Robert Downey Jr.’s Boss 302 Is a Monsterous Carbon Fiber Pony
Custom car builder SpeedKore showed off this one-of-a-kind ride built for Robert Downey Jr. at the 2019 Grand National Roadster Show.
SpeedKore, the American performance company known for its carbon fiber vehicles and pre-preg carbon fiber body parts, unveiled two of its most popular vehicles at the 2019 Grand National Roadster show in Pomona, California last weekend. Stealing the spotlight was their 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 built for Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. The Mustang was originally unveiled at the 2017 SEMA Show where it received the Ford Motor Company’s “Best in Show” design award.
Robert Downey Jr.’s 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 came to be after Downey approached SpeedKore to create his vision of a modernized Mustang. His vision for the vehicle was to incorporate carbon fiber components into the body, while retaining the classic style of the 1970 body style.
He also wanted to update the performance and handling capabilities to that of a modern supercar while creating an interior that draws inspiration from European styling. To that end, the Mustang’s body received a full complement of SpeedKore carbon fiber body panels, replacing the hood, fenders, bumpers, deck lid, chin spoiler, quarter extensions and valence to save weight.
The car was finished with a custom paint color from PPG, but stripes of the carbon fiber were left exposed through a glossy clear coat to generate a nice contrast between the two.
The Boss 302 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 Aluminator engine from Ford Performance fitted with a Roush Stage II supercharger. The engine is attached to a Bowler T56 magnum six-speed transmission and routes power to the rear wheels through a Detroit Speed Ford 9-inch rear differential. The vehicle remains planted thanks to a Detroit Speed and Engineering Aluma-frame suspension system in the front and a Quadralink in the rear.
In order to create additional clearance for the massive 345/30ZR19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in the rear, the vehicle was outfitted with DSE mini tubs. To match the period-correct exterior color of the vehicle, the Recaro seats, dash and the remaining interior components were wrapped with a brown leather and contrasting woven fabric not commonly used in automotive interiors. The rear seat was removed in lieu of a seat delete which covers the rear wheel tubs. The cockpit was then finished with a Vintage Air climate control system and SpeedKore-designed, CNC machined custom steering wheel.
SpeedKore also showed off “Evolution,” a carbon fiber bodied 1970 Dodge Charger. SpeedKore Vice President Dave Salvaggio personally created the vehicle design with 3D modeling software. With the model finalized, billet aluminum molds were produced for each body panel, resulting in carbon fiber body panels and parts with a flawless weave that are lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel. Replacing the factory metal body panels with carbon fiber alternatives ultimately yielded a street-legal, 3,200-pound vehicle that still retains its original 1970 VIN number. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 found in the SRT Dodge Demon.
“We are incredibly excited to showcase these two vehicles at the 2019 Grand National Roadster Show” said Salvaggio. “After receiving such an exceptional response during their respective debuts at the SEMA Show, we are looking forward to seeing the reaction of the enthusiast audience to these vehicles which we believe provide a glimpse into the future of custom car building.”