By Michael Kitchens
The Boss 302 is a legend. The name harkens back in the heady days of Detroit muscle when Ford was creating hopped up pony rides in an effort to defeat its rivals in Trans-Am Racing. Identified by its famous “hockey” side stripe, rear louvers and chin spoiler, the car is instantly recognizable and is a part of Ford racing history.
Fast-forward 42 years, and Ford has brought the magic back. The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is a race-tuned production vehicle featuring over 444HP stock from the factory. In a word, it’s intoxicating, and Sean Michael Royce, a native of Eugene, Ore., is an owner lucky enough to have one.
Interestingly, Sean’s first ride was an AMC Renault — not exactly a car known for horsepower. Joining the military in November 1998 broadened Sean’s horizons and allowed him the opportunity to purchase a more powerful car. Stationed primarily in San Diego for the better part of his career, Sean purchased a Ford Mustang in 2006 and began his journey into the modification scene.
“I had a V6 for a brief period, but I wanted power, so I got the GT,” says Sean. Acquiring the GT opened up a world of possibilities and he went after them immediately. Sean spent four years tuning and modifying the car. “I did lots of stuff to that one … whipple supercharger, lambo doors, chameleon paint job, etc.”
But things can change in the blink of an eye. Earlier this year, a drunk driver struck Sean and his wife while they were riding in Sean’s Ford Mustang. Fortunately, the couple was OK, but the Mustang was a total loss. Despite the accident, Sean knew that he wanted to continue his love for performance and upped his game considerably with the recent purchase of the Boss 302.
What sets this second generation Boss 302 apart from the others is its “from-the-factory” look. The car features components from the Laguna Seca version, specially ordered, including the front air splitter, 3-gauge package and the rear pedestal spoiler. The entire aero package, which includes 19-inch black alloy racing wheels fitted with Pirelli P-Zero tires, is copied from the Boss 302R race car.
The car features custom-painted accents that add a nice touch to the interior, as well as some twisted engine bay skulls and flames painted by “A Touch of Air” himself, Chad Moristo.
“I wanted the ‘wow’ to come from what’s under the hood,” says Sean.
Wow, is right. This car is stacked and packed with a Hellion Twin Turbo “Eliminator” kit featuring twin precision billet 62mm turbos, stainless 4-into-1 tubular headers and dual 3-inch inch downpipes. The entire setup was installed by the Michael Andrade and the crew at Premiere Auto Service & Performance.
Tuned by Sean Igawa of Munkywurks Garage at a very streetable 6PSI, the entire setup puts down 586HP at the wheels with an additional 530 torque available on tap. Samuel Najac of Premiere also added a trick switch that allows Sean to up the boost instantly for additional power.
As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and Sean wanted to impart a modicum of restraint for our readers. After the accident, he has nothing but respect for the rules of the road.
“Think of others, and don’t go out drinking and driving,” he says.
Wise words indeed, Mr. Bossman.