Tag Archives: Mustang

SALEEN MUSTANGS NOW AVAILABLE AT BUDGET RENT A CAR

By: DAVE BURNETT on November 1, 1996
Original Article: AFTERMARKET BUSINESS, VOL. 106, ISSUE 11

Saleen Performance is offering its own fully serialized Saleen S281 Mustangs through Team Budget Rent A Car franchises. Like the collectible Shelby GT-350H cars, each S281 will have its own serial number beginning at 01B, with the “B” designating it as a vehicle from the Budget Rent A Car fleet.

Team Budget will rent Saleen S281 Mustangs at selected locations. Thirty 1996 models will be available beginning in August at selected Team Budget’s Southern California, Arizona and Nevada offices. The program will be expanded in October 1996 with an additional 100 Saleen S281 Mustangs to be dispersed throughout the country. By Spring 1998, Saleen Performance expects to have a total of 300 Saleen Mustangs available for rent at Team Budget locations nationwide.

“We first tested the rental car market by providing several cars to Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car earlier this year. These cars were so popular with Mustang enthusiasts and tourists, that the cars were always on rent,” says Steve Saleen, president of Saleen Performance. “We then decided to pursue rentals further and reached an exclusive agreement with Team Budget as the official rent-a-car company for Saleen Performance.”

Like the Shelby/Hertz deal, the Team Budget program will allow buyers the opportunity to test drive a Saleen Mustang before purchasing one. Saleen Mustangs are sold only through selected certified Saleen Ford dealerships across the country.

“Having Saleen Mustangs at rental car agencies is a great opportunity to reach new consumers,” adds Saleen.

The Saleen S281-B Mustang sports its own 18-in. magnesium alloy wheels and tires, complete Racecraft suspension, Saleen designed air management and extensive features such as a Saleen Performance air filter, spark plug wires, close ratio shifter, and a Saleen exhaust system. The S281 features Ford’s newest 4.6 liter, 215 HP modular engine. The cars will be available primarily as a convertible with sport bar and coupes at some locations.

Team Budget owns and operates numerous Budget Rent a Car franchises with a total of 161 locations engaged in car, truck and passenger van rentals in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The company also operates airport parking facilities at certain locations, leases vans for pooling operations in 22 states and markets retail used vehicles in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Richmond, three locations in Southern California, four locations in Indianapolis and two locations in Dayton.

Saleen Performance, the internationally-known specialty vehicle manufacturer of high-performance Mustangs, is based in Irvine, California. Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced more than 4,000 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. The company’s line includes Saleen Mustangs and Saleen Performance Parts, the latter a complete line of performance and appearance products for 5.0 liter Mustangs.

MUSTANG PLUS MUSCLES

By: MICHAEL J. AGOVINO on October 1996
Original Article: ESQUIRE, VOL. 126 ISSUE 4

Steve Saleen takes garden-variety Ford Mustangs and turns I them into street rods. But not very many of them. His motto is unabashed: “Power in the hands of a few.” Not long ago, we decided to join those few behind the wheel.

Since 1984, the former race-car driver has produced only thirty-five hundred of these babies. Saleen’s current offerings begin at a remarkably low $28,000 for a six. cylinder and range up to $50,000 for a supercharged eight. The supercharger of the new Speedster convertible boosts the output of the 351-cubic-inch Saleen engine to 480 horses.

Saleen takes most of the Mustangs’ innards out, along with significant weight. He adds superchargers, specially rebuilt engines, and new suspensions and transmissions; reshapes the bodies; and adds instrument panels with speedometers that reach two hundred miles per hour.

Limited-edition manufacturers, such as Saleen on the West Coast and Reeves Callaway on the East, are reclaiming a piece of American auto turf once thought long gone: that of the street-legal race car. Callaway’s demurely titled “SuperNatural” Corvettes and gussied-up Impala SS’s are rare and impressive beasts.

That there is little that’s socially redeeming about these vehicles is argued by the stiff gas-guzzler tax they carry; that there is much that’s personally redeeming is suggested by time in a Saleen’s Recaro driver’s seat, as we discovered when we drove it.

The g forces induced during the five brief seconds it took me to reach sixty miles per hour were only the most obvious of the sensations the car produced. On the quiet back road where we drove the Saleen, we learned that muscle today in cars, as in the NFL, means not just speed but quickness and moves. These the Saleen provided aplenty, thanks to suspension built around race-car struts, which let you dip and doodle, juke and jag happily. On the country blacktop, curve succeeded curve, and the Saleen settled into a rhythm at once aggressive and controlled.

Saleen’s cars look different, too, with blacked-out taillights and headlights that lend the vehicles a face like the Charlotte Hornet mascot’s. And they have the refinement of racers, not muscle cars: The brakes behind the body-colored eighteen-inch wheels are fully a match for the engine–sure in their grip, steady in their modulation.

The only danger is of ostentation: Saleens have become so well-known that six were offered as prizes in a recent McDonald’s sweepstakes.

Pop’s Hops
It sounds apocryphal. Jasper Johns heard what Willem de Kooning said about art dealer Leo Castelli: “You can give that son of a bitch two beer cans and he could sell them.” Ah, Johns thought, and with that sculptured Painted Bronze (left)–two years before Warhol’s soup cans. When you visit the Johns retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art this fall-his first in nearly twenty years–put the headset down and savor his immortalization of the prosaic. Notice, too, John’s paradoxes: how one can is open, the other closed, and, look closely, is one a hair taller? De Kooning, of course, was right. Castelli did sell the cans–for $1,000.

SALEEN S351: PONY EXPRESS

By: PARNELLI JONES on September 23, 1996
Original Article: FORBES FYI, VOL. 158, ISSUE 7

The Saleen Mustang may be street legal, but it feels every inch a race car

I HAD BEEN AT INDIANAPOLIS FOR THE 500. It’s always a great week down on pit row, or sitting up there in the stands watching time trials. But if you’re an old racer like me, you start to get the itch to be out on the track yourself. People still ask me how it feels tearing down that straightaway and into Turn One at Indy, and I always tell them the most apt description I ever heard: it’s like driving down the street at 200 miles an hour and turning left into your driveway. Not for everybody,! suppose. But, for me, a great feeling.

The itch was still pretty bad when! got home to Los Angeles. And that’s when I got a call asking if I’d like to drive up to the Willow Springs race track out near Mojave and try out the new Saleen Mustang on a closed course. It’s a pretty safe track since there’s not much to hit in the desert except sagebrush if you go off the asphalt. Sounded like just the cure to me.

The Saleen Mustang is named after Steve Saleen, himself a former race driver who went on to become a team owner and builder. So he knows something about the serious driver. The car he builds is so tough and fast, even George Foreman has one.

So, what’s a Saleen? Well, basically Steve’s company orders a select number of stock Mustang GT 5.0s each year from the Dearborn plant where they’re made. Then a team of technicians takes each car apart, throwing a lot of the factory parts away and installing custom replacements. Changing one of these Ponies over from top to bottom takes about 120 hours. They’ll add a new camshaft, cylinder heads and intake manifold to the engine, for example. And by the time they’re done, it’s about 75% more powerful than the car that left the Ford factory. (Since they upped the power to about 150 hp, they had to add a new speedometer as well; the new one goes up to 200 mph.)

It was about 103 degrees the day I got out to Willow Springs, two hours north of L.A. I used to run the course years ago, and I also used to scramble trucks and dirt bikes up in the hills around the track, so I know the area pretty well. It’s real scrub country out that way, but I love it.

When I got behind the wheel of the Saleen, the car sure didn’t look or feel like your basic Five-Oh anymore. They’ve added Recaro racing seats–real buckets–that are comfortable and come up high along your butt so you really feel supported in the car. The gear shift has a closer ratio, and the gauge cluster on the dash has a white background that is easier to read than the usual black.

Now, whenever you test a new car it’s always a good idea to inch your way up to speed little by little. So I hit the track at about 100 mph, and then started concentrating on going fast.

Saleen has changed a lot more on this car than just the engine. (Each car is so altered from the machines that come out of the factory, in fact, that Saleen is legally registered as a manufacturer.) The chassis has been pretty well tuned up, and they’ve replaced the springs and struts. They’ve added a sway bar, side skirts, and a rear wing and front spoiler, so at 120 to 130 the ground effects combine to provide good stability on the track. None of the slipping and sliding you’d expect from a street vehicle.

The Willow Springs track has got one long high-speed corner just before you pass the pit area on the straightaway, and it’s in high-speed corners that a car’s true colors will come out (and this car comes in quite a few crazy colors). A lot of people don’t know that handling high-speed curves is the toughest job a race driver has. In fact, they think driving an oval course is just “going around in Circles.” But nothing could be more wrong. Tight, slow curves might look more dramatic because the driver is throwing the car all over the place, but in a high-speed curve you’ve got to hold the car out there on the edge. You make any mistakes and you won’t be easily forgiven. And that’s where the Saleen came through. The model I drove was a 35I, so it had a lot of torque to begin with, and the supercharger gave it even more top end. The harder! got on it, the better it handled.

Coming to the end of that high-speed turn at 110 mph, I down-shifted into third. The gear was a little hard to find–my one complaint about the car–but when I tapped the brakes I knew right away that they were better than anything that came with the Ford stock package. Much better. Saleen will install four-piston calipers with 13-inch disks. Plus, they’ve added big 18-inch wheels and ram-air intakes, which means you get much-needed cooling on each wheel.

All in all, Saleen has put a lot of thought into the car, and it’s really fun to drive. You look at the price range it falls into and, well, it may sound high, but considering what you get it’s not out of sight. There are two basic packages: the 281 engine that starts at about ,29,000, and the 351 engine, the one I drove, for about $43,000. Add-ons here and there can put the price up over *50,000, but to a lot of folks it’ll be worth it, and they’re the same folks who won’t mind putting premium fuel in every trip to the gas station.

You know, race cars are built strictly for that: racing. They’re too ugly to run on the street. The beauty of the Saleen is that it feels like a race car, but once you throttle back it becomes a street car again, smartly laid out and quiet inside. In fact, when I came off the track at Willow Springs, I cranked up the radio and the air conditioning and was ready to head home on the freeway.

But then I decided that I wasn’t quite ready.! had spent the afternoon going clockwise around the track, and since there was plenty of daylight left, I thought I’d spend a little time doing counterclockwise laps. Driving backwards; it’s just another one of those itches some old racers get from time to time.

For dealers: 800-SALEEN-4; or hook up on the ‘Net at www. saleen.com.

SALEEN PERFORMANCE UNVEILS SALEEN SPEEDSTER

For Immediate Release

Saleen S351 Speedster
Saleen S351 Speedster

480 Horsepower, High-Performance Vehicle
Is Latest Edition to Expanding Line of High-performance Mustangs

IRVINE, CA – Saleen Performance, a specialty vehicle manufacturer, has announced the introduction of the Saleen Speedster, one of the latest edition of its expanding line of limited production performance Mustangs. Capable of generating up to 480 HP, the Speedster is the most powerful U.S.-produced automobile.

Speedster standard features include a 351 cubic-inch, 371 HP, Saleen engine with aluminum cylinder heads, Saleen intake manifold, Saleen headers, and a Saleen/Boria stainless steel exhaust system. A Tremec 5-speed transmission, and a custom-balanced drive-shaft upgrade the drive-line, and 18 inch magnesium wheels and tires, 4-piston competition style Saleen/Alcon disc brakes with 13 inch front rotors, a four core radiator, and dual electric fuel
pumps round out the performance enhancements. A Vortech supercharger boosts output to 480 HP, lowering zero to 60 times to 4.7 seconds, and 12.9 seconds in the quarter-mile.

“The Saleen Speedster is our answer to transforming a convertible into a sophisticated high-performance two-seater,” said Steve Saleen, president of Saleen Performance. “We wanted to incorporate certain racing aerodynamics of the Saleen Mustang such as the carbon fiber hood and the Speedster tonneau cover for the convertible model. In addition, we wanted it to be more of an exclusive body style for us.”

Extensive Saleen exterior aerodynamic refinements and a Saleen restyled interior, complete with Saleen sports seating, a white instrument gauge cluster with a 200 mph speedometer, Saleen leather wrapped steering wheel and leather gear shift knob are complemented by the convertible‘s hard cover Speedster tonneau, specially-designed carbon fiber hood and a light bar that attaches from side to side.

Suggested retail price for Saleen’s Speedster is $48,500, available through selected Team Saleen Ford dealerships across the country. For a list of Team Saleen Ford Dealers, contact Saleen Performance at 9 Whatney, Irvine, CA 92718, or call (800) SALEEN-4.

Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced nearly 3,500 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. The company’s line includes Saleen Mustangs and Saleen Performance Parts, the latter a complete line of performance and appearance products for 5.0 liter Mustangs.

Contact: Kim Seguin
JMPR: (818) 992-4353

SALEEN PERFORMANCE CARS
9 WHATNEY
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA 92718
714-597-4900
741-597-0201 FAX