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The Boss 302 was Ford's attempt to mix the power of a muscle car with the handling prowess of a sports car. The automotive press gushed over the result, deeming it the car "the GT-350 should have been." Boasting a graphic scheme penned by Ford designer Larry Shinoda, the "Baby Boss" was powered by an engine that was essentially a combination of the new-for-1968 302 in³ (4.9 L) V8 and topped with cylinder heads from the yet to be released new-for-1970 351 in³ (5.8 L) "Cleveland". This combination meant that the Boss 302 was good for a conservatively rated 290 hp (216 kW) through its four-speed manual transmission. Ford originally intended to call the car Trans Am, but Pontiac had beaten them to it, applying the name to a special version of the Firebird. In the ¼ mile the Boss 302 could post very similar times to the Boss 429, oddly enough, despite the smaller displacement and an incredibly free-breathing induction system in the car.
Source: Wikipedia (original)