In that rarefied spectrum of Mustangs which we reverently call "Special Editions" are the most revered, the most significant and possibly the most expensive of all Mustangs in their time. Often, special edition models are used to drive sales when market forces are not cooperating. However, they can also be used to build showroom traffic, even if only the top few percent of customers could afford it.

Photos: Ford Motor Company

The 45-year history of the Mustang has seen many special editions. Some, such as the BOSS 302, are unforgettable, while others, such as the late 70's MPG and Olympic editions, are eminently forgettable. Following the release of the S197 Mustang in 2004, a number of modern special editions followed. The 2008 Bullitt is likely the most memorable, while several regional special edition models are unlikely to appear in any but the most thorough history books.

Speculation is fun and harmless, but ultimately unfulfilling. Past online discussions in enthusiast forums have long centered on the possibilities and the why's and why-nots of a BOSS special edition. Trademark issues were raised as a possible deterrent, but the fact is that - usually - when Ford wants something badly enough, they find a way to get it.

For example, in order to use the "MPG" mark in the mid-1970's, Ford had to license its use from the Maine Potato Growers association.

Recently, things have become more interesting. In time for the Daytona 24-hour race this year, Ford Racing introduced the BOSS 302 race car, designed to compete in the Grand Am GT-class of the Rolex series. That would apparently suggest that is there were any trademark issues with the BOSS name, they have been resolved.

Far more encouraging are the following comments, attributed to Mark Fields, executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, and president, The Americas, at the recent Ford 2010 Dealer Show.

"We did the Bullitt, we did a Mach 1, we did the C/S. I can't tell you what the next special edition Mustang will be, but I can give you a hint."

At that point, a 1970 Boss 302 drove across the stage.

Fields quipped, "Is that a subtle enough hint?"

A few years ago, Fields pre-announced the 2008 Mustang Bullitt at an industry event, well before it became available, so this revelation is not without precedent. Certainly, the return of the 5.0-liter engine presents an opportunity to create another collectible modern Mustang. A street legal car could not use the 'Cammer' 5.0-liter engine, as it was not designed for emissions compliance.

Now, a new round of speculation can begin about the content and pricing of a new BOSS Mustang. At least, there is now a significant chance for fulfillment.

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