Larkspur’s Jeffrey O’Neill wasn’t at Sonoma Raceway over NASCAR weekend to compete in the Historic Trans-Am Series doubleheader, but at least his car finished on the podium. The series is a forum for members to celebrate the historic cars from their heyday in 1966-72.
O’Neill turned to friend Brian Ferrin of Sonoma to drive the red and black 1969 Mustang Boss 302 to take the wheel at Sonoma’s road course.
Ferrin drove the car to a third-place finish in Saturday’s race. Sausalito’s John Hildebrand, the father of professional driver JR Hildebrand, also competed in the weekend series in his 1964 Pontiac Tempest/GTO.
The car is a factory-built and sponsored car, driven by two hall of fame drivers, in one of the most alluring eras of racing. This car was one of only three cars that Kar Kraft built as a turn-key race car. Following its build, it was sent to Bud Moore, and was the first 1969 to race professionally with Parnelli Jones driving in the February 1969 Daytona Citrus 250.
Following this first race with Parnelli Jones driving, it became the car that George Follmer piloted for the first part of the 1969 SCCA Trans-Am season.
The car sustained heavy damage in a wreck during this season and never raced again until after it was purchased directly from Bud Moore Engineering in 1982. O’Neill, a longtime supporter of vintage car racing, then meticulously restored the car to its earliest 1969 livery and sheetmetal configuration.
Ferrin, who owned a 1970 Mustang Boss at the time, was eager to see the restoration and to hear how O’Neill breathed new life into the car.
There are four scheduled events remaining this season. The next stop is at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in July. The historic cars then make two stops at Laguna Seca, August 7-8 and August 12-15. The cars return to Sonoma for the season finale as part of the Sonoma Speed Festival, Sept. 23-26.