By: N.A. on March 28, 2004
Original Article: SUNDAY TIMES, THE (PERTH)

CALIFORNIAN-BASED Saleen has made about 8000 vehicles since it was started in 1983 by avid race-car fan Steve Saleen.

The first saleable Ford-based car came in 1986 when the marque won its first major event at the 24-hour race at Mosport Park, Ontario.

It won there again in 1987 and 1988, becoming the first Ford-powered vehicle to win three consecutive series since the Le Mans campaign in the late 1960s.

Saleen’s cars also won all four SCCA championship titles in 1987.

It raced Indy in 1989 and in 1991 won the SCCA Race Truck Championship using a Saleen Ford Ranger ute.

In 1995 Steve Saleen formed a partnership with TV actor/comedian Tim (the Tool Man) Allen to create a Saleen/Allen Speedlab race team to run Saleen Mustangs in the SCCA series.

It won in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Saleen now makes seven vehicles: The S281, the high-performance S281-E (each in coupe and convertible) and SR Mustang-based cars, the purpose-built S7 racer and more recently a Ford Focus-based N2O Focus.

It used to make the XR8 ute and a modified Ford Explorer.

Details on Saleen are available from