Mustang Boss 429 Takes on Challenger R/T 426 in Old School Comparo

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We may think of the Boss 429 and Hemi Challenger as direct competitors but the truth is, they’re totally different cars.

For Mustang fans, it just doesn’t get any better than the legendary Boss 429. This was a car that represented the peak of the muscle car era. And sadly, pretty much the end of the cubic-inch race, too. But those characteristics also make it a highly sought-after car today. And while we might look back at the Dodge Challenger R/T 426 as a similar machine to the Boss 429, this video from V8TV points out that these two muscle cars are actually two very different animals.

Our host kicks off with the question “how different can three cubic-inches be?” And the answer is, well, not terribly different, at least in terms of engine design. “They both have a hemispherical style cylinder head,” our host notes. But the rest of these machines couldn’t be much more different. “The Challenger R/T was marketed toward the upscale personal luxury crowd. Even with the 426 Hemi engine under the hood. Challengers are comfortable and feature rich.”

Mustang Boss 429 vs Dodge Challenger

Thus, Dodge had the Mercury Cougar in its crosshairs with the Challenger, not the Mustang. And that’s a good thing, considering how hardcore the Boss 429 is. “It was developed as a street-going carrier of the NASCAR-bound Boss 429 V8 engine,” our host says. It took a lot of work to make this massive engine fit in the Mustang, and Ford had to partner with Car Craft to make it happen. Interestingly enough, the Challenger was also developed with NASCAR in mind. But neither car ever campaigned in the series.

Mustang Boss 429

It’s fascinating to see these two muscle car legends side-by-side, given their few similarities. And it’s even more fascinating to learn that these two perceived competitors weren’t really competitors, after all.

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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