July 24, 2021

Vintage-Nitro

Still car-crazy after all these years

Paul Stefansky’s Boss Hoss Mustang Funny Car

The Boss Hoss was Paul Stefansky's entry for the 1968 drag racing season. The rare notchback Mustang funny car relied on an injected Ford SOHC for power.
Rare notchback Mustang funny car driven by Paul Stefansky
Funny cars with Mustang Notchback body shells are fairly rare, but Paul Stefansky chose a notchback for his Boss Hoss fuel funny car

Last time around I explored Another Mustang Funny Car Mystery, in which I looked at an under construction car that looked suspiciously like Paul Stefansky’s Notch-back Mustang flopper.

Mustang body came from Lee Iacocca

Thanks to input from Daryl Huffman, we now know the car in question belonged to Tom Stanke and that the bodies on both Stanke’s car and the Boss Hoss came from Ford Styling. Ford used fiberglass mockups to demo the Mustang before the actual metal cars were built. According to Huffman (who knows more than a little about 1960s-era Ford and Mercury funny cars) Stefanky purchased the body shell for the Boss Hoss directly from Lee Iacocca.

If you compare this 1968 Detroit Autorama photo of the Boss Hoss with that of Stanke’s car, you will see that while the body shells are similar, the chassis are very different.

The chassis of the Boss Hoss appears to be a Logghe Brothers ladder frame, or at least a similar design. Power comes from an injected Ford SOHC V-8, the same power-plant used by the dominant Mercury Comets of Don Nicholson and Eddie Schartman in 1968.

I don’t know whether Stefansky ever converted the Boss Hoss to a supercharger, as most of his contempories did during the ’68 season. Stefansky did switch to a blown cammer for the sleek fastback Super Stang he campainged in later years.

The Boss Hoss predated zoom headers

Note that Stefansky’s car, like the other fuel cars of the period, lacked up-swept headers. Zoomie headers, designed to increase down force and increase traction, had yet to become popular.

The Boss Hoss has a full roll-cage. The original 1966 Logghe flip-top cars had dragster-style loop roll bars. At some point, NHRA and other sanctioning bodies mandated that funny cars be equipped with full four-point roll cages. Even before the new rules were enacted, however, many builders and competitors adopted the safer rollcage design. Stefansky was prepared with a complete roll cage.

I saw the Boss Hoss run at least a couple of times. His later ride, the Super Stang, was beautiful, swoopy Mustang fastback. I missed the notchback design, however. In a sea of fastback Mustang funny cars, Stefansky’s Boss Hoss always stood out from the herd.