By: MICHELLE KOETTERS on March 28, 2007

Mar. 28–CLINTON — A rare version of an American automotive icon is for sale at a Clinton car dealership. Anderson Ford Mercury has a Parnelli Jones Boss 302 Mustang in its showroom — one of only 500 that specialty vehicle manufacturer Saleen built and released for public sale.

The car honors Parnelli Jones, a legendary race car driver from the 1960s and 1970s.

The Central Illinois dealership expects a serious collector eventually will purchase the muscle car for about $60,000, co-owner Randy Anderson said.

The dealership received the car last week because of its reputation for selling high performance vehicles and parts, said Anderson. The company’s Anderson Ford Motorsport division specializes in designing and building high performance parts for Mustangs; clients come from throughout the world.

Meanwhile, the Boss 302 is an exact replica — but with all new technology — of the Mustang Jones used to win the Trans Am Series racing event in 1970, Anderson said.

“It is one of the most breathtaking, gorgeous cars out there right now. It’s a showstopper,” Anderson said.

The Mustang’s orange-yellow color makes it stand out, Anderson said. In addition, it has a modified engine with 400 horsepower, customized black and orange leather interior, special breaks for fast stops, as well as a suspension that makes it drive like a go-kart, he said.

Mustangs are a popular car right now because people love the look and comfort of the sports car, Anderson said. The dealership’s Mustang sales are up about 30 percent from five years ago.

“What has increased the most is the exotic Mustang,” Anderson said. The dealership has 10 of the exotics, including the Shelby GT 500, the Shelby GT, Roush and Saleen, all priced from $30,000 to $60,000, Anderson said.

“It’s just a gorgeous car to look at,” Anderson said. “No matter if you’re a Ford fan or not a Ford fan, everyone loves the look of a Mustang.”