg agreed to proceed with hosting an event. His daughter, Michelle Chris, and her husband, Brent, picked up the gauntlet and did the immense amount of work required to register everybody and set up the show.
The small town of Marysville was excited to host the event, but what is more interesting was the turnout from across country. Not only did the cars show up, but the people who we like to call the “usual suspects” in the national hobby also appeared, folks such as Bob Perkins, Ed Meyer, Jim Wicks, and Brent Hajek. The latter brought three incredible rides – David Pearson’s Torino Talladega, a NASCAR champion powered by a Boss 429; the Tasca street Boss 429; and Gas Ronda’s 1969 national champion flip-top Mustang Funny Car, powered by a SOHC 427. (No, that’s not a Boss 429, but organizers let in this specialty big-block due to its kinship to the exotic nature of the Boss 429 motor.)
In all, well over 100 Boss cars lined the brick streets on Broadway in front of Boss Motors. Our count tallied 25 Boss 429s of 1969-70 (maybe the most ever in one place at one time), 35 Boss 302s of 1969-70, 4 Boss 302 Cougar Eliminators, 1 of the two Boss 429 Cougars (Ed Meyer) and 25 Boss 351s of 1971. Strongest participation came from 41 Boss 302s of 2012 and 2013. There were 14 Fords with SOHC 427 engines, many of them the full-sized Galaxies of the 1960s.
The show also sprouted a huge swap meet area that was very successful. Last, and maybe most important as far as this show being a huge success, was the large turnout of spectators, something that car owners appreciate so much because they love to show their steeds to the world. Check out some of the great rides we found at the 2018 Boss Nationals in the photo gallery below:
FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY JERRY HEASLEY