Watch a 50-ton rotator truck pull a Ford Mustang Boss 302 out of a canyon

Ronan Glon

Going for a spirited drive on the Angeles Crest Highway is a blast, but the slightest error can send you, yours, and your prized possession into the landscape. That's how a Ford Mustang Boss 302 ended up about 400 feet below the road, and a video published by a towing company reveals pulling it out was more difficult than it sounds.

Los Angeles-based Pepe's Towing explained the California Highway Patrol commissioned it to retrieve the Mustang after a medium-duty wrecker couldn't reach it. The company sent Hulk, a 50-ton rotator, to the rescue.

The 38-minute video detailing the rescue operation from start to finish is fascinating to watch. Law enforcement officials knew approximately where the Mustang had landed because first responders air-lifted the driver and his passenger to a local hospital, but no one could see it from the road. Pepe's Towing used a drone to fly over the area, locate the car, and figure out the best way to hike down to it in order to attach a choker cable to it.

While there is no shortage of cars to trawl out of the canyons on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the man in charge of fetching the Mustang said the hike down to it was one of the more difficult ones he's been on. The terrain was extremely steep and dotted with prickly bushes. Once he reached it, he secured it and pulled it up with the rotator before dropping it onto the back of a flatbed truck. We can't imagine how much the whole thing must have cost.

Ford didn't design the Mustang to fly (or land thereafter), so diving off a cliff wrecked this Boss 302 beyond repair. It doesn't even look like it would make a decent parts car because there's not much on it that could be salvaged and re-used. The driver surprisingly escaped the wreck with only minor injuries. He released the vehicle to his insurance the day after it was pulled out of the canyon, according to Pepe's Towing, and he had only small bruises on his face.

Who's the Boss?

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The black stripes (or what's left of them) are original to the car. Released in 2012, the Boss 302 was a limited-edition version of the fifth-generation Mustang marketed as a street-legal track car. It gained a 444-horsepower evolution of the GT's 5.0-liter V8, a firmer suspension, a body kit, and 19-inch alloy wheels, among other updates. Enthusiasts could order Recaro bucket seats, a limited-slip differential provided by Torsen, and a red Track Key that, when put into the ignition, changed everything from the cam timing to the fuel curve at an extra cost.

Ford made 4,017 examples of the 302 for the 2012 model year, and 4,318 for the 2013 model year. This car was a big deal when it was new, and it's one of the more sought-after variants of the fifth-generation Mustang. Seeing one destroyed in a canyon is heart-breaking, especially considering Grabber Blue was offered exclusively during the 2013 model year, and only 435 enthusiasts ordered it. It was the least popular color on the palette.

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