All posts by Jim Dvorak

Managing Director of SOEC since 2005. Veteran of the Southern California automotive scene. Involvement with Saleen dates back to the mid 1990s.

SNEAK PEEK, S302 YL (16-0032) CONVERTIBLE

From our friends at Saleen Automotive.

S302 Yellow Label just completed and hitting the ground, then will be on its way to Virginia.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

THANKSGIVING TREAT, S302 YL (16-0033) PRE-DELIVERY WITH NEW OWNER

From our friends at Saleen Automotive.

Luis Diaz was spending Thanksgiving in warm sunny California and was able to enjoy is new S302 Yellow Label before it was shipped to Colorado to be tucked away for the winter.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

KIDS & COPS TOY DRIVE, CARS & COFFEE CORONA

The 14th annual Corona Police Department “Kids & Cops Holiday Magic” toy drive took place November 26th during the weekly Cars & Coffee Corona event at Saleen Automotive headquarters. This yearly event provides crafts and game activities for underprivileged children from the Corona community. Over 1000 underprivileged children are presented with gifts made possible through generous donations.

Kids & Cops Toy Drive - Cars & Coffee Corona
Kids & Cops Toy Drive – Cars & Coffee Corona

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HAGERTY: STEVE SALEEN’S FOX ERA MUSTANGS

Steve Saleen Built The Most Collectible Fox-body Mustangs

“There is a great passion for these vehicles and the Saleen brand in general”

1989 Ford Mustang Saleen Fastback (Mecum)
1989 Ford Mustang Saleen Fastback (Mecum)

By: MIKE BUMBECK on October 12, 2016
Original Article: HAGERTY.COM

Ford established a winning formula of shipping assembly-line Mustangs to specialty companies for conversion into near-racing specials. Credit Carroll Shelby during the 1960s for inspiring this practice. At the dawn of the 1970s, the Boss 429 emerged from the Kar Kraft facility in Brighton, Mich., destined for showdowns against Hemi-powered competitors. The ’80s saw this tradition continue to third-generation Fox-body Mustangs from Saleen, a California tuner shop.

Though Mustang traditionalists may angrily shake a fistful of collapsed carburetor floats toward the sky at the thought of any car built after 1972 being collectible, the age window of what’s considered classic progresses. The ’80s, along with cassette decks, body-color mesh wheels, flared fenders and fade-stripe graphics, are powering into the present with fuel-injected V-8 power.

For 1986 the Saleen Mustang packed a 200-horsepower 5.0-liter High Output (HO) V-8 with tubular headers and dual exhaust, backed by a five-speed Borg-Warner transmission. The Saleen aero treatment meshed with 16×7 Riken alloy wheels, Racecraft suspension and ’80s-perfect striping. A three-spoke Momo steering wheel, Hurst shifter and sports seats met an optional radar detector in the cabin. A Saleen Mustang so equipped could hold .88 G on the skidpad and top 140 mph, according to Ford’s marketing materials.

After transforming just three factory stockers into Saleen Mustangs in 1984, production increased to just over 200 by 1986, well over 700 by 1988 and nearly 900 for 1989. Steve Saleen took his Mustang racing knowledge and transferred it to a series of cars that honed his company’s formula of suspension and power upgrades, including select builds that boosted acceleration, via a supercharger.

Ford had offered supercharging in 1957—a factory-installed McCulloch/Paxton centrifugal blower—and as an option in the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350. Saleen resurrected the practice for Fox-body Mustangs with Paxton units. A 1984 model [1985 model sic] was the first outfitted, but it took until 1992 for development to conclude and the Saleen/Vortech supercharger option to become available.

These early-’90s supercharged Saleen specials are among the most coveted as an economic recession, combined with the approaching demise of the Fox-body, resulted in a drop in Saleen Mustang production in 1990-93, with just 476 Saleen Mustangs built. Production revived to 1,225 in 1994-98 with the debut of the SN-95 Mustang and ramped up to more than 4,000 constructed in 1999-2004.

The resurgence of the Fox-body has been good for the Saleen Mustang and its devotees; the Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club currently has 5,000 members worldwide. The club’s president, Jim Dvorak, shed some light on the current state of enthusiasm. A renewed interest in all things ’80s, together with limited Saleen production, has seen the collector market for Fox-body examples trending upward in recent years.

“There is a great passion for these vehicles and the Saleen brand in general,” Dvorak said. “A lot of the trading is underground. A lot of the special cars are purchased privately and never advertised. The auction results can be a little misleading in some cases.”

Original condition Saleen Mustangs can fetch more than modified examples, and Saleen keeps documentation on every car built, with unique history in some cases able to influence value. The good news is that getting into an era-defining collectible that has a connection to a strong community of like-minded enthusiasts doesn’t cost a million dollars.

[Source: Hagerty]

SALEEN DEBUTS NEW S7 LM, FINAL PRODUCTION SERIES

PHOTOS: JIM DVORAK

Saleen Automotive Inc. Corona, CA – (September 17, 2016) Steve Saleen announced today, during the 20th Annual Saleen Show and Open House, that Saleen Automotive acquired the S7 properties and are building seven cars in a limited edition continuation series, this new S7 LM, will celebrate the final LeMans win from 2010. Features to include exposed carbon fiber, advanced electronics, suspension and 1000hp. Estimated price for this American supercar is $1,000,000.


Update: Sept. 19, 2016

This was an exciting announcement, preceded by Steve sharing the challenges the company has had in recent years in rebuilding the company, including recent struggles in delivering vehicles to customers.

Coincidentally, earlier in the day, Steve presented the keys to four new Saleen Mustang owners who have been patiently waiting for this day.

Continuing about the S7 LM, Steve explained to the audience that earlier in the year he quietly acquired the remaining S7 parts inventory, molds, intellectual property and other related assets, and he was very excited to formally announce it to the hundreds of Saleen fans attending the show. Steve stated that the company has the resources and backing, as well as interest from potential customers to build and deliver these seven supercars.

In the Speedlab area of the facility, we were able to see they have started production of the vehicles, with the first chassis being completed, the carbon fiber body work has been started, and the engine and other components have begun to take form. See pictures above.

This is an exciting announcement, and a long-awaited one for Steve, as he has been working hard to make this happen. I’ve been waiting for this also, as I have suspected that he had acquired the S7 properties, and I’m excited that it’s true!

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[Source: Saleen Automotive, John D. Brown, Jim Dvorak]