Tag Archives: 1998

CLOSER LOOK: 1998 S281 COBRA (98-0075)

PHOTOS: CHRIS CHRISANTI

98-0075 S281 Cobra
98-0075 S281 Cobra

When Saleen Performance debuted their new S281 for 1996, they resumed to offer a mainline model that featured familiar styling and suspension upgrades on the SN95 Mustang. Introduced as an entry-level, serialized Saleen vehicle to complement their labor-intense and performance juggernaut S351; this first generation of S281 returned Saleen Performance to their roots by focusing to improve handling and aerodynamics characteristics of the forth generation Mustang GT powered by a newly introduced 4.6 liter, 2-valve, “Modular” V8 from Ford Motor Company.

98-0075 S281 Cobra
98-0075 S281 Cobra

For those in need of more “horsepower,” a little-known available option was to substitute the standard Mustang GT chassis for that of an SVT Cobra with it’s free-revving 4.6 liter, 4-valve V8 engine. This “special” S281 Cobra conversion was elected by eleven customers during the 1996 model year. Production increased to eighteen units for 1997 with newly established publicity and ordering details for the S281 Cobra Edition.

Chris Chrisanti of Illinois was introduced to Saleen Mustang ownership by way of a thoroughly enjoyed 1994 S351 Supercharged coupe (94-0042). With desires of a streetable, less-complex, but equally rare Saleen Mustang; Chris sold his beloved ’94 and began his search for a new steed.

While cruising social media posts in October 2014, a young preteen skateboarder shared a photo of his dream ride, what appeared was a Chrome Yellow S281 coupe with Cobra fender emblems. Further investigation proved futile as this “youngster” would not respond to direct messaging as to the local of this vehicle. Attempts made to contact relatives of the boy were also rebutted. An impatient review of his user profile gave a home state of Florida. Where to begin? CarFax reports were pulled for each of the 1998 S281 Cobra coupes in Chrome Yellow. The lone example last registered in Florida was 98-0075, specifically in Panama City.

First spotting: 98-0075 S281 Cobra
First spotting: 98-0075 S281 Cobra

With little else to go by, an ensuing search of local dealer inventory took place through the remaining week and weekend. Attempts to locate 98-0075 failed. With nothing to lose, the photograph was referenced again. What clues could assist in locating this dealer? Item of note were: Promo material stuck to windshield, antenna streamer, bright red truck bumper, chain link fence, gravel lot and street corner intersection with newly paved sidewalk.

Again, local dealers were searched with an eye towards finding similar promo items on their vehicle inventory, whether they had a bright red truck listed for sale and where their dealership was located in relation to intersections using Google Maps. Eventually, this dealer was located while 98-0075 was being prepared for resale and prior to promotion on their website. Coincidentally, Chris’ father would be vacationing nearby and agreed to inspect #75 giving a leg up on any competing buyers. A deal and preceding sale was arranged before the dealer publicly offered #75, teasing false hope to many that called looking to make a quick purchase once 98-0075 went public. Causing debates of: “How did this car sell so quickly?”

Modifications:
• Replacement Ford remanufactered long block installed @ 20,000 miles
• BBK full-length headers
• BBK cross pipe w/ converters
• BBK throttle body
• Anderson power pipe
• MSD DIS 4
• Smaller supercharger pulley
• SCT MAF
• 60# injectors
• 340 lph in tank fuel pump
• SCT tuner
• 491 RWHP
• 1999-04 Saleen-style 18×9″ & 18×10″ wheels


Video: 98-0075 from November 2014

Produced during April 1998 and shipped on the 29th of that month, #75 features the most Saleen optional equipment for a 1998 S281 Cobra coupe. Our order began with an Chrome Yellow SVT Cobra coupe featuring the Ford Preferred Equipment Package (Mach 460 sound system and Ford leather seating). Side note: Both Chrome Yellow and Bright Atlantic Blue were introduced on the SVT Cobra during springtime ’98.

After arrival at Saleen Performance’s 9 Whatney facility in Irvine California, #75 grabbed the following: Heat extractor hood (standard for Cobra Edition), Chrome Yellow Speedline magnesium wheels, tire upgrade, Saleen/Recaro leather seating, 2-point chassis brace, and supercharged twin gauge pod by request of dealer.

For the 1998 model year Saleen produced 208 Mustangs, 173 were S281 models, 35 were based on the SVT Cobra chassis, 14 were of the SVT coupe body, 5 SVT coupes featured Chrome Yellow paint and 4 SVT coupes featured Chrome Yellow wheels. Of those, 3 had the Speedline Magnesium Wheels, 2 were equipped with the optional 2-point chassis brace, 2 had the twin gauge pod while 98-0075 was the lone S281 coupe, SVT chassis, Chrome Yellow paint to receive the optional Saleen/Recaro seating.

PRODUCTION BREAKDOWN

1998
– Laser Red exterior, Black interior, coupe: 2
– Laser Red exterior, Black interior, convertible: 2
– Laser Red exterior, Unknown interior, convertible: 1
– Black exterior, Black interior, coupe: 1
– Black exterior, Black interior, convertible: 7
– Crystal White exterior, Black interior, coupe: 5
– Crystal White exterior, Black interior, convertible: 5
– Crystal White exterior, Saddle interior, convertible: 1
– Bright Atlantic Blue exterior, Black interior, coupe: 1
– Bright Atlantic Blue exterior, Black interior, convertible: 2
– Chrome Yellow exterior, Black interior, coupe: 5
– Chrome Yellow exterior, Black interior, convertible: 3

[Source: Chris Chrisanti]

2nd XP (98-0002X) OFFERED ON eBay

Price: BID
VIN: 1FMDU35P0VUA13498
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 1997
Make: Ford
Model: Explorer
Trim: XP8 Saleen AWD
Body Type: SUV
Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine: 5.0 Liter 302 CID
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Gray
Mileage: 78,800
For Sale By: Private Seller
eBay #: 162243156454

98-0002 XP
98-0002 XP

Two owner all original XP8 AWD fully loaded with every available option back in 1998 from Saleen. 2nd truck built and used by Saleen Inc. for promotional and magazine testing. Truck had Alcon front brakes but due to faulty brackets was returned back to stock before my purchase. Truck has carbon Fiber kit, Extractor hood, Recaro Seats, Coco mats, Magnesium wheels, Powerdyne Supercharger, Brand new Pirelli Tires, New Alternator, drive belts and tensioners, and a full engine service all within the last 500 miles. Original paint and all Saleen components. Typical chips, dents and dings for a 20 year old truck. I purchased truck from Saleen Inc. back in 2003 and it has always been garaged and put away for the Winter. Copies of original MSO and paperwork from Saleen included in sale.

98-0002 XP
98-0002 XP

Own a great piece of Saleen History.

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RARE S281 COBRA SPEEDSTER (98-0094) HITS eBay

Price: BID
VIN: 1FAFP46VXWF193866
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 1998
Make: Ford
Model: Mustang
Body Type: Convertible
Trim: Saleen Cobra
Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine: 4.6L 281Cu. In. V8 GAS SOHC Naturally Aspirated
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual 5 Speed
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Black
Mileage: 25,286
For Sale By: Private Seller
eBay #: 262670093836

1998 Ford Mustang Cobra Saleen Convertible

98-0094 S281 Cobra Speedster
98-0094 S281 Cobra Speedster

98-0094
* 1 owner, deeply loved car
* All stock, never modified
* Steve Saleen signed dash
* 25,286 miles
* Loaded
* 1 of 21 made, very rare
* Clean Title, no wrecks, no paint work, no stories
* All 3 tops are included , speedster, soft top, and last in the bag never opened
* Original car cover

98-0094 S281 Cobra Speedster
98-0094 S281 Cobra Speedster

* Recaro Seats with lumbar
* Speedline wheels, zero curb rash or scratch
* Black leather interior
* 5-speed Mono shifter with Saleen short shifter
* A/C
* Power windows and locks
* Cruise control
* CD player
* Mach stereo
* Saleen floor mats
* Two keys and all original paperwork
* Everything works

98-0094 S281 Cobra Speedster
98-0094 S281 Cobra Speedster

* Full synthetic oil change just done
* Brand new battery
* New Toyo tires
* New Bilstein struts/shocks
* Never driven in the rain
* No pets, kids , non smoker, no rips, dents, dings, tears, garage kept beauty queen

VIN number by request

Please email or call for any requested HD photos or videos
360 513 8428

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1st XP (98-0001X) OFFERED ON eBay

Price: $16,500.00
VIN: 1FMDU32P2TZA60309
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 1996
Make: Ford
Model: Explorer
Sub Model: XLT
Body Type: SUV
Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine: 5.0 Liter 302 cu in
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Exterior Color: White with Black Stripes
Interior Color: Gray
Mileage: 107,947
For Sale By: Private Seller
eBay #: 221883928505

98-0001X XP8
98-0001X XP8

This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Most people have never seen, ridden in or owned a Saleen Explorer, this is your chance to knock out all 3 in one shot. As if that is not good enough, you have a chance to see, ride in and own the very first one ever built! This in the original prototype and first production XP8 Performance Utility Vehicle. It was built on a 1996 Ford Explorer XLT chassis (registered/titled as a 1996 Explorer) and utilized as a press vehicle and test mule for the company. This vehicle was featured on the original Saleen Explorer Sales Brochure, Saleen Performance Parts catalog and numerous periodicals during 1997-1998. This is not the XP8 in the MotorTrend video. 98-0001 and 98-0002 (built on a 1997 chassis) were both featured in a lot of the early photoshoots and appearances. 98-0002 had a carbon fiber hood, 98-0001 did not. I have a lot of documentation and paperwork on this vehicle all the way back to the original owner (the daughter of Steve Saleen’s former business partner). Options are the key in figuring the value of these XP8’s. This has all the options that were available at the time (the carbon fiber hood, Alcon brakes and Saleen pedals were not available yet)

98-0001X XP8
98-0001X XP8

Drivetrain:
5.0L motor with Powerdyne supercharger, 4 speed automatic transmission, 3.73 limited slip rear axle and Borla exhaust.

Exterior:
Crystal White paint, XP8 aerodynamic body kit (Front fascia, side skirts, rear bumper and rear wing) and carbon fiber mirrors

Interior:
Medium Graphite interior, Recaro Trend front and rear seats, Saleen instrumentation, carbon fiber accents (dash, rear console, steering wheel) and CoCo floor mats

Other:
Racecraft Suspension and Speedline magnesium wheels with Falken Ziex 255-55-18 tires (they have about 1500 miles on them)

98-0001X XP8
98-0001X XP8

I have owned 4 of these over the years. They are all special for different reasons. The XP8 specific parts are made of unobtanium. In most cases the only place to get one is from another XP8. There are several parts that are specific to this vehicle. It is one of two with these front and rear bumper (notice no gills) covers and the carbon fiber rear console. There is also a set of one, maybe two off carbon fiber rear diffuser covers that go with the vehicle but are not currently on the vehicle. They were damaged years ago. This is one special truck and holds a special place in Saleen history. Imagine if you had the chance to buy the first Saleen Mustang.

I have a lot of rare XP8 items that the next owner will have the first chance of refusal to purchase. I will not sell any of them without the vehicle. They include but are not limited to Saleen carbon fiber hood, extra Speedline magnesium wheel, XP8 blanket and throw pillows, Saleen Explorer Banner, NOS set of rear CoCo floor mats, Saleen boost/vacuum and fuel pressure gauges and a full set of Chicane stainless steel lug nuts. In addition, I have magazines, magazine articles, an original copy of the press release and photos featuring this vehicle. I have spent many years collecting this stuff at great time and expense. Any of these items that the new owner decides not to buy will go up for sale in the future.

As can be expected of a 19 year old vehicle that has over 100,000 miles and 4 owners, there are some items that you may want to know about. I tried to get a picture of the ones that could be photographed. There is a scratch on the drivers door, a chip in the paint just above the rear license plate, multiple scuffs on the front bumper, some of the paint has flaked off between the hood and the windshield and just above the windshield, the transmission leaks and is starting to slip under heavy acceleration, the check gauges light is on as soon as it warms up but I have never had any problems with any of the gauges, the fuel reset light is on at idle when it is in park (I believe this is due to the 255 lph Walbro pump in the tank) and the check engine light does not work. I know it is not on because I have always been able to smog it. Maybe the bulb is out or it was disconnected at some point.

I have done my best to describe this truck to the best of my ability. With that said, it is a 19 year old, 107,000 mile vehicle and is sold as is, where is. You are encouraged to come see it in person prior to bidding. I am not interested in any trade and do not need to sell it by any means. I hate to see it set and it deserves to be driven and enjoyed. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have if you are serious about acquiring it.

Good Luck!

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