Corporate History

Corporate History

Improving the Breed, Since 1984


1979. Steve Saleen turns professional, sets 13 lap records in SCCA Formula Atlantic

1980. Finishes 3rd in the series behind champion Jacques Villeneuve

1982. Campaigns in SCCA Trans-Am series with a Firebird sponsored by Pontiac

1983. Saleen Autosport formed by racer, Steve Saleen.

1984. The first Saleen Mustang is introduced.

1985. Saleen Mustang production begins. Saleen considers entering model for Showroom Stock competition. First customer delivered supercharged car produced.

1986. Saleen Autosport enters Sports Car Club of America Showroom Stock series with a race-prepared version of the Saleen Mustang. Saleen wins the grueling 24 Hours of Mosport with sponsorship from General Tire.

1987. Three-car Saleen team wins driver, team, manufacturer and tire championships in the SCCA Escort Endurance Championship. Saleen enters a Ford Ranger-based, Saleen SporTruck in the SCCA Coors Race Truck Challenge, captures two wins.

1988. Saleen Mustangs finish 1-2-3 at 24 Hours of Mosport for the third consecutive win and gives Ford its first 1-2-3 finish since Le Mans in the late ‘60s. Development commences for a 300 hp EPA certified Mustang. Saleen introduces the first Saleen SporTruck.

1989. The Saleen SSC is introduced and enters production with 292 hp. Model becomes known as the “unofficial” 25th Anniversary Mustang among enthusiasts. Saleen Mustangs and SporTrucks continue their winning campaigns in SCCA Showroom Stock Competition with General Tire sponsorship.

1990. Saleen Autosport introduces SC model. New vehicle advances Saleen technology and performance. Saleen Performance Parts expands and established as an independent operation.

1991. Saleen wins SCCA Race Truck Championship with five victories in six races, which moves Steve Saleen into a tie for most victories in the series and provides Ford with the manufacturer’s championship. Saleen campaigns in Trans-Am Series with Saleen Scorcher Mustang and sponsorship from Champion Batteries, secures three top ten finishes.

1992. Saleen offers first production supercharged late-model Mustang.

1993. Saleen returns to SCCA Showroom Stock competition with a supercharged SC in the World Challenge series. Company celebrates 10th anniversary by offering ten SA-10 Mustangs.

1994. Saleen introduces it’s most impressive product line up to date, including the 351 cubic inch 371 hp S351 and 480 hp Saleen SR.

1995. Saleen introduces Speedster package for S351 convertible. New model features a sport bar and roadster tonneau.  Optional supercharger can boost output to 480 hp. Saleen, Inc acquires Saleen Performance Parts. Saleen/Allen “RRR” SpeedLab race team is formed with actor Tim Allen. The Saleen team sets new track records and wins the final race of the SCCA World Challenge Series.

1996. Saleen debuts the 1996 Saleen S281, featuring a 4.6 liter, 222 hp engine. The Saleen/Allen “RRR” SpeedLab, with teammates Steve Saleen and Tim Allen, win the SCCA Manufacturers Championship. Steve Saleen is inducted into the Mustang Hall of Fame along with Carroll Shelby.

1997. Widebody Saleen SR evolution introduced. Saleen/Allen “RRR” SpeedLab race team compete at 24 Hours of Le Mans, marking the Mustang’s first return in more than 30 years. Saleen clinches the SCCA Manufacturers’ Championship title for the third time.

1998. Saleen debuts the Saleen Explorer XP8 Performance Utility Vehicle. Saleen/Allen “RRR” SpeedLab team wins both the SCCA Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championship titles. Company celebrates 15th anniversary by offering ten SA-15 Mustangs.

1999. The Saleen Mustang S281, S281 Supercharged and S351 are unveiled, featuring dynamic new design, lower cost and higher levels of performance. An ex-Le Mans Saleen SR race car wins the Spanish FIA GT.

2000. Competing in the inaugural Grand American Road Racing season, Saleen captures the GTO Drivers’ Championship in July and clinches the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the season finale at Watkins Glen. Saleen customer cars participate in the Motorola Cup and the Speed Vision World Challenge earning a victory at Lime Rock. Saleen unveils the S7 at Laguna Seca.

2001. Saleen customer teams racing the new S7R win four GTS Drivers’ Championships in four different series – ALMS, ELMS, Grand Am and Spanish GT – around the world. The teams win 19 of 32 races, including the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring, earning 27 pole positions and setting 27 fastest laps, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans where the factory team finished on the podium.

2002. Saleen introduces the S281 Extreme. New model becomes the fastest production Mustang available. Saleen S7R customer teams continue to operate in four series – ALMS, Grand Am, British GT and Spanish GT – winning 18 of 40 races and three GTS Drivers’ Championships and several more Team and Manufacturers’ Championships. Saleen also wins 21 pole positions and sets 23 fastest laps.

2003. Saleen Inc. begins assembly of Ford GT and other specialty vehicles in new Troy, Michigan manufacturing facility. Saleen vehicles star in Hollywood features, including “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Hollywood Homicide” and “Bruce Almighty” as “God’s Car.” Company celebrates 20th anniversary by offering ten SA-20 Mustangs.

2004. Saleen Inc. introduces Saleen N20 Focus. Customer Saleen S7R teams continue to win in Europe against Ferrari and Maserati.

2005. Saleen debuts redesigned S281 vehicle line. S281 production continues in Irvine while Troy Michigan signs on for their inaugural year. Saleen Mustang production tops 1,000 units for the model year. Road going version of the S7 gain twin turbos.

2006. Saleen S281 increases horsepower: 330 hp 3 Valve, 465 hp Supercharged and new 550 hp S281 Extreme is introduced. Saleen Scenic Roof and Speedster are offered as new S281 options. 450 hp Saleen S331 Sport Truck is unveiled at Los Angeles Auto Show. Saleen debuts Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang in New York. The Saleen Store opens and starts a new era of automotive retailing.

2007. Saleen, Inc. signs on to paint all Dodge Vipers at Troy, Michigan facility. Ford Motor Company commissions Saleen to power all supercharged Harley-Davidson Edition Trucks. Saleen S281 Extreme stars in Hollywood hit “Transformers” and ABC’s “The Bachelor” drives Saleen S7 Twin Turbo and attends Saleen School of Speed. Steve Saleen resigns from Saleen, Inc while the company prepares merger with American Specialty Car (ASC). Saleen introduces the Heritage 281 Mustang.

2008. Saleen, Inc. grows model line. New S302 Extreme, H302 and H302 Supercharged models are introduced. Saleen offers S281 Red Flag and American Flag special editions. Headquarters and all vehicle production move to Troy, Michigan. Sterling Anniversary Extreme, limited to 25 examples, sells out. H281 Supercharged Dan Gurney Edition offered. Racecraft 420S introduced as budget performance brand. Steve Saleen announces SMS Limited and debuts his 25th Anniversary concept vehicle.

2009. Racecraft series production increase. Saleen, Inc pare down vehicle offerings. S302 Supercharged model introduced. Dark Horse edition features new SuperShaker induction system. Saleen, Inc ends vehicle production and sells assets. Steve Saleen and SMS begin production of 570 and 570X Challenger in new Southern California facility.

2010. Steve Saleen offers 460 and 460X Mustang. Larbre Competition wins class at 24 hours of LeMans in an S7R.

2011. 302 and 302 Supercharged Mustangs are introduced. 351 Mustang announced. White, Yellow and Black Label series of Challenger and Mustang enter production.

2012. 620 Camaro introduced. Steve Saleen acquires Saleen brand. 351 Mustang begins production.

2013. Saleen introduces Heritage model line at Laguna Seca. Frost Touch Scenic Roof option debuts. Company celebrates 30th anniversary by offering ten SA-30 Mustangs, ten SA-30 Challengers and ten SA-30 Camaros.

2014. DreamWorks movie “Need for Speed” features Saleen S7 on-screen. GreenTech announces distribution of entire Saleen Automotive vehicle collection in China. All electric Saleen FOURSIXTEEN debuts at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.


SALEEN AUTOMOTIVE, INC • 2735 WARDLOW RD, CORONA, CA 92882 • 714-400-2121