Tag Archives: Featured

SPP RE-RELEASES 2000-07 SALEEN FOCUS BODY KIT

From our friend Spring Hebler.

Saleen Performance Parts Re-releases the 2000-04 Saleen Focus Styling Kit

Breaking News!

Saleen Performance has just announced they are stocking the 2000-2007 Saleen Focus ground effects kits. These parts are available NOW!

Saleen offered their serialized N20 and S121 production cars in 2004 and 2005. These new styling kits are perfect for the restoration of your 2004-05 Saleen Focus or add the aggressive Saleen styling to your standard Ford Focus.

For details and cost information, please contact Spring Hebler at Saleen Performance via email, shebler@saleenperformance.com or call 800-888-8945 with your name and phone number.

You can also join Saleen Performance on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saleenspeedlab/

Be sure to mention you saw it on the Saleen Forums at soec.org!

Click here to participate in the discussion.

‘PETALUMA’ SALEEN MUSTANG FOUND ON CRAIGSLIST

The early 1985 Saleen Mustangs, produced by a still unknown Saleen Autosport, are mythical creatures onto themselves. These early cars would set the stage for the eventual, successful “production” model as well as create a viable brand with multiple motorsports championships.

If we ignore the 1985 “S” cars, of which I don’t believe any of those have been located, there were about 14 of these early cars. Five of these are known to be black paint vehicles. Most of these “big wing” models with 1984 styling packages are November 1984 to January 1985 vehicles. -DB


1985 Mustang Saleen #26
81,000 Original Miles
all original paint never been in a accident

The last time she was started
It was making a knocking Noise
It was then turned off and not started again

Not sure what’s wrong Could be a Rod
Price is $11,000 firm
Bring a trailer

Email contact info and I’ll get back to you

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/cto/6735205349.html

SPP PRE-ORDER FOR 1999 THROUGH 2009 WHEELS

From our friend Spring Hebler.

Saleen Performance Parts to Reintroduce Wheels for 1999 through 2009 Saleen Mustangs

Breaking News!

Saleen Performance has just announced they are taking pre-orders for these long-obsolete and much-in-demand Saleen Mustang wheel sets for your 1999-04 and 2005-09 Mustang.

Whether it’s the 1999-04 5-spoke, 18″x9″/10″ wheels, or the 2005-09 7-spoke “Wagon Wheel” style, 20″x9″/10″ wheels, pre-order yours today!

Pre-orders must be prepaid, with a production forecast of 5-6 months. Sold in full sets only. Available in standard silver metallic or chrome.

For details and to provide payment information, please contact Spring Hebler at Saleen Performance via email, shebler@saleenperformance.com or call 800-888-8945 with your name, phone number and desired vehicle fitment.

You can also join Spring’s list on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spring.c.hebler

Be sure to mention you saw it on the Saleen Forums at soec.org!

Remember, you must pre-order and pre-pay to help make this happen and to guarantee you get your wheels!

Click here to participate in the discussion.

SALEEN VEHICLE REGISTRY

Comments by: DAVID BRUNO for SOEC

With recent talk of Saleen Registries and ownership histories for vehicles, I will share where SOEC fits into this topic and Jim Dvorak’s efforts.

SOEC began collecting vehicle owner information for a possible registry update in the late 2000s; we started when it became known that Saleen Incorporated “may” have stopped recording ownership transactions with Letters of Authenticity (LOA) orders. Around this time we also learned there may have been four (estimate) units of “lost” 2006 S281 Mustangs. So, this prompted Jim be proactive with collecting as much info as possible with then “current” vehicles by theorizing errors may exist in recordings.

During 2013 I began compiling vehicle and owner data for all serialized Saleen vehicles manufacture from 1984 through 2012, with inclusions of non-serial 2007-08 GT/Supercharged and 2008-09 Racecraft 420s (and those various 2010-12 MJA vehicles). I took a break from the compile project while viewing the late 1990s or early 2000s vehicles. Individuals that were aware of these efforts, did assist to expand the known ownership histories for specific models… such as competition vehicles, SC editions and Anniversary specials. Beyond what had been recorded in past registries.

I hear “talk” of lost data or wasted effort, but that is not accurate. The data SOEC collected was not lost or forgotten.

When Jim began collecting vehicle/owner data, he do so with the idea that this information could be of use for Steve Saleen, his family or current/future company. It also became a way of streamlining possible ownership inquiries for specific vehicles. There was a brief period of time where we were verifying historic Saleen Mustangs daily.

Moving forward, once every two weeks I will have a phone call regarding this topic of “registries,” with questions about the “inside” story and basic thoughts on the topic…

* I have no inside knowledge of the competing registry project.

* I was approached by a 2nd/3rd party to assist in basic ideas of this competing project and I lacked interest.

* I do not support the competing project and will not be registering personal vehicles.

My view. -DB

Click here to participate in the discussion.

RESTORATION COMPLETE: SALEEN S7 03-031R

By: FLORENT MOULIN

We are very proud to present a selection of pictures of the Saleen S7R GT1 chassis 031R after its in-house restoration by Art & Revs. It was a real joy and moment of pride to put the car in our studio after working so hard for such a result.

The great 031R was ordered together with 029R in late 2003 by ACEMCO, an important US company in the motor car industry in the US. The aim was to compete at the highest level in ALMS and Le Mans, notably against the factory Corvettes ran by Pratt & Miller. ACEMCO had by this time built up a fantastic racing team around Ron Mack and Jim Bell.

This legendary car raced in the 2005 ALMS including an 8th overall finish at Sebring 12 Hours and it finished second in the Championship. The pinnacle of its history came certainly in 2006 when it raced at Le Mans 24 hours, finishing an impressive 11th place overall, making 031R the first Saleen to ever finish the world’s most prestigious endurance race. This important result bears testimony to the car’s performance and reliability.

The car was not used in 2007 and 2008, and was sold to Europe in 2009 to be raced in the FIA GT Championship with K Plus K, driven by Karl Wendlinger and Ryan Sharp, notably winning Silverstone’s Tourist Trophy among other motorsport firsts. Back then the competition between Maserati, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Saleen was at its height.

Very few know the S7R’s history and that the first series of S7Rs were actually engineered and built at RML in UK. However the « Evo » version was totally re-engineered by Saleen in their all new factory at Irvine in California, this is where they also built the 4,000 Ford GTs on behalf of Ford. 029R & 031R were the first Evo cars built and accordingly benefited from all new chassis, suspension, gearbox and aero. The Saleen S7 7.0 liter engines were in fact built from Ford`s 5.0 liter « small » block and reliability has always been a real issue. It has to be said that the engines built at Roush-Yates have always been disappointing and notably deprived most of the S7Rs from finishing Le Mans.

In the first stages of their Saleen project, ACEMCO being generously funded, contracted Panoz ( Elan Technologies ) to build up a 7.0 liter version of their largely proven LMP900 engine, originally a 6.0 liter. The Elan 7.0 liter was a total success and ACEMCO would never retire because of an engine failure. In unrestricted specifications, 031R’s engine recently shown 728 HP on the dyno at Elan after its rebuild. Only the two original ACEMCO cars would actually be equipped with the fantastic Elan engine and four units were built.

031R was completely stripped down to its bare components by Art & Revs and meticulously restored and reassembled by our highly skilled staff, most of whom have a large experience in Formula 1 or Endurance.All of the car’s components were reconditioned or replaced in close collaboration with the original suppliers wherever possible, just like the engine which was rebuilt at Elan. For safety purposes, the major components were crack tested.

This highly iconic silver S7R is now ready for new adventures on the historic racing scene and more widely in the classic car world. This is a great part of the Saleen S7R legend, the first all-American supercar to ever compete at Le Mans and in major international championships.

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Art & Revs]

MUSTANG WEEK 2018

PHOTOS: ANGEL MUNIZ

Mustang Week 2018
Mustang Week 2018

[Source: Angel Muniz]

22nd ANNUAL SALEEN CAR SHOW & OPEN HOUSE

PHOTOS: SOEC MEMEBERSHIP

2018 marked the 22nd year of our annual Saleen Show and Open House. This year, attendees were treated to a special presentation for the 2019 SA-35 Mustang. This 35th anniversary edition will exclusively be available in black paint with yellow and white accents. The SA-35 will be limited to a production run of 10 units.

A number of special Saleen vehicles were on display from past model years. Unique and custom paint vehicles as well as previous anniversary editions.

Our festivities closed with an award presentation recognizing attendees with the “longest distance traveled” and top three vehicles in each show class. A festive Saturday enjoyed by all!

We thank the Saleen community for your continued support. See you next year.

Click here to participate in the discussion

[Source: SOEC Membership]

CARLISLE FORD NATIONALS 2018 COVERAGE

We survived Carlisle!!! Held during the first weekend of June in Carlisle Pennsylvania, the Ford Nationals IS the place to be for viewing almost 100 acres of FoMoCo products. 2018 marks our tenth consecutive year hosting Saleen owners during this Pennsylvania landmark event. This year we saw the introduction of Team Saleen as well as an inspired return of both Saleen Automotive and Steve Saleen.

There were an estimated 64 (under 70) Saleen manufactured vehicles on the fairgrounds to proudly display Power In The Hands of a Few to all showgoers. Our collection of Saleen vehicles ranged from the early “four-eyed” 1985-86 editions to the latest trifecta of S302 Black, Yellow and White Labels. With a side dish of those rare vintage XP Explorers and Saleen Foci.

Event support appreciation to Rudy & Betsy Beyer for their effort operating the SOEC tent and appreciation to all participants, enthusiasts and owners that makes this event so exceptional.


Video: SOEC Staff

Saleen display tent
Saleen display tent
2003 S281 Extreme wheel
2003 S281 Extreme wheel
93-0016 Saleen Mustang
93-0016 Saleen Mustang
Custom white leather Recaro Trend seating
Custom white leather Recaro Trend seating

2018 Carlisle Ford Nationals award winners
—————————–

R148 – 1984 – 1993 SALEEN
339 – FRANK LOMBARDI — 1989 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — FIRST PLACE
340 – KARL LAFRANCE — 1993 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — SECOND PLACE
341 – DALE WARNER — 1985 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — THIRD PLACE
—————————–

R149 – 1994 – 2004 SALEEN
342 – JOHNATHAN ELIAS — 2003 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — FIRST PLACE
343 – ANDY BENTINCK-SMITH — 2004 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — SECOND PLACE
344 – NICK YELOVICH — 2001 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — THIRD PLACE
—————————–

R152 – 2005 – 2014 SALEEN
353 – REGINALD SINGLETON — 2008 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — FIRST PLACE
354 – JAY RONCA — 2006 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — SECOND PLACE
* Celebrity Pick Chosen By: Donald Farr Mustang Times — *SPECIAL AWARD*
355 – WAYNE WACHTER — 2014 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — THIRD PLACE
356 – RUDY & BETSY BEYER — 2013 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — *SPECIAL AWARD*
* Celebrity Pick Chosen By: Steve Saleen Saleen Automotive
—————————–

R153 – 2015 – PRESENT SALEEN
357 – JOSEPH DIVITTORIO — 2015 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — FIRST PLACE
358 – KENNETH BAILEY — 2016 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — SECOND PLACE
359 – MICHAEL HARRISON — 2017 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN — THIRD PLACE
* Celebrity Pick Chosen By: Amy Boylan Ford Enthusiast — *SPECIAL AWARD*
—————————–

R154 – SALEEN POWERED
360 – RAMON GOMEZ — 2000 FORD EXPLORER SALEEN — FIRST PLACE
361 – BEN MOURA — 2005 FORD FOCUS SALEEN — SECOND PLACE
362 – ROGER FORTUNE — 1996 FORD EXPLORER XP8 — THIRD PLACE
—————————–

B318 – 2000-2007 FOCUS HATCHBACK (NON SVT)
59 – GREG WACKETT — 2005 FORD FOCUS — SECOND PLACE
—————————–

G201 – 1993 SVT COBRA MUSTANG
132 – PHILIP SCALISE — 1993 FORD MUSTANG — *SPECIAL AWARD*
* Celebrity Pick Chosen By: David Bruno, Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club

Award winning Philip Scalise 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra
Award winning Philip Scalise 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

—————————–
R103 – 1966 MUSTANG – STOCK
199 – ROBERT LARMOUTH — 1966 FORD MUSTANG — *SPECIAL AWARD*
* Celebrity Pick Chosen By: Rudy Beyer, Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club

Click here to participate in the discussion.

COMPANY WEEK: SALEEN AUTOMOTIVE INC.

2019 Saleen 1 with Steve Saleen
2019 Saleen 1 with Steve Saleen

By: DAN SANCHEZ on March 27, 2018 at 10:02 am MDT
Original Article: COMPANYWEEK.COM

Saleen Automotive Inc.
www.saleenautomotive.com
Corona, CA
Founded 1984
Employees: 50
Privately Owned
Industry: Industrial/Equipment
Products: Automobile Original Equipment Manufacturer

Amy Boylan continues to build on Steve Saleen’s performance automobile brand using social media and lean manufacturing practices.

Amy Boylan’s path to a leadership role at California’s iconic Saleen Automotive is a road well traveled — mostly by men. But after a stint as president and COO at Shelby American and COO at West Coast Customs, Boylan’s less focused on glass ceilings than she is on stewarding an enduring brand that’s broken the rules of American automotive OEMs by transforming iconic automotive platforms into custom, high-performance machines.

Amy Boylan COO Saleen Automotive
Amy Boylan COO Saleen Automotive

“Steve Saleen has built a legacy and a brand that has lasted more than 34 years,” says Boylan, president and COO at Saleen Automotive since June 2017. “That’s what attracted me to the company. He’s weathered both good and bad times, but the automobiles he’s created remain collectible and beautiful, making the brand timeless.”

Enduring some ups and downs over the years, the car manufacturer has never stopped producing vehicles and aftermarket accessories. “Steve developed a car every single year for 34 years,” says Boylan. The company is most commonly known for its Saleen 302 on the Mustang platform, a high performance version of the Ford Mustang with a redesigned body, drivetrain and interior that delivers higher performance.

“Steve also built the S7, the first American supercar which has its own extensive history winning races,” says Boylan. “The new S1 is his latest design, an affordable supercar that can reach 180 mph. We like to call it – a sports car with a supercar pedigree.” Because of these achievements and capabilities, the company is recognized as an original equipment manufacturer, not a tuner. “We are an OEM,” says Boylan. “We’re like a smaller high-end company like Porsche or Ferrari. We get pre-titled vehicles from dealers but we go through all the required testing that all OEMs do.”

Saleen S7 LM Edition
Saleen S7 LM Edition

The market has been good lately, and the company continues to grow with its manufacturing roots in California. “Everything is done here in Southern California,” says Boylan. “From the design, engineering, and even getting additional parts from local suppliers.” To improve efficiency, Boylan adopted station building, a technique first developed by Toyota. “When you station-build, you can figure out who is doing things correctly, and who needs more training,” says Boylan. “Teams sign off on a vehicle when it leaves their station and they own that build. Then everything goes under post inspection. If there’s something that goes wrong, and we see it being repeated, we can retrain or re-educate the team. This is important when you’re expanding the lines and taking the company to the next level.”

Boylan points out that Saleen’s way of building vehicles isn’t the same as having a bunch of workers bolting on parts. “Most mechanics and car builders have their own way of doing things. That may not work well here so we retrain,” says Boylan. “Steve is adamant about keeping records and keeping manufacturing consistent. Everything has to be exact.”

Saleen interior design - Saleen Automotive
Saleen interior design – Saleen Automotive

The company also works with many vendors who must maintain that same high level of quality on their end. “We tell our vendors what we expect and show them the quality that it has to be,” says Boylan. “Everything must be done well and consistent. We look at every part that comes in and can send parts back to our vendors, so they can make it right. Steve believes, and I agree, that we have to touch everything so that the vehicle looks and sounds like a Saleen.”

Boylan realizes that keeping the brand growing involves embracing social media on many levels. The company has Facebook and Instagram pages, and she personally engages online to speak with vehicle owners. “We have customers who have a 1984 Saleen and we still make parts for those cars,” says Boylan. “We still support and talk to them. It’s important to talk to customers who have kept loyal to the brand.”

Ford GT, Saleen 1, Saleen S7 Competition
Ford GT, Saleen 1, Saleen S7 Competition

Needs: “You can never have enough equipment and people,” says Boylan. “In this area of California, it’s hard to find workers. Where we are now, in Corona, California, it’s a great place for a middle-class lifestyle, but not the best place to find executive level employment. Most people at that level are transplants and that’s sometimes difficult.

Challenges: “Trying to grow at the speed we need,” says Boylan. “We have turned a corner and are trying to keep up with a growing demand. We have created licensing deals with China to build vehicles over there, but all cars for North America will be designed, engineered, and built in the U.S. There are people here building to design stuff overseas. It’s the same for anyone building a car from scratch.”

Opportunities: “Steve has never been pigeonholed into one thing,” says Boylan. “He helped build the Ford GT for Ford, He also helped with the Dodge Viper. He’s brilliant in finding new opportunities. The new Saleen 1 (S1) for example breaks the mold for a $100K carbon fiber sports car that can reach 180 mph.”

Saleen Automotive, Corona CA
Saleen Automotive, Corona CA

[Source: CompanyWeek]

HAGERTY: FOX-BODY SALEEN MUSTANGS

Fox-body Saleen Mustangs: Why I’m buying them

By: COLIN COMER on November 27, 2017
Original Article: HAGERTY.COM

I saw a 1988 Saleen Mustang heading to the block at Barrett-Jackson. Not just any Saleen, but serial number 01—the one that was a development mule and appeared in all of the brochures. It was even a magazine test car and then Steve Saleen’s personal car. I followed it to the block and stood there as it bounced around numbers I thought seemed very cheap considering the car’s pedigree. I bid. And three minutes later the crack of the auctioneer’s hammer declared me the owner of 1988 Saleen #01.

1988 Saleen Mustang (serial #01)
1988 Saleen Mustang (serial #01)

Think Carroll Shelby was the only racer who hopped up Mustangs that went on to win championships? Nope. Steve Saleen did the same thing a couple of decades later with his Fox-body Saleen Mustangs. Starting in 1984, and using a similar formula to what Shelby employed on the original 1965–66 GT350s, Saleen focused on chassis, suspension, and braking upgrades to the factory Mustang. Shelby called it making “a racehorse out of a mule.”

And once again, it worked.

Steve Saleen and his Saleen Mustangs took home many racing wins, including the 24 Hours of Mosport (an SCCA Endurance Championship race) three years in a row, from 1986–88. The Saleen Mustang team won the 1987 SCCA Escort Endurance Championship Driver, Team, and Manufacturer titles for the series, and in 1993 the Saleen Mustang team placed third and fifth in the SCCA World Challenge championship. Not bad for a racer-turned-manufacturer that started with a car with decidedly humble beginnings. The 5.0-liter Fox Mustang was great, and it brought real performance back to the masses. But at the end of the day it was, well…still a 1978 Fairmont underneath.

In the 20 years between Shelby hot-rodding 1965 K Code Mustangs and Saleen attempting the same with 1984 Mustangs, a few more hurdles cropped up. Gone were the days of manufacturers freely swapping intakes, carburetors, and exhaust systems with any aftermarket parts they wanted. Saleen couldn’t do any engine modifications if he wanted to avoid trouble with the EPA, so he left the engine, exhaust, and drivetrain alone during his conversions. The upshot was that this preserved Ford’s factory warranty, which was another important aspect. Saleen did add a stiffened Racecraft suspension, custom wheels, sticky General tires, and a body kit that not only looked cool but likely offered some degree of aerodynamic benefit. As the years went on, Saleen slowly ramped up the modifications to include five-lug wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, and further interior upgrades, including trick Flofit front seats.

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

In its day, the Saleen Mustang was a pretty stout package that also came with undeniable street cred. It earned that reputation in no small part because, like the original Shelby Mustangs, the Saleen was an obtainable giant-killer. An underdog that punched well above its weight. A better, exclusive version of the 5.0-liter Mustang that was already the car everybody wanted.

And I was on that list. In the 1980s there was a Ford dealership situated between my grade school and my parents’ house. I wandered that lot at least once a day, oftentimes twice. In doing so I became friends with the lowest men on that dealership’s totem pole, guys I thought had the perfect job—the lot boys and the “get ready” car prep guys. These dudes had it made, at least as far as I was concerned. They were the first to drive the new cars in from the transport trucks, and they got to unwrap, clean, and drive them around some more! Well, at least to the front line or up the ramp to the second floor storage lot. Which was conveniently lubricated with years worth of tire dressing. Hmmm.

In 1983, the Mustang GTs started rolling in. In ’84, the new “GT350” limited-production specials came out. I was a kid so I had no idea they were a “GT350” in name only, or that Shelby was going after Ford for trademark infringement. Yet as cool as they looked, they just didn’t have the bite to match their visual bark. Then came electronic fuel injection and roller camshafts, and the continuous development of the 5.0-liter that made it into a killer. The burnouts these new 225-horsepower cars could do on the ramp made that very clear.

1987 Saleen Mustang front 3/4
1987 Saleen Mustang front 3/4
1988 Saleen Mustang Convertible and 1987 Saleen Mustang Hatchback
1988 Saleen Mustang Convertible and 1987 Saleen Mustang Hatchback

By this time I was off to high school and in possession of a crisp new driver’s license. That, of course, heightened my awareness of what car I’d buy if I won the lottery. I got my answer instantly upon seeing an episode of Motorweek in early 1988, when a new Saleen Mustang was tested. It was white with blue stripes, and John Davis couldn’t say enough good things about it. It was a “racer for the street” and showed “just how much more a Mustang could be.” The Saleen also trounced the new ASC McLaren Mustang the Saleen went up against in the test. And this alone really sealed the deal, since a kid in my high school had received an ASC McLaren convertible from his parents. Oh, to get a Saleen and have the chance to heads-up race that oblivious kid from the other side of the tracks! It was the stuff of dreams. One, like many, that would have to wait.

Fast-forward a few more decades, to the point when I found myself at that certain age when nostalgia suddenly becomes more of an issue. I watched as Fox-body 5.0-liter Mustangs, new cars in my formative years, became collectible, and I started looking for one in earnest. Then I saw a 1988 Saleen Mustang heading to the block at Barrett-Jackson. Not just any Saleen, but serial number 01—the one that was a development mule and appeared in all of the brochures. It was even a magazine test car and then Steve Saleen’s personal car. I followed it to the block and stood there as it bounced around numbers I thought seemed very cheap considering the car’s pedigree. I bid. And three minutes later the crack of the auctioneer’s hammer declared me the owner of 1988 Saleen #01.

They say never meet your heroes, but the Saleen didn’t disappoint when I drove it. It was a riot. Everything a good Fox-body car should be but far more raw, with a punishingly stiff Racecraft suspension. It drives just like you’d expect a slightly more modern early Shelby to drive, but with A/C, power steering, and really good brakes. It has just enough power to drive it tail-out almost anywhere you want, making freeway ramps into all kinds of sideways fun. And the car is very well balanced and predictable, at least on smooth roads.

1987 Saleen Mustang - courtesy of Colin Comer
1987 Saleen Mustang – courtesy of Colin Comer

All of this fun with #01 led me to look at other Fox Body Saleens as they came up for sale. For the price of one vintage Shelby Mustang you could fill an airplane hangar full of them. I focused on 1987–89 model years primarily because they combined five-lug wheels, the Flofit interior, and also pre-dated the airbag steering wheel that arrived in 1990. The earlier “four-eyed” Saleen Mustangs from 1984–86, of course, are also desirable because of their even smaller production numbers, unique early features such as three-piece front air dams, 15-inch wheels, and other details that show how the cars (and production) evolved quickly. Plus, the 1984-86 cars feature the arguably more attractive quad headlights with cool Saleen-installed Plexiglas covers.

Ground Effect Kit 90-93 Saleen Mustang SC
Ground Effect Kit 90-93 Saleen Mustang SC
Ground Effect Kit 88-89 Saleen Mustang SSC
Ground Effect Kit 88-89 Saleen Mustang SSC

A handful of years later, the heritage, affordable cost of entry, and off-the-charts fun factor has resulted in a herd of Saleens following me home (six, at this writing, to be exact). Insanity? I don’t think so, and here’s my defense: Again, much like those first Shelby Mustangs, Saleen was a small manufacturer finding its way with a specialized product. The conversion also wasn’t cheap; in 1987 it was a roughly $7,500 more than the base Mustang LX 5.0-liter’s $13,000 base price. As a result the production numbers are very low, totaling just hundreds each year. And, very much in parallel with Shelbys, every Saleen Mustang is serialized and can be documented, in this case by contacting Saleen directly. Club support is fantastic as well; Saleen owners are a passionate group who love their cars. Both bode well for the future of these cars because the fakes are being filtered out and the good cars are being cherished.

Which brings me to another point: The attrition rate for Saleen Mustangs is surprisingly high, either as a result of wrecks, thefts, or simply cars falling into the wrong hands or being destroyed by modifications. So as the market matures and collectors seek out truly elite-grade examples, the few examples of great, stock, low mileage Saleens that remain among the original limited production run protect the model’s future value.

The best part? Right now a good early Saleen carries a very small premium over what some of the best Fox-body 5.0-liter Mustangs are bringing. It seems as close to a no-brainer proposition as there is, especially in today’s increasingly hot 1980s collector car market. Even though prices have noticeably jumped in the last three years or so, you’re not too late to the Saleen party. There are still pretty fantastic Saleens for under $30K, and it’s possible to stumble on a great deal for much less. I’ve seen nice “driver-level” cars which sell for as little as $15K, but I have also noticed the supply dwindle considerably in the last two years. And we all know how the law of supply and demand works.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not predicting people will get rich off these things in the near future. But I sure think in another 10 to 20 years there will be another comparison to draw between Shelby and Saleen Mustangs—that they both really hit their stride value-wise when they turned 40. And even if I’m totally wrong about that, I don’t think anybody who buys one will complain after the fun they’ll have with it in the years to come.

And that’s why I’m still buying them.

P.S. If you have a really great Saleen for sale, please disregard all of the above. Just contact me so I can buy your car.

[Source: Hagerty]