All posts by Jim Dvorak

Managing Director of SOEC since 2005. Veteran of the Southern California automotive scene. Involvement with Saleen dates back to the mid 1990s.

AN INTIMATE DINNER WITH STEVE SALEEN, NOV. 15, 2019

DATE: November 15 at 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Steve Saleen

Experience a truly rare, intimate evening with a nationally acclaimed racer-turned-manufacturer Steve Saleen. In a unique dinner setting surrounded by a legacy of racing history and road cars. This is an opportunity to get up close with one of the leading automobile craftsmen while enjoying a four-course tasting menu with top-tier wine pairings by Hedges Family Estate.

Member: $125
Non-Member: $150
Tickets are limited to 75 guests.

PURCHASE TICKETS


MENU

Curated Autumn Dinner by Executive Chef Chef Hudson Slater of Asado Cucina Argentina and Hedges Family Estate.

– 1ST COURSE –
Brown butter carrots, onion soubise, pickled celery, mirepoix salad, carrot gastrique, scallion oil.

– 2ND COURSE –
Pear Salad
Sliced pear, arugula, watercress, fennel, gorgonzola crumble, spiced pecan, poached pear vinaigrette.

– 3RD COURSE –
Filet Mignon
Parsnip & celery root purée, broccolini, fig rosemary demi.

– DESSERT COURSE –
Dark Chocolate Paté
Port caramelized plantains, candied cranberries, pecan crumble, Chantilly cream.


More information:
https://www.americascarmuseum.org/

[Source: LeMay: America’s Car Museum]

SALEEN CUP 2019 SEASON PHOTO RECAP

From our friends at Saleen Automotive

This weekend was an amazing finish to the first ever Saleen Cup. Here are some of our favorite images from the series.

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Saleen Automotive]

INAUGURAL SALEEN CUP SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE

From our friends at Saleen Automotive

CONGRATULATIONS to all for the completion of the year the #saleencup! Paul Terry has officially sealed his position as champion of the inaugural season! Here’s how the final race played out:

Pro/Am:
1. Johan Schwartz/Bryce Miller
2. Paul Terry
3. Lawrence Loshak/ Eric Powell

Young:
1. Carter Fartuch
2. Lindsey Brewer/Zoey Edenholm
3. Austin Riley

We can’t wait until next season!

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Saleen Automotive]

WINNERS OF RACE #1 AT LAS VEGAS

From our friends at Saleen Automotive

What a great day of racing! Congratulations to Cameron Lawrence, today’s overall and young division winner and all of the following drivers!

Pro/Am Division:
1. Bill Hynes
2. Lawrence Loshak
3. Kris Wilson/Mathew Keegan

Young Division:
1. Cameron Lawrence
2. Carter Fartuch
3. Austin Riley

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Saleen Automotive]

SALEEN CUP SERIES FINALE AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

From our friends at Saleen Automotive

The first practice of the day is in the books! We’re looking forward to a great weekend of racing. All races starting with tonight’s makeup race will be live streamed here: live.sro-america.com/saleen-cup. Tune in at 5:30 PT today, 3:50 PT Saturday, and 1:30 PT on Sunday!

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Saleen Automotive]

SALEEN & CAFFEINE: COFFEE & DONUTS WITH STEVE SALEEN

Saleen & Caffeine: Coffee & Donuts with Steve Saleen

November 16 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

LeMay – America’s Car Museum invites you to the newest exhibit, Saleen a Journey from the Heart of a Racer to America’s Supercar. This is your opportunity to meet one of the most successful and well-known automotive legends in the country Steve Saleen! Enjoy coffee by ANTHEM coffee and donuts by Original House of Donuts, while being the first to view a legacy of racing and road cars by Steve Saleen.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW
https://20957.blackbaudhosting.com/20957/

About Saleen: An incredible race history with the performance design of the Saleen Mustang, to one of the world’s most renowned super cars, the Saleen S7, CEO & Founder Steve Saleen has carved out a reputation that truly ranks with the most celebrated performance vehicle designers in history. Saleen’s entrepreneurial business plan laid the groundwork for an entire new industry of design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales of high-performance vehicles that were race-proven and marketed for sales through showrooms nationwide.

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: LeMay: America’s Car Museum]

SALEEN: A JOURNEY FROM THE HEART OF A RACER TO AMERICA’S SUPERCAR

LeMay – America’s Car Museum

Saleen: A Journey from the Heart of a Racer
to America’s Supercar

OPENS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16

Saleen S7

It is a rare breed of automotive trailblazers that are able to move from upper echelon race car drivers to OEM manufacturers of fine automobiles and supercars. The ranks of this rarefied group include names such as Ferrari, Shelby, Chevrolet. Steve Saleen is one of those individuals and the company he founded has a rich history of innovation, design and engineering distinction. The Saleen Exhibit at America’s Car Museum celebrates companies founded by racers while keeping the focus on Steve, his company and, most importantly, the cars.

www.americascarmuseum.org

ABOUT SALEEN: An incredible race history with the performance design of the Saleen Mustang, to one of the world’s most renowned super cars, the Saleen S7, CEO & Founder Steve Saleen has carved out a reputation that truly ranks with the most celebrated performance vehicle designers in history. Saleen’s entrepreneurial business plan laid the groundwork for an entire new industry of design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales of high-performance vehicles that were race-proven and marketed for sales through showrooms nationwide.

SALEEN & CAFFEINE: COFFEE & DONUTS WITH STEVE SALEEN

NOVEMBER 16th | 9 – 11 am
This is your opportunity to meet one of the most successful and well-known automotive legends in the country – Steve Saleen! Enjoy coffee by ANTHEM coffee and donuts by Original House of Donuts, while being the first to view a legacy of racing and road cars by Steve Saleen. TICKETS ON SALE SOON! Learn more.

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: LeMay: America’s Car Museum]

DRIVETRIBE: THE SALEEN S7 STORY

Nearly 20 years on, the Saleen S7 is proving itself a classic

By: TOM WILSON on August, 2019
Original Article: DRIVETRIBE.COM

Nineteen years after its introduction and twelve years since it went out of series production, the Saleen S7 supercar is again attracting considerable attention. A new generation of enthusiasts is re-discovering the classically handsome, race-bred Saleen with still mind-bending performance. Plus, Saleen’s recent expansion into China has exposed the S7 to a giant new market that’s running up the S7 search engine hits on the Internet. But along with this new interest has come much speculation and mis-information about the iconic supercar and its origins.

Some of the mystery is due to the relatively thin official technical and build information available about the big Saleen. The early-aughts were hectic days at Saleen and there wasn’t the time or interest from the enthusiast magazines of the time to delve deeply into the details of the supercar’s origin. Saleen press materials had laid out the basics, the magazines had covered that and their driving impressions in new car reviews, the car sold itself on merit and there was plenty of international S7 racing to support, plus the whole business of building Saleen Mustangs. But aside from those early magazine reports, there’s been nothing of substance on the S7 story in many years; today that’s lead to a bit of unintended mystery surrounding the car, at least to those not familiar with the effort.

Now spanning 19 years, the Saleen S7 story has evolved from the completely unexpected upstart at its 2000 debut to a timelessly classic supercar as epitomized by the mega-powerful 2019 S7 Le Mans edition seen at the Corona, Calif. headquarters.
Now spanning 19 years, the Saleen S7 story has evolved from the completely unexpected upstart at its 2000 debut to a timelessly classic supercar as epitomized by the mega-powerful 2019 S7 Le Mans edition seen at the Corona, Calif. headquarters.

If there’s anything the Internet can’t support, it’s the mystery and all sorts of hokum that has surfaced regarding the S7. Eager enthusiasts can perhaps be forgiven for making assumptions about the car’s origins, but the amount of speculative, un-researched and downright wrong ‘journalism’ surrounding the S7 on the Internet is shameful and tilting toward the absurd.

The S7 truth is simple enough and follows the narrative laid out in the legitimate press during the car’s introduction. To briefly review, in 1999, Steve Saleen, realised the existing Mustang-based race car – the Saleen Mustang SR as campaigned in the U.S. and at Le Mans in 1997 – had reached the end of its development life. He ultimately decided to build his own, all-new race car, and by starting with a clean computer screen, opted for a mid-engine layout with a goal of winning the LMGT1 class at Le Mans.

While the previous Saleen Mustang SR racers had evolved from street cars into race cars, the S7 was from the beginning a dual-purpose machine, a race car simultaneously developed as a street car. Steve not only wanted a winner at the most demanding sportscar race in the world, but also a purebred sports/supercar for the street. During the car’s design, the racing and street versions were kept amazingly similar, which explains why the S7 has always been a no-excuses driver’s car, one which in street form easily preserves the directness and honesty of its racing roots. It also belies any misplaced concept that the S7 was some revision of an existing design; it’s simply too specialized for that; combining its thumping V8 and high downforce aero package are incompatible with any previous designs.

Steve Saleen was present at every step of the S7’s development. Here he and Billy Tally discuss the S7 engine with Neil Hannemann looking on.
Steve Saleen was present at every step of the S7’s development. Here he and Billy Tally discuss the S7 engine with Neil Hannemann looking on.

While Saleen as a company was well-versed in racing and speciality car manufacturing in 1999, like any car maker it needed to augment its engineering and fabrication capabilities when laying down their supercar’s chassis and suspension. After all, creating a Le Mans chassis from scratch requires specialized engineering and prototyping skills, especially when the latest, F1-level of aerodynamic knowledge is being sought. So, Saleen went looking for specialist contractors and found them, not unexpectedly, in the home of international road racing, the English Midlands. Besides its technical advantages, the Midlands also offered remoteness from the U.S. automotive scene and thus eased the security that such projects require.

While the prototype S7’s all-new, honeycomb-reinforced space frame chassis came together in England, back in Irvine, California Steve directed Saleen’s in-house race engineer and all-round secret weapon, Billy Tally, to develop an American-style cam-in-block V-8 for the new car. Leveraging extensive motorcycle, NASCAR and off-road racing experience into the S7’s namesake 7.0-litre V8, Saleen specified his own block casting, innovative clutch, starter, intake, dry-sump oiling, NASCAR-derived cylinder heads and front engine dress to package the powerplant in a mid-engine chassis. Saleen also determined all engine internals and tuning, including camming, electronic tuning and valvetrain oil spray system. Dyno development was done by Tally in Southern California and the engines built in-house at Saleen. Transaxles were RBT units on street cars and Xtrac on S7R race cars.

S7 development and production was based completely in Saleen’s Irvine, Calif., headquarters.
S7 development and production was based completely in Saleen’s Irvine, Calif., headquarters.

All S7s, both street and race, naturally-aspirated or turbocharged, have used this engine with only minor variations. The exception is the final Le Mans edition S7s. More the product of 2019 engineering, they retain the 427’s 7.0-litre displacement and bottom end, but have seen considerable changes in the cylinder heads, intake, turbos, charge cooling and a generational advancement in electronic engine management to arrive at 1,300bhp on gasoline and just shy of 1,500bhp when running E85 ethanol/gasoline fuel and 20+lbs of boost. The original engine was equally capable. In its first, naturally aspirated trim it was rated at 550bhp; adding twin turbochargers to it in the S7 Twin Turbo model bumped its rating to 750bhp via a mere 4.5lbs of boost. A pair of optional, non-street legal upgrades bumped the TT all the way to 1000bhp for track use at just 8lbs of boost.

Along with the chassis built by Ray Mallock (RML) in the English Midlands, and engine development at Saleen in Irvine, Calif., the S7’s body and interior were designed by Steve and Phil Frank, the latter having exercised his considerable talents at Saleen for five years by the time of the S7 project in 1999-2000. Aerodynamic work in England and the wind tunnel at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, plus rules requirements of the ACO organization running the Le Mans race were factors in the S7’s shape, a form that Phil and Steve worked especially closely together on.

When the S7 debuted in August 2000 at the Monterey Historic Races, it was both a complete surprise to the public and a prototype still some way from series production. Much work remained to arrive at a saleable street car, or even more immediately, a workable race car.

Before 2005 when the Twin Turbo street version of the S7 appeared, essentially every system, part and manufacturing process of the S7 was U.S. based, mainly in Saleen’s own Irvine facility or by a few remaining contractors. The chassis took form in Saleen’s in-house fabrication shop, the engines were built in the Saleen engine shop, the bodywork laid out in Saleen’s carbon shop and painted in the Saleen paint shop, the interior crafted in the Saleen upholstery shop and the whole car assembled on Saleen’s dedicated S7 assembly line.

List of S7 Contractors

No automaker designs or builds something as complex as a new car without the aid of skilled specialist contractors. Some of those individuals and companies that contributed to the S7 success are:

• Aria Group (USA)

• Brembo S.p.A. (Italy)

• Andy Coventry, Williams F1 aerodynamicist (UK)

• Frazero (UK)

• Lola Cars International (CTS carbon fiber division) (UK)

• Ray Mallock Limited (UK)

• RBT Transmissions (USA)

• University of Scotland (UK)

• Xtrac Transmission Technology (UK)

Series production of the S7 took place completely on the Irvine, Calif. S7 assembly line. Saleen Mustang production is just visible in the background.
Series production of the S7 took place completely on the Irvine, Calif. S7 assembly line. Saleen Mustang production is just visible in the background.

As a race car, the S7R was, like the street car, a major success, winning over 100 professional events and proving one of the outstanding customer racecars of the modern era. Its combination of blistering speed, durability, easy serviceability and support from the Saleen factory ensured its steady employment among teams contesting IMSA, ALMS, FIA and Le Mans series events in the United States and abroad. And yes, it did – finally – win its GT class at Le Mans in 2010.

Such racing success significantly differentiates the S7 from its supercar classmates, nearly all of which are street-centric. As a rule, such supercars are certainly capable, but tuned to protect the more exuberantly enthusiastic drivers rather then reward the skilled. By comparison, the track-bred S7 is honed right to the edge and delivers a far less-filtered, purer driving experience that’s loud and high effort because that’s the way hardcore driver cars are. It’s not for everyone, but it gives those in the know a uniquely authentic race car experience and doesn’t hurt the car’s honestly earned cache one bit.

Critics have called the S7 out precisely for its elemental approach, saying the project was too large for Saleen to complete, or hinting it was somehow not really a Saleen product and was opportunistically brought in from elsewhere. Nothing could be further from the truth. There’s more of Steve Saleen in the S7 than any other car he’s built.

When the S7 was publicly unveiled at Pebble Beach in 2000, it ushered in a new era of supercar design and performance.
When the S7 was publicly unveiled at Pebble Beach in 2000, it ushered in a new era of supercar design and performance.

He conceived the very idea of the car, directed every aspect of its engineering and design, was its chief development driver and has been hands-on for every step of the S7 story. In return, the S7 inarguably cemented Saleen’s reputation as a manufacturer, so much so that in 2002, the Ford Motor Company contracted Saleen for the engineering, painting and manufacturing of its own supercar, the first generation Ford GT, in a Saleen assembly plant.

Today, although long out of production save the final handful of Le Mans edition cars, the S7 continues as the Saleen flagship, still drawing attention both in the West and in China where its star power has visibly anchored the immense Saleen initiative there. It’s a natural job for the S7 as its direct approach to driving, prodigious performance and timeless styling have made it a modern classic among supercars.


Tom Wilson
Tom Wilson’s three decades of full-time auto journalism have included a 16-year association with Road & Track magazine, features and new car reviews for MSN Autos and editing Super Ford magazine, along with several technical books and aviation writing. Tom has driven nearly every Saleen model ever built and has chronicled the S7 story since the start. He is currently working on the definitive S7 book set for publication by next year.

[Source: DriveTribe]

TURNOLOGY: SALEEN CUP STORMS INTO NEW YORK

Saleen Cup Racing Series Storms Watkins Glen
At GT World Challenge

By: DAVE PANKEW on September 6, 2019
Original Article: TURNOLOGY.COM

Saleen Automotive is continuing to make new roads in their Saleen Cup Racing Series as a one-make “arrive and drive” style of race. We reported on the new series, which is in the second round of the inaugural race season and was held during the SRO Motorsports – Blancpain GT World Challenge America Series at Watkins Glen International. The Labor Day Weekend action saw several race teams campaigning the race version of the 450 hp Saleen 1 turbocharged race car to storm ‘The Glen’ nestled in the rolling hills of upper New York state.

The Saleen Cup Racing Series is intended to be easy to enter and affordable to maintain while retaining a professional-level of racing in the Saleen 1 spec race car.
The Saleen Cup Racing Series is intended to be easy to enter and affordable to maintain while retaining a professional-level of racing in the Saleen 1 spec race car.

The Saleen Cup Racing Series was intended to be easy to enter and affordable to maintain while retaining a professional-level of racing over the season in the Saleen 1 race car. The series is divided into two classes, the Pro-Am and Young Drivers, both of which foster talent at those levels for those looking to ramp up their racing resume.

For Saleen Cup drivers, there is quite a bit on the line as the winner of each class will get a paid seat in a Saleen GT4 car for the 2020 season. Not many guarantees like that in motorsports since anything can and will happen to change plans for the following season. With the Saleen Cup Racing Series, if you take the title, you’re racing in GT4 the coming season.

At the Watkins Glen race on Sunday, the winner in the Pro-Am Class was Brandon Davis, and Florida-native Hanna Zellers sealed up top spot in Young Drivers class.

Turnology: Saleen Cup, Watkins Glen
Turnology: Saleen Cup, Watkins Glen

Pro-Am Drivers

  • First Place – (#14) Brandon Davis
  • Second Place – (#4) Paul Terry
  • Third Place – (#6) Johan Schwartz

Young Drivers

  • First Place – (#71) Hanna Zellers
  • Second Place – (#12) Austin Riley
  • Third Place – (#19) Cameron Lawrence

“The Saleen Cup Racing Series has served as a development series for both our new Saleen 1 model and our team drivers. Watkins Glen was a proving ground for both,” said Steve Saleen, CEO, and founder of Saleen Automotive about this recent race.

The Saleen Cup Racing Series schedule includes four events for 2019 with two already completed, the upcoming rounds at Road America, Sept. 20-22 and Las Vegas, Oct. 18-20 should be heating up to clinch the championship and that GT4 seat next year.

For more about this series, visit the Saleen Cup website.

[Source: Turnology]