Tag Archives: 1996

1st PRODUCTION S281 COBRA (96-0009) HITS eBay

Price: BID
VIN: 1FALP46V3TF168855
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 1996
Make: Ford
Model: Mustang
Sub Model: Saleen Speedster
Body Type: Convertible
Trim: Saleen Cobra Speedster
Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine: 4.6L DOHC 24V ENGINE
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual 5 Speed
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Black
Mileage: 41,034
For Sale By: Private Seller
eBay #: 142192243210

96-0009 S281 Cobra Speedster
96-0009 S281 Cobra Speedster

Here we have an auction for a truly one of a kind and quite rare Mustang. This is the documented FIRST SALEEN COBRA Mustang ever produced. This is a 1996 model, Saleen Number 96-09 and is the first ever Saleen produced with the Cobra engine. It was made specifically for a high member of the MCA (Mustang Club of America) who knew Steve Saleen and was able to get him to specifically build his “Wish”. The Saleen registry documents and verifies this to be the very first produced and from what we can tell is also one of the only ones (if not the only one) to come with the black and gold striping, gold rims and the COBRA Interior over the more common Saleen Recaro interior.

96-0009 S281 Cobra Speedster
96-0009 S281 Cobra Speedster

This car is absolutely all original, purchased by the first owner and bought by myself who chased the car for years knowing it was a piece of Mustang history. This is all original, no modifications, no crashes, nothing even repainted. We have kept this as original and stock as possible. The paint, top, engine, transmission are all original, The exhaust is all original, The only things we have changed have been the tires and battery. This is a factory Black car, Black Cobra Interior Black Top, Factory 4.6L DOHC Cobra Engine, 5 Speed Manual Trans. It is a factory “SPEEDSTER” model and comes with the matching (and all original Speedster top). We have enjoyed this and had it to many east coast shows, always taking a trophy wherever it goes, Most people think it is “just” a Cobra with Saleen badges but you can check the Registry to verify what this is. The top is still great with no rips or tears, Everything works (don’t believe we even replaced a power window motor in this one in all these years!) The Windshield banner “SALEEN” is even original but starting to peel (I don’t have to heart to change it being everything – and I mean everything has been kept original). All the decals have been preserved, cleaned with care so they never washed off. Even still have the original SALEEN Floor mats. Signed in the trunk by Steve Saleen as shown.

96-0009 S281 Cobra Speedster
96-0009 S281 Cobra Speedster

Car is located in Central NJ for local inspection or pickup. Buyer responsible for transport, Payment due within 10 days of auction end $500 Deposit with paypal ideal. The Dash and Engine ID Plaques are of course still in place and have never been removed, as is the COBRA Specific “BUILT WITH PRIDE” Signed Decal on the Plenum. The SALEEN Cobra was on Mustang Monthly’s 25 Rarest Production Mustangs of all time – and this is car NUMBER 1!!! I of course recommend towing it but trust it to drive anywhere if that is the buyers choice, this one never let me down.

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1996 S351 SPEEDSTER (96-0032S) HITS eBay

Price: BID
VIN: 1FALP444XTF160858
Condition: Used
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 1996
Make: Ford
Model: Mustang
Trim: Saleen S351
Engine: 5.8 Liter V8
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Six Speed Manual
Drive Type: RWD
Mileage: 9,467
Body Type: Convertible
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Rio Red
Interior Color: Black
For Sale By: Ruozzi Brothers Collection
eBay #: 322269180684

96-0032S S351 Speedster
96-0032S S351 Speedster

Since the 1980s, Steve Saleen has been THE source for Mustang owners wanting to get the most out of their pony cars. Saleen’s successful racing programs in SCCA and IMSA road racing filtered down into his road cars. Saleen Mustangs are sought after for their handling prowess, increased horsepower and distinctive good looks. Quite often, Saleen cars that appear on the market are made up from aftermarket components and aren’t genuine factory built examples. We are offering this genuine, fully documented, factory-built 1996 S351 Speedster with just over 9,000 miles from new.

According to the Saleen Registry, this car, number 96-0032, is one of just 10 S351 Speedsters built in 1996 and one of 3 finished in Rio Red and is one of one with these exact options and colors. It was originally built for the CEO of a company that sponsored Saleen’s racing efforts in the 1990s and it was a fully-loaded show piece. Equipment includes the base S-351 package, T-Code (Recaro Interior, Alcon Brakes), 3.55:1 Gears, Saleen Sound System, Speedster Package and a Wheel/Tire upgrade.

In addition to those options, an additional $3,700 in 1997 Prototype additions were fitted. This included a six-speed gearbox, Auburn limited slip differential, Koni suspension, Racecraft rear lower control arms, aluminum front bushings, and Pro short throw shifter. The combined packages and options totaled $36,249 – and that doesn’t include the cost of the base Mustang!

96-0032S S351 Speedster
96-0032S S351 Speedster

The clean Carfax report verifies just two owners from new, the original owner keeping the car for fourteen years, while the second owner kept the car stored in a climate controlled garage during his tenure. The car presents in very good overall condition showing no signs of crash damage or repairs. The Rio Red paint is in very good order, with a few stone chips apparent, mainly on the front bumper, but overall it presents well excellent gloss. Panel fit is good and the special Saleen graphics are in similarly good condition. The polished wheels are wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza tires and are in excellent condition.

96-0032S S351 Speedster
96-0032S S351 Speedster

Inside, the Recaro seats are embroidered with Saleen logos and trimmed in leather. The leather is in good condition, with some slight wear showing on the driver’s outer bolster. The rest of the interior trim is excellent and all electrical functions work as they should. The original Saleen audio system has been upgraded to a Kenwood Excelon series receiver and Memphis Audio amplifier. The original radio is included. The original power soft top has a heated glass window and is in excellent order, operating smoothly.

On the road, the Saleen shines. The Koni suspension is aggressive but not harsh and the bespoke Saleen Racecraft suspension parts work to make this car handle exceptionally well. Grip is phenomenal thanks to the Auburn limited slip. The six speed transmission takes a firm hand and the shifts are positive, with well-spaced ratios. With just over 9,000 miles from new the car feels tight and fresh. This factory-built Saleen S351 has all the makings of a future classic – rarity, great looks and outstanding performance.

Sale includes fitted cover, original books, Saleen invoices, Speedster tonneau, soft tonneau, cockpit cover, original radio, two original keys and fobs.

* T-Code Factory Built Saleen
* Six-Speed Gearbox
* Racecraft Conrol Arms and Aluminum Bushings
* Speedster Package
* Auburn Limited Slip Differential
* Short Throw Shifter
* Rio Red Paint
* Koni Suspension
* Recaro Interior

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Price: $15,000.00
VIN: 1FALP45X4TF226345
Condition: Used
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 1996
Make: Ford
Model: Mustang
Sub Model: Saleen
Engine: 4.6 L 8 cylinders
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Drive Type: RWD
Mileage: 86,210
Body Type: Convertible
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Rio Red
Interior Color: Black
For Sale By: Private Seller
eBay #: 191947009127

96-0001B S281 Budget
96-0001B S281 Budget

The warm weather is here, now is the time to purchase

$15,000.00/OBO includes as shown with Recaros.

* This is an extremely collectable, 1996 Budget Saleen Convertible #01B
* Mileage 86,092
* Vortech Supercharger with aftercooler

1996 – 1998 Steve Saleen had his cars in the Budget rental field. This car is 01B the very first car!
Condition excellent.

Hardtop and Recaros are included.

96-0001B S281 Budget
96-0001B S281 Budget

(2) Recaro Style XLR and Recaro indicates it is an aftermarket that many of the designs you see in many sport and luxury cars.


I adapted 6 way electric to both Recaros.

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96-0002 S281 LOA
96-0002 S281 LOA

Currently, Saleen Automotive offers a dozen custom exterior paint colors on their line of performance vehicles. Though in the late 1990s during the SN95 era, there was one available non-factory hue. A single color that could represent green, blue, purple and gold. This lone color was Extreme Rainbow, the initial optional Saleen custom color developed with partner BASF.

BASF introduced a line of “Extreme Colors” in 1996. Of these first three Extreme hues, Rainbow was the most varied. Officially offered by Saleen as an option for the 1997 model year, they would go on to produce a total of 19 vehicles in this chromatic paint before this color disappeared after the 2009 model year.

One such vehicle is 96-0002, this special SN95 S281 coupe is among the earliest Saleen Mustangs to showcase this unique paint option. Current owner, Jaeda Crosby, located 96-0002 through a fever-pitched search for an original Saleen Extreme Rainbow Mustang. Given both the limited production and limited availability of this color, Jaeda had few leads and numerous dead-ends in trying to locate a vehicle in the United States. Perseverance sent Jaeda to the United Kingdom where #02 had lived since 2004.

Produced during October 1996 and shipped on the 25th of that month, #02 features an interesting list of early Saleen optional equipment. Beginning with the newly introduced S281 coupe, #02 hosts the following: Heat extractor hood, Speedline magnesium wheels, tire upgrade, 13″ front brake upgrade, and Saleen/Recaro leather seating.

For the 1996 model year Saleen produced 444 Mustangs, 424 were S281 models, 413 were based on the GT chassis, 191 were of the GT coupe body, 177 GT coupes featured 5-speed manual transmissions and 27 GT coupes with manual transmissions featured Opal Grey interior. Of those, 4 had the Saleen/Alcon brake upgrade, 20 were equipped with the optional 3.55:1 gears, 3 had the Tire Upgrade while 96-0002 was the lone S281 coupe, GT chassis, Manual Transmission, Opal Grey interior vehicle to receive the optional Saleen vented hood, Saleen/Recaro leather seating, Speedline Magnesium Wheels and Optional Custom Paint.

Of the 444 street Mustangs produced for the model year, one was painted a Saleen custom color. 96-0002 is this car.

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[Source: Jaeda Goodwin Crosby]

MINT 1996 S281 COUPE (96-0405) OFFERED ON eBay

Price: BID
VIN: 1FALP42X1TF231295
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 1996
Make: Ford
Model: Mustang
Body Type: Coupe
Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine: 4.6L 281Cu. In. V8 GAS SOHC Naturally Aspirated
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual 5 Speed
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Black
Mileage: 11,005
For Sale By: Speed Sports Racing
eBay #: 401119615412

1996 Saleen S281 Coupe
Only 11186 miles
All original Paint and showroom condition

96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281

This Saleen has only been registered to 1 owner. Sold new at Raceway Ford in California on 10/19/1996. It is not very often that we get a car of this vintage with all original paperwork. We had the car just serviced at the Vancouver Ford dealership. The service included brand new BFG tires and fully inspected. This car is all original paint, and looks excellent. Only flaw is some spiderweb cracks in the front bumper. The interior is all original, and looks very very clean and no damage. The underside is just as clean as the top side. This car is a perfect car for any Ford collector. I am happy to assist with any shipping or questions about the Saleen.

96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281
96-0405 S281

Call 503-819-9007 Matt for Details

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SEARCHING FOR S281 96-0356

From our friends at Saleen Club of America.

96-0356 S281 Speedster
96-0356 S281 Speedster

Once upon a time, I owned 96-0356, a Rio Red Saleen Mustang S281 Speedster. According to Carfax, the car has changed hands a few times since I sold it, and was last seen in Northern California … maybe 2 hours north of where I live now.

I sold it to a dealer named Kassabian Motors, now known as My Hot Cars (myhotcars.com), who in turn sold it to owner #2. As you’ll see on the report, owner #4 registered it in Rohnert Park in 2011. I currently live in Lafayette, CA, so Rohnert Park isn’t too far, but just far enough that I can’t really pop up there and wait for it to emerge every weekend.

It doesn’t list as totaled or salvaged, yet with no additional maintenance entries, I assume it’s either serviced by the owner, or is registered as Planned Non Operational.

The VIN of my car is 1FALP45X6TF217386. I have checked with local Mustang clubs in Sonoma County, and haven’t gotten any responses from them. It doesn’t appear to have been serviced in the last few years, or at least not at any shop that would register such service in a way that it would appear on Carfax.

I sold 96-0356 prior to getting married in 1998. My divorce will be final soon, and I’d like to pick up where I left off with my car.

-Clay Loveless

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[Source: Saleen Club of America]


Car Reviews
A Thundering, Plundering, Viper-Eating Monstrosity

Writer: JEFF KARR; Photographer WESLEY ALLISON on April 02, 1996
Original Article: MOTOR TREND

For the first four seconds, you feel like you’re at the wheel of a dragster with a stuck throttle in a giant pan of cooking oil. Slipping and sluing, the tach builds revs in a needle-blurring burst through first gear, then second. Your toes curl around the top of the gas pedal, trying to feel for traction that isn’t there. You’ve backed off to half throttle, yet both double-wide rear Dunlops churn in a fog of rubber smoke.

Then at about 60 mph, the shift to third puts things right. Finally, the available grip can absorb most of this car’s horsepower. Pulling through 4000 rpm, the pancreas-flattening rush is awesome. Fourth gear is even better. The g’s barely diminished by the rising aerodynamic loads, you’re pinned to the Recaro seatback more forcefully than in anything short of an F-15 in full climb.

Just when you’re ready to scream, through 5500 rpm, the power begins to flatten, but there’s no point in going for fifth this close to the end of the quarter mile. Before you can ponder this any further, you’re shooting past the finish on the high side of 120 mph, then standing hard on the brakes.

You can inhale now. The timing gear displays a 119.3-mph quarter-mile terminal speed, a number that’s difficult to relate to the performance range of normal cars. Muscular production cars, like the Corvette, just crest 100 mph in the quarter mile; really fast ones, like Porsche’s 911 Turbo, can even exceed 110. But tripping the lights at close to 120 mph is a whole other level of thrill. To a driver seasoned in conventional cars, it creates a sensation akin to teleportation. It’s a feeling to which Saleen S351 R drivers first become acclimated, then addicted.

The R-Code Saleen S351 is far from a conventional car, even though it’s based on a production Mustang. Steve Saleen likes it that way. This is a real production vehicle, not a one-off. And you can order one through any Ford dealer, or see it at any of the 75 Team Saleen Ford dealerships that keep the model in stock. Each is an emissions-certified vehicle as easy to buy as an Escort, albeit for a lot more money.

Performance is the single standout feature here. And that’s been Saleen’s obsession since he began tinkering in earnest with Ford’s ponycar in 1984. Today his company offers three different models. On the bottom end is the S281 (coupe, convertible, or Speedster), a modest evolution of the new modular-engined Mustang GT. The next step up is the S351 (around since late ’94), which adds a 5.8-liter/371-horsepower OHV V-8 engine to the mix, among a host of other performance and cosmetic items. Slap the R-Code option on that puppy, and horsepower jumps to a peak of 480. At the pinnacle of the line is the SR, which gives you all the R-Code S351 stuff and less. Less back seat, less cushy civility, and most of all, less weight. Roughly 300 pounds lighter, the SR is the strongest performer in the Saleen line; however, in our estimation it’s too stripped down to serve as a daily driver.

That task is left to the far more civilized S351 R. It begins life as a humble ’96 Mustang V-6, direct from FoMoCo. The unused V-6 is popped out and sold back to Ford, and a Saleen-engineered Ford 351 is dropped in. It breathes through a cast-aluminum manifold and is fed by sequential fuel injection. Saleen-spec TFS aluminum heads cap the iron Ford block. A hydraulic roller cam and roller rockers help cut friction; exhaust is ushered overboard via ceramic-coated headers, stainless converters and exhaust, then finally through a pair of Borla 2.5-inch mufflers. The 351 is mated with a heavy-duty clutch, a Tremec five-speed manual transmission, a special drive shaft, and a heavy-duty rearend with 3.55:1 gearing.

Chassis changes are all-encompassing. Additional structural bracing delivers better chassis rigidity and in turn, wheel control. Saleen/Racecraft struts go up front and mount to adjustable camber/caster plates to allow for new alignment and setup specs. A huge 1.4-inch-diameter front anti-roll bar is fitted, and it rides on firm urethane pivot bushings to further tighten body-roll characteristics.

The Mustang’s live-axle rear suspension carries on with the help of Saleen’s quad-shock system, and another sausage-thick anti-roll bar. Ride height is dropped significantly with the addition of variable-rate coil springs at all four corners. Finally, a set of Saleen-designed 18-inch Speedline magnesium wheels are bolted in place.

On the outside, Saleen wraps the Mustang in new front and rear fascias, bodyside cladding, and a rear wing-which in our experience, combine to create more thumbs-up approval from passers-by than free Duff Beer. The Saleen exudes toughness, without the elitist overtones of the European exotics that approach its performance.

1996 Saleen S351
1996 Saleen S351

The S351 is priced at $42,990. Come forth with another $6244, and you can ante up to the R-Code Package of our test car. Lift the hood of an R-car, and you’ll be greeted by a beautifully polished aluminum Vortech belt-driven supercharger that pumps an extra 109 horsepower out of the engine. Normally aspirated, peak horsepower is 371 at 5100 rpm; with the pressure on, you’re looking at 480 horses at 5500 rpm. Torque is similarly enhanced, swelling from 422 pound-feet to 487 at 3600 rpm. Other R-Code delights include recalibrated engine management electronics and pizza-size 13-inch front brake rotors clenched by huge four-piston calipers.

Settle into the firmly supportive Recaro driver’s seat and turn the key, and the car rocks harder than a Northridge condo sitting squarely on a fault line. But tip into the throttle even a little, and the engine smoothes instantly.

Don’t let this taste of civility mislead, however. Even with only 2000 rpm registering on the tach, a sudden stab of half throttle will fling your Slurpee clear into the back seat. Boost arrives progressively, but by 3000 rpm or so, the intensity of the power delivery demands your full attention. Experience in tamer cars such as the Dodge Viper or Corvette Grand Sport won’t fully prepare you for what this Saleen has to offer.

Nor will they ready you for the Saleen’s race-car-spec handling. With firm spring rates balanced by specially nitrogen-charged dampers, the S351 R has a stiff-legged ride. Stiff, but not often abusive. Snap it into a corner, and the S351 R turns in progressively, staying slot-car flat all the while. The Saleen’s chassis is balanced toward a hint of understeer, which can be teased away with the always accessible power. Squeeze on more, and you can transition to glorious tire-burning, teen-cheering oversteer.

Our slalom testing confirmed the Saleen’s remarkably good transient handling-and sheer speed-with a best run of 69.7 mph. If not for having to test at a track with less grip than our usual venue, it likely would have broken into the 70-mph range. The same slippery, weathered pavement netted a mediocre 0.89 lateral g reading on the skidpad and an unremarkable 127-foot stop from 60 mph. With better test conditions, we expect the S351 R’s figures would improve substantially.

The same goes for acceleration numbers: Tippy-toeing off the line, we were able to get the Saleen down to 5.2 seconds 0-60 mph-only a bit better than the last ’96 Mustang Cobra (5.5 seconds) we tested at another facility, and slower than our recent 5.0-second run in a Viper also tested elsewhere. The Saleen’s quarter-mile elapsed time was 13.4 seconds-0.2 second behind the Viper, but almost a second ahead of the Cobra.

The most telling figure is the Saleen’s terminal speed, which is relatively unaffected by low grip off the line. At 119.3 mph, the S351 R is the fastest production street car (not a tuner special) Motor Trend has ever tested in the quarter mile, outrunning even the Saleen SR prototype we drove last year. At the quarter-mile mark, the Saleen pulls away smartly from the 113.4-mph Viper, and accelerates away from the Mustang Cobra at a rate of 17.6 mph-like Carl Lewis at a full run.

That’s teleportation. That’s the Saleen S351 R.

Saleen Mustang S351 R
Manufacturer Saleen Productions, Inc.,
Irvine, California
Location of final assembly plant Irvine, California
EPA size class Subcompact
Body style 2-door, 4-passenger
Drivetrain layout Front engine, rear drive
Airbag Dual
Base price $42,990
Price as tested $49,879
Options included Supercharger R -Code Package, $6244;
B-pillar chassis brace, $345
Ancillary charges Destination, $300
Typical market competition Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS,
Corvette Grand Sport, Pontiac Trans Am WS6
Wheelbase, in./mm 101.3/2572
Track, f/r, in./mm 61.6/60.7/1565/1542
Length, in./mm 182.0/4623
Width, in./mm 71.8/1824
Height, in./mm 50.1/1273
Ground clearance, in./mm 3.0/76.2 (est. )
Manufacturer’s base curb weight, lb 3375
Weight distribution, f/r, % 58/42
Cargo capacity, cu ft 10.8
Fuel capacity, gal 15.4
Weight/power ratio, lb/hp 7.0
Type 90° V-8, liquid-cooled, cast-iron block,
cast-aluminum heads
Bore x stroke, in./mm 4.0 x 3.5
101.6 x 88.9
Displacement, ci/cc 351/5752
Compression ratio 8.8:1
Valve gear OHV, 2 valves/cylinder
Fuel/induction system Sequential EFI, supercharged
hp @ rpm, SAE net 480 @ 5500
lb-ft @ rpm, SAE net 487 @ 3600
Horsepower/liter 83.5
Redline, rpm 5750
Recommended fuel Premium unleaded
Transmission type 5-speed manual
Gear ratios
(1st) 3.27:1
(2nd) 1.98:1
(3rd) 1.34:1
(4th) 1.00:1
(5th) 0.68:1
Axle ratio 3.55:1
Final drive ratio 2.41:1
Engine rpm,
60 mph in top gear 2000
Front MacPherson struts, lower control arms,
coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear Live axle, four trailing links,
coil springs, anti-roll bar
Type Rack and pinion, power assist
Ratio 14.7:1
Turns, lock to lock 2.4
Turning circle 38.3
Front, type/dia., in. Vented discs/13.0
Rear, type/dia., in. Vented discs/11.7
Anti-lock Standard
Wheels and tires
Wheel size, in. 18 x 8.5/18 x 10.0
Wheel type/material Cast magnesium
Tire size 255/35ZR18/285/35ZR18
Tire mfr. and model Dunlop SP8000
Instruments 200-mph speedo; 7000-rpm tach;
coolant temp; fuel level;
oil press.; volts;
supercharger boost;
fuel pressure; digital clock
Warning lamps Check engine; battery; brake; belts;
ABS; airbags; low oil
Performance and Test Data
Acceleration, sec
0-30 mph 2.6
0-40 mph 3.7
0-50 mph 4.5
0-60 mph 5.2
0-70 mph 6.6
0-80 mph 7.6
0-90 mph 8.7
0-100 mph 10.5
Standing quarter mile
sec @ mph 13.4 @ 119.3
Braking, ft
30-0 mph 33
60-0 mph 127
Lateral acceleration, g 0.89
Speed through 600-ft
slalom, mph 69.7
Speedometer error, mph
Indicated Actual
30 29
40 39
50 50
60 60
Fuel Economy
EPA, city/hwy., mpg 15/26
Est. range, city/hwy., miles 231/400
Although the blown 5.8-liter V-8 has a loping idle sure to strike fear in stoplight tough guys, it can be as gentle as a pussycat-a 480-horsepower pussycat. Saleen claims a top speed of over 180 mph.
The snug-fit Recaro seats are significantly more bolstered than their stock counterparts. That’s good. But with an as-tested sticker of just over $50,000, this Saleen about doubles the price of a Mustang GT.
Convenience items are standard Mustang fare, which means they work without a fuss. White-face Saleen instrumentation is easy to read in daylight (much less so at night). Fuel pressure and supercharger boost gauges live atop the dash.

[Source: Motor Trend Magazine]