MARYSVILLE, Kan. – As many as 300 Mustangs and Cougars are expected to invade Marysville this weekend for a national gathering of “Boss” cars from Ford Motor Company.
Marysville was selected to host the Boss Nationals, a three-day event celebrating the Ford Mustang and its sister car, the Mercury Cougar, powered by the Boss 302, 351 and 429 engines.
Why is this year’s event in Marysville? Ask Greg Boss, who has owned Boss Motors for 30 years since the passing of his father, Frank Boss.
“With the last name ‘Boss’ dad took credit for being the reason they named it that,” Greg said with a laugh. “That was not even a bit true, but we had a lot of fun with it.”
Greg took over the Ford dealership when his father passed away in 1984. Frank started the dealership in 1938.
The idea to bring the Boss Nationals to Marysville can be traced back two years when a friend asked Greg to bring his 1971 Boss Mustang to a show in Chicago.
The idea was to have a Boss in all 11 colors represented at the show, with Greg’s car representing Grabber Blue.
To this day that blue paint is all original except the hood, which somebody scratched with a can opener one night while Greg was at a movie theater.
It took some convincing to get Boss to take his car that had never been trailered to Chicago, but he ultimately relented. It was at the show that a group of four Mustang enthusiasts got to talking about Greg’s dealership. Boss Motors would be a great location for an all-Boss car show.
“I told them they’re crazy,” Greg said. “Marysville is a little town with 3,200 people, no drag strip, no road race or anything like that.”
Having the event in 2018, the 80th anniversary of the family-owned dealership, only made the proposal more enticing, and Greg asked the city if he could basically rope off all of downtown this weekend for a car show.
Despite his initial skepticism, Greg said 190 cars have already saved the date online and many more are expected to register at the event. He estimated up to 300 cars will be in Marysville for the show. A press release stated cars are coming from Canada and New Zealand for the event.
Greg is expecting a strong turnout despite recent heavy rains in the area. His own rain gauge showed a total of 13.5 inches of rain since Saturday.
“I called God and said you can shut this off any time now,” he said as he chuckled. “I’ve lived here all my life and don’t remember it ever raining that much for that long. Rain is a concern but a lot of the drivers know it’ll shammy off, as long as we don’t have hail.”
Activities for the event include a car show, cruise night, swap meet, live music, beer garden and more.
The event begins downtown on Friday at 4 p.m. with registration, a cruise and live music.
On Saturday, registration for the car show is from 8-11 a.m. It ends at 5 p.m. and will be followed by a banquet at 7 p.m. at Landoll Lanes Conference Center.
The Boss Mustang was produced from 1969-1971 and re-introduced in 2012-2013.
Greg bought his 1971 Boss 351 Mustang, one of four he now owns, brand new in January of that year when he returned from serving in Vietnam.
The car looks like it did on the showroom floor, but don’t be fooled. The 47 year old car with under 60,000 miles hasn’t been babied.
Greg estimated the car has had four different pairs of headers, gone through multiple carburetors and used to sport drag slicks on tracks throughout the area.
He may have been destined to own the car with a last name like Greg’s and the family Ford dealership, but Greg has an appreciation for all sports cars.
“I’m a performance kind of guy, Ford, Chevy, any of them,” Greg said. “I drag raced when I was a kid and was a performance nut all my life. I might have even street raced some, back in the day.”
You can expect to see Mustangs in Marysville this weekend. A lot of Mustangs. But Boss stressed that everyone is invited to attend the show and enjoy the festivities.
A lot of it more than anything is just the camaraderie with people,” he said. “I’ve made fantastic friends. It’s great to see everyone come together.”