Tag Archives: Saleen

GENUINE FORD PEOPLE: JOHN McCAULEY

JOHN McCAULEY
JOHN McCAULEY

By: BOB McCLURG on June, 1993
Original Article: MUSTANG ILLUSTRATED AND HIGH PERFORMANCE FORD

JOHN McCAULEY

When John McCauley purchased his Saleen Mustang in 1990, he was like many other Saleen buyers – interested in high performance! John had owned two Mustang GTs in, and although both were fine cars, he openly admits that he wasn’t quite ready for “the Saleen Experience”.

A self-titled “old-fart-throwback” from the Sixties musclecar era, John began a life-long association, or “life-long commitment,” to cars with the purchase of an MGA roadster which promptly broke down five miles from the dealership. McCauley feels the MG experience was “a young man’s fantasy gone astray over the needs of an automobile.” By the time he sold the car to trade up to a more practical “family” car, he had the little import running like a fine Swiss watch.

However, John’s idea of a family car was anything but your typical station wagon. A special order 1967 Chevy Nova two door with 275 hp/327, 4-speed, Posi rear and front disc brakes was what John McCauley thought a family car should be. He fondly remembers both drag racing and slaloming the car while stationed with the US. Navy in Pensacola, Florida. It was there that John got his first taste of what a “real” car – namely a Ford Mustang – was all about. “I remember I was always coming up short against this one Mustang at the local Corvette Club slaloms. I sold the Nova to a friend for far more than what it was worth, and purchased my first Mustang, a 1969 Mach-1. “Man that thing flat flew”!

John’s conversion to Ford products firmly took hold. With a growing family, his next car was a 1971 Gran Torino. That would be his last high-performance car for a while, that is, until 1984 when he purchased his first Mustang GT. McCauley drove the GT until 1988, and then passed it on to his daughter with the arrival of an even newer GT. John soon learned that the feeling a late-model Mustang gives you is, “like no other, stopping short of the standard reference to sex”, and he found himself continuously testing his the prowess of every “bowtie” he ran up against.

With Saleen ownership came the desire to join some type of Saleen enthusiast’s organization. Answering an advertisement for the Saleen Registry in a magazine, McCauley soon found himself becoming extremely involved in the club, to the extent that he was eventually elected to the office of Vice President. Unfortunately, the Registry was underfunded and politically constricted leaving McCauley looking for something else. “As it (the club) was on its way out in 1991, I called Saleen, and decided to express my interest in forming a national club.” The Saleens were skeptical, and Steve basically told John “don’t tell me, show me!”

With the gauntlet thrown down, John organized the first Saleen outing to the Ford Motorsport Nationals (Maple Grove, Pennsylvania) followed by yet another at the US. Ford Nationals at National Trails Raceway in Columbus, Ohio. Similar meetings were also staged at the Saleen Performance Parts “Cruisin’ the Queen” car show in Long Beach, California, and at Watkins Glen, New York. It was at the ‘Glen that McCauley again met with the Saleens, and was given their official blessing. Hence the Saleen Owner’s and Enthusiast’s Club (SOEC) was born.

“Our long term goals are to establish a comprehensive registry of our Saleens, maintain sources for “obsolete” Saleen parts, provide sponsorship for show and track events, and to promote ownership of our vehicles. Our deepest hope is that we can document the history of these cars and trucks while the information is still current instead of having to resurrect it some twenty years later!” Go to it John!

SALEEN PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCE 1993 MODEL LINEUP

Contact: Steve Saleen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LONG BEACH, CA, September 30, 1992. . . . Steve Saleen and Saleen Performance Parts are proud to announce the lineup of the 1993 Saleen Mustangs, GT Sport and Saleen Sportrucks. 1993 celebrates the 1oth model year of the Saleen Mustang and promises to be the best Saleen Mustang yet! New for 1993 is the 50 state legal, Vortech/Saleen supercharger that will produce 325+ hp. We have also added our own design 17″ wheel and have restyled the front air dam and graphics.

The Saleen Mustang SC is producing well over 400hp using the supercharger and Dart II cylinder heads. Large Brembo 4 piston caliper brakes and a Tremec/Saleen 5 speed transmission are also new for 1993.

After a brief association with Cars and Concepts building the cars in St. Louis, Mo., and many false promises and representations from an investment group (Saleen Enterprises), Saleen has decided to take more of a “hands on” approach to the sale and building of the vehicles. This will be done under Saleen Performance with offices and production based in Long Beach, CA. The new address and telephone number are:

Saleen Performance
1827 Ximeno Ave.
Suite 310
Long Beach, CA 90815
(310) 424-8065

For additional information regarding vehicle test drive scheduling please feel free to contact us directly at the above number.

Click here to participate in the discussion.

SALEEN PERFORMANCE PARTS GRAND OPENING

The staff at Saleen Performance Parts, Inc. would like to cordially invite our southern California retail customers to a special preview of our new retail showroom/ installation center on Saturday February 23rd, from 8:30AM to 5:00PM. Our new location is 3080 29th Street, Long Beach, CA. 90606.

Stop in and see our Saleen Mustangs on display, visit the guys and check out the latest in high performance Mustang conversions, parts and accessories.

Among the scheduled event for the day will be:

  • Door prizes awarded every hour
  • Technical seminars on:
  • * Suspension improvements
  • * Engine/ driveline performance
  • * Performance driving tips by Steve Saleen
  • A complete “while you watch” Saleen suspension installation
  • Steve Saleen autographed t-shirts and posters
  • Food and drink (free popcorn)

The events begin at 8:30AM so come join in the fun and help celebrate the opening of promises to be the new standard of excellence in Mustang performance installations!!!

ESCORT ENDURANCE SERIES FINALE

ANAHEIM, CA., October 20, 1989… The final round of the Escort Endurance Series took place October 14th at the new Heartland Park facility in Topeka, Kansa.

The #20 General Tire Saleen Mustang driven by Calvin Fish and Paul Dallenbach qualified sixth in the grid with an average speed of 75 mph around the 2.6-mile track. When the green flag dropped, starter Dallenbach kept the Saleen Mustang in contention. Fish, who also drove in the Racetruck Challenge and Formula series races, took over the driving duties on lap 33 and grabbed the lead on lap 42.

The Saleen performed flawlessly until two hours and twenty minutes into the four-hour battle when the #20 pitted for a costly brake change. Dallenbach brought the Saleen across the finish line sixth in class, despite driving his last stint with no clutch and only fourth gear.

In end of the year Championship standings the Saleen Mustang #20 finished forth with 100 points and first among the Fords in the Manufacturers standings.

The Saleen Racetrucks, driven by Trans Am Champion Dorsey Schroeder, filling in for Steve Saleen who was participating in the Indy Car event at Laguna Seca, Dallenbach and Fish farad better on the windy weekend than the Mustang Raceteam.

After consistently quick practice lap times, Dallenbach, Schroeder and Fish qualified their General Tire Ford Rangers fourth, sixth and eighth, all within hundredths of a second of the pole. After the inversion of the top six, Schroeder held the pole with Dallenbach directly behind. Into the first turn, Schroeder and Nissan independent Chuck Hemmingson made contact and spun forcing both to the back of the pack. Fish took over the lead on lap nine of the action packed raw followed by a two-some of anxious Jeeps who passed Fish two laps later.

After 15 of 20 laps, the Jeeps of the Archer Brothers were in the led followed by Fish, Dallenbach and Schroeder. One lap from the finish, Fish waived Dallenbach by in an attempt to pursue the Jeeps, who following post-race technical inspection were disqualified for illegal motors and stripped of all points and prize money.

The Saleen Team was awarded points and prize money for first, second and third and for his admirable pursuit of the field after his first lap incident, Schroeder was awarded the Rugged Liner “Move of the Race” Award.

THE BIG CHILL – COOL WEATHER, HOT BRAKES

ANAHEIM, CA., October 4, 1989… Just two short weeks after the Atlanta event, the Saleen Mustangs were again on the racetrack, this time at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton, Illinois for a three-hour enduro, the first professional race at this facility.

Steve Saleen was on hand for his last drive of the season in the Endurance Series as he will be at Laguna Seca campaigning his Indy Car while the Mustangs are at their last event of 1989.

Saleen was joined in car #20 by Paul Dallenbach while Calvin Fish and Kees Nierop assumed their regular driving duties in #19. Dallenbach qualified the General Tire Saleen Mustang second on the grid, just three positions ahead of his teammates.

In addition to the first frost of the season and temperatures in the 30’s, the Saleen team was once again agonized with brake failure that led to the early retirement of Saleen #20 as well as #19 soon thereafter. Fish and Nierop had taken control of the event before the brake demise. When the checkered flag flew, the Saleen Mustangs were sixth and seventh in class.

The finale of the 1989 Escort Endurance Series will take place October 11 at the new Heartland Park facility in Topeka, Kansas.

HOT AUGUST NIGHTS

ANAHEIM, CA., August 28, 1989… Night racing was the order of the month. But the month began in Connecticut at Lime Rock Park on August 5th. The Saleen Mustangs #19 and #29 were prepared for a three-hour enduro.

With a total of eight lead changes, Dorsey Schroeder and Paul Dallenbach finished only 20 seconds behind the #37 Camaro for a second place, finish. Keess Neirop and Calvin Fish were also on the lead lap and finished a very close third. After 4 races this season, this was the closest finish to date.

The next venue for August began our quest for “hot laps'” in the dark. On August 12 and 13 the Saleen Team returned to Mosport Park in Ontario, Canada to try to recapture the victory of the 24 Hours of Mosport. With perfect weather our ally, broken spindles our enemy, the team struggled through the night leading – then not leading until one too my brake failures, kept the team from a repeat win. The #19 Saleen Mustang succumbed early to a 1 ½ hour engine replacement pit stop due to a rock through the radiator. “Just completing s 24 hour race is a great accomplishment, especially with the problems we dealt with,” said team owner and driver, Steve Saleen. “The crew worked especially hard to keep the cars safe and running as hart as they could.” The results of 5th and 9th for the 2-car team were disappointing but kept the team in the top Ford position.

How about Saturday night, 10:00 under the lights, 5/8 mile banked oval in the “Heart of the South”? Sounds like a truck race to me! Nine Nissans and three Fords showed up to play. Steve Saleen was the fastest of the fast with Pete Halsmer and Calvin Fish showing the off-shore boys their taillights throughout practice and qualifying.

After the starter gave the Nissans a 3-truck head start at the flag, the Ford formation had a run toward the front. Right front tire wear was a dangerous complication suffered by every competitor.

After nudged into the wall, Saleen worked his way back to second place at the finish with Fish a close third. Halsmer had a pit stop which too him out of the run.

Next stop for the Mustangs and Rangers will be Road Atlanta, September 9th and 10th.

THE CALIFORNIA EDITION

SALEEN AUTOSPORT
4955 E. HUNTER AVENUE
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA 92807
(714) 777-1033

Contact: Elizabeth Summar

“THE CALIFORNIA EDITION”

ANAHEIM, CA, August 1, 1989… Saleen Autosport in conjunction with Ford Motor Company, San Jose District Office, recently showcased the Saleen Autosport “California Edition” Mustang GT at Sears Point International Raceway, in Sonoma, California.

The occasion was the Motorcraft NHRA Nationals on July 29th and 30th. The 50 specially prepared dealer drive-away GT’s were complete with Racecraft Suspension featuring Monroe Formula GP Shocks and Struts, customized American Racing wheels and General XP 2000V high performance tires.

Steve Saleen made a personal appearance on Sunday, signing autographs and meeting the local Ford Dealers invited to this special gathering.

For further information regarding the “California Edition” project, please contact Scott McDonald of Saleen Autosport.

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SALEEN AUTOSPORT – RACES AT SEASON-OPENER

SEARS POINT, CA., MAY 6, 1989… Saleen Autosport and General Tire ran two Saleen Mustangs at Sears Point international Raceway in the SCCA Escort Endurance Championship season-opener. Steve Saleen and Rick Titus drove the #20 Saleen Mustang in the three hour race while Kees Nierop, Calvin Fish, and Paul Dallenbach each piloted car #19. The cars finished in third and fourth places despite a damaged strut on the Saleen/Titus Mustang. “Handling was off with number 20 because of a problem with the suspension,” said Saleen Autosport President Steve Saleen. “In a race this short, there’s not enough time to type of repair so we had to make it work.”

Now the team is preparing for Mid-Ohio, where they will be racing in the 12-hour event on July 16.

SALEEN AUTOSPORT/GENERAL TIRE TO SPONSOR JOHN AMES’ SOLO EFFORT

ANAHEIM, CA., April 17, 1989… For the 1989 season, Sateen Autosport and General Tire are proud to announce their sponsorship of John Ames in the SCCA Solo I, Solo II, and Pro Solo racing series. John won the Stock 5 championship for all three series last season in his blue Mustang LX. Despite the popularity of that class and the variety of cars he was up against – Camaros, TransAms, Supras, and some early Corvettes-he also managed to total an impressive 22 consecutive Pro Solo wins, a record number for any of the classes. This year, John moves confidently into the E Street Prepared class, where numerous modifications are allowed. A new white LX Mustang has been prepared by Saleen Autosport’s race team in Livonia, Michigan, incorporating much of the equipment that the forthcoming Saleen SSC model will see in production. The car, number 91, rides on Z-rated Compound General XP2000s, measuring 245/50-16 on all four corners. “This is the first year for Saleen Autosport to be involved with the Solo racing program,” said founder and president Steve Saleen. “John Ames is an outstanding driver and we are glad to be supporting him.” “The goal for this year,” Ames said, “is to go for all three championships again, this time in a new class and a new car. I feel I can accomplish that with the package Saleen has put together.” John’s first event took place March 18-19 at Lion Country Safari in Los Angeles, where he finished second. Two weeks later, in Shreveport, Louisiana, he took first place. The rest of the season will include races in: Salt Lake City (July 1-2), San Francisco (July 15-16), Denver (August 12- 13), and the season finale in Salina, Kansas (September 16-17).

AMONG THE SEVEN NEW TEAMS IN THE PPG-CART INDY-CAR SERIES…

March 26, 1989|By Robert Markus, Chicago Tribune.

Among the seven new teams in the PPG-CART Indy-car series this year is one owned by Antonio Ferrari of the famous Italian racing family.

Euromotorsport will not make much of a splash this year with its year-old Lola (purchased from Dick Simon) and a Cosworth engine.

“We’re looking for a very good European engine package for 1990 and beyond,” says team manager Dave Thomas. “This will be our learning year. We’ll stick with the tried-and-true Cosworth in order to reduce the variables while we establish the team.”

Thomas says the team has spent $500,000, “and we haven`t turned a wheel yet. That’s a little unnerving for a newcomer.”

The team is hoping to cash in on CART’s popularity in Europe and will make a series of sponsorship appearances on the continent after the `89 season.

“The demand for these cars in Europe is tremendous,” says Thomas. “Mr. Ferrari is certain he’s the first of a wave of Europeans who will jump into Indy-car racing in the next few years.”

Swiss driver Jean Pierre Frey, who drove two races for Simon last year, will be in the cockpit.

Other new teams and their drivers: Bayside Motor Sports, Dominic Dobson;

Dyson Racing, James Weaver; Mann Motorsport, Gary Bettenhausen; Protofab Racing, John Jones; Saleen Autosport, Steve Saleen; and Stoops Racing, Steve Butler.

Jones was rookie of the year last year but was replaced on the Arciero team by Didier Theys.

– Theys drove only the road courses for Simon last year, so when he tested at Phoenix recently, “it was the first time I had been on an oval since the ARS race at Nazareth a year and a half ago,” he says.

He got some help, he says, from an oval-track master, Rick Mears. “Rick is a very nice guy and he showed me how to work on my left-foot braking on ovals. I now know why he is the best on those tracks. We went quicker immediately.”

– Oddly, Mears was once known as a road warrior. He still holds the CART record for consecutive road-course victories (four), “but now I’m teamed up with the fastest road racer in the business (Danny Sullivan),” he notes, “so all of a sudden I`m not a road racer.”

Mears confesses he does prefer the ovals. “I’ve always preferred the ovals more as far as working with the chassis and the aerodynamics,” he says. “At the speedway, you’ve got to make the car carry you, not you carry the car.

“I like both, but if you said pick one, I’ll take the oval.”

– Dale Earnhardt still leads the Winston Cup points chase after finishing second at Atlanta, but he hasn’t won a pole in two years. If he hasn’t won one by May 20, he’s got a great shot to end his drought in qualifying for The Winston, NASCAR’s all-star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That’s because qualifying for the race is determined by a unique format that requires a stop for right-side tires during the three-lap qualifying run. Earnhardt`s pit crew is a four-time winner of the Unocal 76 pit crew world championship.

“The difference in speed among all those great cars will be less than a half-second,” says Alan Kulwicki, who won four poles last year. “The difference in the pit crews could be five seconds. It`s more a race for pit crews than cars.”

– Wonder if Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One czar, has ever been in Phoenix in June? Ecclestone pulled the Formula One cars out of Detroit and will hold the U.S. Grand Prix through the streets of downtown Phoenix on June 4.

The average high temperature on that date is 104, and it often gets to 110 or more.

“They can drive in that heat,” says Sullivan, who drove the Formula One circuit and raced in Brazil, “but I don`t know how many people want to come out and watch it.”