All posts by David Bruno

Former club archivist as well as lead SOEC creative director, 2005-2017.

THR ANNOUNCES SPECIAL INCENTIVES FOR LAST WEEK OF SALEEN 05 MUSTANG SUPERCHARGER INTRODUCTORY PRICING

THR, the first authorized Private Dealer of the complete Saleen line of Mustang parts and accessories, has announced special discounts on Saleen Mustang Superchargers during this last week of introductory pricing.

news_2005_THR_logo

(PRWEB) December 27, 2005

THR, the first authorized Private Dealer of the complete Saleen line of Mustang parts and accessories, has announced special discounts on Saleen Mustang Superchargers during this last week of introductory pricing.

news_2005_THR_SaleenSupercharger
Saleen Series VI Supercharger

Current retail pricing is $4999, and will go up to $5999 on January 1. THR is offering additional incentives for customers who purchase these Saleen Superchargers during the last week of December. For more details, contact THR direct at 877-50-STANG or visit http://www.texashotrods.com.

As a complete Saleen dealer, THR offers price match guarantees and customer assistance. “We always focus on making the customer happy. We install what we sell, so we have the expertise to guide our customers through the whole process from purchasing the right parts to installation assistance,” says THR President Brian Metzger.

Saleen Mustang, one of the top names in Custom Performance Modifications for Mustangs, has announced that it’s introductory pricing for the 2005 Series IV Supercharger will be over on January 1st, 2006. Saleen created a Supercharger system that produces over 400 hp and 420 lb torque. This system is custom made as a direct bolt on for the new 2005 Mustangs, one of the most popular releases in Ford Mustang history.

Saleen Enthusiasts and Mustang Enthusiasts alike will appreciate the easy bolt in installation, quality, and power that the new Saleen Series IV Mustang Supercharger provides.

Whether it’s for performance, looks, or speed, THR is a one stop shop for Mustangs.

Please contact sales@texashotrods.com with any questions.

# # #

Liz Metzger
TEXAS HOT RODS
915-593-6225

TEXAS HOT RODS MUSTANG PARTS PERFORMANCE 1st PRIVATE DEALER OF SALEEN PARTS

Texas Hot Rods, a leader in Mustang Performance Parts, has been selected by Saleen as their 1st private dealer of the complete Saleen parts line.

news_2005_THR_logo

El Paso, TX (PRWEB) December 26, 2005

THR, a leader in Mustang Performance Parts, has been selected by Saleen as their 1st private dealer of the complete Saleen parts line.

Now you can buy your parts directly through Texas Hot Rods toll free at 877-507-8264 or online at http://www.texashotrods.com.

As the first private Saleen dealer, THR is allowed to offer the best pricing while providing all warranties and service. Because THR focuses on Mustang performance, they have superior technical support and recommendations specific to the Mustang owner.

Please contact sales@texashotrods.com with any questions.

# # #

Liz Metzger
TEXAS HOT RODS
915-593-6225

NOW’S THE TIME TO GO EAST FOR YOUNG CARMAKER

By: JOHN O’DELL on August 21, 2004
Original Article: LOS ANGELES TIMES

Saleen of Irvine opens a Michigan factory, where it will work on Ford’s GT sports car.

One after another in recent years, the big Detroit car companies have moved operations west.

General Motors Corp. launched an advanced design studio in North Hollywood, for example, and Ford Motor Co. relocated the North American headquarters of its Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo and Land Rover brands to Irvine.

This week, exotic-car builder Saleen Inc. of Irvine went the other way. It opened a state-of-the-art plant in a former door factory in Troy, Mich., where it will paint and assemble Ford’s new $140,000 two-seat performance car, the GT. The high-tech paint facility and assembly line set Saleen back an estimated $15 million.

The expansion eastward by Saleen, one of the few auto manufacturing businesses on the West Coast, signals a new phase in the life of the 20-year-old company, which is privately held.

With plants in two states, “we are structuring Saleen to become a significant resource to the auto industry for specialty and special-niche vehicles,” said Steve Saleen, 54, a former race driver who used his race winnings to start the business in 1984.

Although that would seem to hint at a desire to seek work from other major automakers, Saleen said plans “at this time” were limited to Ford.

Saleen’s opening the plant in Troy could be seen as merely a case of a supplier following its business.

“Ford needs cars like the GT to come from Detroit — that’s important for its image,” said Wes Brown, an analyst at Iceology, a Los Angeles-based automotive market research firm. “Saleen saw the value in investing in a factory there to continue gaining Ford business.”

For its part, the automaker gains by having Saleen take “that much-needed West Coast flair and freer thinking into Detroit and into Ford.”

But the move “has some interesting prospects beyond that,” Brown continued. “If the relationship does well through the GT contract, then I’d expect Ford to look for other opportunities for low-volume, high-profile vehicles that could be outsourced and built under contract,” he said. “And there’s no reason to expect that Saleen wouldn’t be the front-runner for that continued business.”

Indeed, Ford already is showing a possible successor to the limited-production GT, which is scheduled to be built through the 2007 model year. The next Ford exotic car is likely to be a modern version of the Shelby Cobra, insiders say.

(Saleen’s principal product is a line of extensively redesigned and rebuilt Mustangs based on the Ford platform and sold through Ford dealers; a high-performance Saleen Mustang can cost $35,000 to $65,000, versus $18,000 to $35,000 for Mustangs that roll directly out of Ford’s factories.)

It’s been a tough road to Troy for Saleen. After nearly running out of money last year, the company was recently revitalized by a cash infusion, believed to be in the neighborhood of $20 million, from Los Angeles-based private equity investor Hancock Park Associates. The investment firm is now Saleen’s majority owner.

The financing helps replace cash eaten up by development of the 203,000-square-foot Saleen Specialty Vehicles plant in Troy.

The company, criticized by creditors in the past for concentrating more on product planning than cash management, also has undergone a retuning of its management system as part of the recapitalization deal.

“They are very, very good at building cars but [were] not so good at managing their money,” said longtime Saleen dealer Jim Graham, president of Santa Margarita Ford in Rancho Santa Margarita. Graham, who was bitterly critical of Saleen a year ago, said the company had improved tremendously since the Hancock Park investors began taking an active role in management late last year.

Steve Saleen remains president and chief executive but has appointed a new chief operating officer, Richard Rinke, to handle daily operations at both plants.

Rinke, a veteran of the specialty auto building industry, has worked for the last two years setting up the Troy plant. He will be based there while Steve Saleen remains at the company’s 150,000-square-foot Irvine headquarters and concentrates on product development and marketing, said Kevin Listen, a Hancock Park partner and a member of Saleen’s restructured board of directors.

Saleen’s new chairman is Hancock Park’s managing partner, Michael Fourticq. He succeeds S.A. “Tony” Johnson. Johnson, chairman of publicly traded automotive parts and systems supplier Tower Automotive Inc., had been Saleen’s majority owner since 1993.

In the last year, Saleen Mustang sales have been slow. Many potential buyers decided instead to await the launch by Ford this year of the all-new 2005 Mustang, the first new platform for the sporty car since 1978. Production of the ’05 Saleen Mustang using the new platform is scheduled to begin in November in Irvine.

Saleen also has developed its own exotic car, the sleek, carbon-fiber-bodied S7, which sells for $430,000. The company also builds a $24,000 high-performance version of the Ford Focus compact car, called the Saleen N2O Focus.

Under its contract with Ford, Saleen’s Michigan plant not only will assemble and paint the GT — a car sought by enthusiasts and collectors including “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, who took delivery of his early production model last week — but also will build other prototypes and concept cars for Ford.

After the assembly of bodies and chassis at Troy, the GTs will be transferred to a Ford-owned plant in nearby Wixom, Mich., for installation of the high- performance Ford engine. That will enable the automaker to say final assembly was done by Ford and its union workers rather than by a nonunion contractor.

Ford President Nick Scheele has said the company expects to sell 1,500 GTs a year for the next three years. A new exotic car, possibly an updated version of the Shelby Cobra, is expected to replace the GT in 2008.

Meanwhile, Saleen’s S7, Mustang and Focus production will remain in Irvine, where the company has about 125 employees. Spokesman Jack Gerken said Saleen probably would employ about 250 people in Troy and boost Irvine employment to 150 by the end of the year. The company also has retail operations in Mexico, Canada and Europe.

The company won’t disclose financial information. Steve Saleen has acknowledged that the costs of building the Michigan factory combined with development costs of the 575- horsepower S7 to consume the company’s cash reserves.

“But,” he said, “that’s all behind me now.”

TORONTO MOTOR SHOW

Nauman Farooq grabs the latest news from Canada

Saleen has finally arrived on Canadian shores with Auto Bugatti in Montreal being the official importer for Canada. They have a few outlets on the go to sell the Saleen Mustangs, however boss Joe Visconti will handle all the S7 deliveries himself.

Visconti, president of Auto Bugatti and Saleen Canada said he has orders for 12 S7’s already. Deliveries should start later this year. Price $430,000 US.

At the end of the day I struck lucky. Whilst waiting to watch the S7 be driven out I engaged Joe Visconti in conversation and the next thing I knew I was being given a ride out of the show in the Saleen!

The S7 is a mean looking machine, as you can see from the pictures, and it is suppose to be as close to a race car for the road as possible. Therefore you sit as low in a car as possibly imagine. Think go-kart low and you’ll get the picture.

Saleen S7 Unlike a race car, this has a passenger seat, albeit not a very spacious one. The footwell is very narrow, so you’re best to sit there with one leg streached out and one bended knee, however that is not as uncomfortable as you might imagine. The driver gets a bit more space, mainly because the cockpit is designed to cater for the driver. When you get in, you notice the driver is very much towards the middle of the car, thus the reason the passenger only has enough space for one leg in the footwell.

Pushing the driver towards the middle allow the pedals to be directly ahead of the driver, despite the big wheel wells.

Despite being a race car for the street, the car does have a few toys. You get power windows and locks and even mirrors. You also get a stereo system, and most importantly, you have a camera in the tail, and its images are shown on a screen in the dash – very nice.

Despite the luxuries, the S7 still weights less than a Ferrari Enzo, tipping the scales at 1250 kg, 15 kg less than the Enzo.

Anyway, out of the arena we went. The engine – a 7-litre V8 – in 2004 spec, pumps out 575 hp and 525 lb/ft of torque. According to Saleen, the famed 0-60 mph run takes just 2.9 seconds, and a top speed of over 220 mph!

As we moved out of the arena, Joe slightly teased the throttle and the car just erupted forward. Hard on the brakes immediately cause we had reached the intersection to join the main road.

Stepping out onto the road, and you’re an instant celebrity. Everybody, and I do mean everybody looks at this car. You could be walking down the street with Janet Jackson and even that wouldn’t cause quite the stir the S7 does.

We were basically making our way to find the transport truck that was waiting for the car. After we got the location homed in, I navigated the best route for the location, and thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic on some of those streets either, so I got to get a sense of what this car holds in its belly.

Speaking of belly, don’t go for a run in this car after a big meal, since the stiff ride will ensure you’ll see your meal again, but what did you expect from a supercar, especially one that rides on 345/25 ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires (rear).

If you are one of those people who think modern supercars have become too soft, too namby pamby (like the Ferrari 575M) and prefer cars as raw and hardcore as the Ferrari F40 for instance, then you’ll love the Saleen S7. This car blends old school supercar’s with new school technology (this car is built entirely out of carbon-fibre), and the result is astonishing.

Joe is a serious fan of the marque and has himself has ordered an S7, in red. Call me when you get it Joe – I want more!

Links: www.saleen.com , www.autobugatti.com

[Source: PistonHeads]

SALEEN MOVES TO CANADA

By: ERIC DESCARRIES on Friday, June 13, 2003
Original Article: AUTO123.COM

If you are a lover of high performance cars, you know the Saleen brand. Otherwise, know that Saleen is a small manufacturer that uses a base Mustang GT to produce a car with more powerful features that are astonishing, the Saleen S281. But this has nothing to do with a Mustang. Canada has a few copies of these cars, but most retain their American origins. However, we learn that soon the Saleen will not only be sold at home, but they will also be assembled in a small Quebec plant located near Dorval Airport, Saleen Canada.

In fact, when Steve Saleen, the Californian creator of the brand, wanted to explore Canada, he contacted Mr. Nicky Ruccolo, president of Pirelli in country, the brand of tires that shoe these performance cars. Mr. Saleen wanted to know who could take care of its Canadian subsidiary. He was then referred to Mr Joe Visconti, President of Auto Bugatti Cote de Liesse in Montreal. The latter accepted the mandate to take delivery of a brand new Canadian Mustang GTs and turn them into S281 or, even more powerful S281E. In addition to the suspension add a supercharger to the 4.6-liter V8 engine in addition to a host of other technical equipment. Then the car will be moved to the Canada Saleen body shop, Avoca Street, to receive new distinctive parts, fit for the brand.

Saleen Canada’s role will be to find the countries specialist Ford dealers capable of marketing the fireball offered in coupe or convertible. Giovanni Farinacci, Director of Sales Auto Bugatti, will support Mr. Visconti in this area. Initially, it has a dozen dealers who, according to their hopes, will sell a hundred cars a year in the country. Later, one might even see the exotic Saleen S7 in this business. Sale prices may vary, depending on the options chosen, between $65,000 and $68,000 for the S281 model. In addition, Saleen modifies a Ford Thunderbird, and you may see this version found in us as well. So an exciting record to follow.

[Source: auto123.com]

Jeep Jeepster: Truck Trends

By: MATT STONE on April, 1998
Original Article: Motor Trend

Future Trucks

A Street Rod For The Rubicon Trail

Think of it as a V-8 Plymouth Prowler (with a back seat) that can also tackle a challenging trail with the best of the Jeep family. With its new-for-’99 4.7-liter/275-horse SOHC V-8, which will debut in the Grand Cherokee, and its unique, electronic four-wheel, independent adjustable suspension, you really could go anywhere with confidence-street or stream, boulevard or boulder-strewn trail.

The Jeepster’s dashboard-adjustable suspension switch allows the rod/ute a 4-inch range of travel, from a ground-hugging 5.75 inches to a rock-climbing 9.75 inches of clearance. The two-plus-two Jeepster, which takes its name from the now rare and collectible ’50 Willys Convertible, has a roster of useful features like water-resistant leather seats, a global positioning system, altimeter, grade and roll indicator, and exterior temperature gauge. Its full-time 4WD system is viscous coupled to a four-speed automatic that rotates huge 19-inch “Hot-Wheels”-inspired wheels equipped with “run-flat” Goodyear Extended Mobility Tires, eliminating the need for a spare.

The cool “what if” exercise certainly raises the possibility of eating your Rocky Road ice cream at the drive-in diner or at the top of the nearest mesa. It seems multiple personalities could pay dividends, after all.-Chris Walton

Performance Test

Saleen Explorer: A Performance/Utility Vehicle

Saleen Explorer XP8
Saleen Explorer XP8

The sport/utility vehicle market continues to subdivide itself. There are now full-size luxury SUVs, convertibles, and others. To this, add the newest trend: the PUV, or Performance Utility Vehicle. Everywhere we look, someone is slamming, supercharging, brake-equipping, and killer-suspending SUVs to perform like-believe it or not-cars.

Saleen Performance has been manufacturing steroid-injected Mustangs for more than a dozen years, and decided the top-selling Ford Explorer was an ideal canvas for its brand of performance redo. Steve Saleen and his band of designers, engineers, and assemblers have taken their customary approach to enhancing the Explorer; upgrading not only the engine, but (if desired) the braking, suspension, appearance, and interior accommodations.

The Saleen Explorer comes in two- or four-wheel-drive four-door configurations, packing either a SOHC 4.0-liter V-6, a 5.0-liter V-8, or a Saleen-developed supercharged 5.0-liter/286-horsepower V-8. Packing a dealer-installed Powerdyne blower, this top-of-the-line model is the subject of our test.

Saleen lowers the Explorer about 2 inches, for both improved handling and appearance. Springs and shocks are swapped for the company’s Racecraft components, and rolling stock is upgraded to Saleen’s own 18-inch genuine magnesium wheels wrapped by Pirelli 255/55SR18 Scorpion S/T radials.

The exterior appearance package includes special front and rear fascia, side skirts, door cladding, roof-mounted rear wing, and faux carbon fiber trim. The cabin is treated to either a real wood or carbon fiber appearance package, depending upon color choice, as well as Saleen gauge faces and floor mats. A particularly nice, though pricey, option is Saleen/Recaro leather seating ($3950), offering 10-way power adjustment up front and hip-hugging support.

According to Saleen, the goal is to enhance the Explorer’s on-road handling and performance with a minimum reduction in its off-road capability. Many SUV users will never leave the asphalt, so max ground clearance is seldom an issue to these folks. On the pavement, the Saleen corners much more confidently than just about any standard sport/ute. There’s a bit of a ride penalty, but the reduction in body roll will be worth it to many drivers.

Our test showed a 0-60-mph time of 7.4 seconds (an improvement of 3.3 seconds over a stock V-8 Explorer). Also significant: 60-0 braking distances are reduced by 26 feet. A big portion of the 0.09 g jump in max cornering forces (0.76 for the Saleen, 0.67 for the stocker) goes to the serious wheel and tire package. Though we did not test its towing capability, we suspect the Saleen Explorer will be popular among those sporty, active lifestyle folks who haul a boat or trailer full of personal watercraft. Increasing supercharger boost would add even more horsepower, but punchy midrange power and long-term dependability were judged more important than Top Fueler acceleration. And you’ve gotta love the tunes issued by the rumbling Saleen/Borla exhaust system.

The MSRP for a V-6 Saleen Explorer is $41,990, and a fully loaded supercharged V-8 model with all available options will run around $56,000. Both Ford’s and Saleen’s own warranties apply. See your Saleen-qualified Ford Dealer.

What’s next, the Swiss Army knife SUV?