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18 REASONS TO VISIT THE SALEEN EXHIBIT AT LEMAY – AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM

18 Reasons to Visit the Saleen Exhibit at LeMay – America’s Car Museum

LeMay Museum, overhead
LeMay Museum, overhead

As you read this, many of you have seen coverage from last weekend’s grand opening of a new year-long exhibit honoring the racing and business achievements of Steve Saleen; witnessed through numerous videos and photos shared via social media from the LeMay Automotive Museum. If you were fortunate enough to attend the “Intimate Dinner with Steve Saleen” or “Saleen and Caffeine” or both, then you observed first-hand this impressive presentation of historic Saleen vehicles and vintage memorabilia collected under one roof. Steve, Liz and Molly were also in attendance and warmly greeted owners and fans throughout the two-day affair. If you did not go, don’t fret, I will convey why you should make plans to visit this “must-see” destination very soon.

Steve & Liz Saleen with March race car
Steve & Liz Saleen with March race car

As you walk towards main entrance of the LeMay Museum, you are dazzled by a 2019 Saleen S1 painted in signature Lizstick Red, glowing in its red with orange hues inside the main lobby. As you journey into the start of the main floor display area, be prepared to be instantly taken back by the Saleen Exhibit. In front of you and lined up to your left are some of the most iconic Saleen street vehicles ever built organized by their generation. Meanwhile lined up to your right are a few of the most historical and famous Saleen competition vehicles that have graced racetracks around the world. A lot is represented here, all in one place, from the very first Saleen Mustang ever made to the current Saleen 1 Cup racecar. Ornamenting the museum walls are a selection of important Saleen memorabilia that is gloriously displayed behind glass.

If you’re not impressed yet, then chew on this. Where else can you view some of the most iconic/historical Saleen vehicles and memorabilia all gathered in one accessible place? This exhibit is a cooperative effort through Steve Saleen as well as private owners and collectors across the USA to bring together this fantastic display of irreplaceable and priceless pieces of Saleen history. The kind of history that is interwoven into every Saleen’s (vehicle) DNA.

Still not convinced? Here are the 18 reasons why you should see the Saleen Exhibit:

  1.  1984 Saleen Mustang, the first Saleen vehicle ever built. On loan from Stu Akers.
  2.  1995 Saleen S-351, this Speedster was a corporate demo and famously used to promote the national Mcdonald’s Monopoly sweepstakes. On loan from the PAS collection.
  3.  2003 Saleen SA-20, to celebrate the company’s 20th Anniversary. On loan from Debbie Blaylock.
  4.  2007 Saleen S281 SC “Molly Pop” custom colored “candy pink” for Molly Saleen. On loan from Molly Saleen.
  5.  2015 Saleen S302 Black Label, custom colored “California Sunset” as a tribute to Paul Walker. On loan from David Weiner.
  6.  2007 Saleen S281 “Barricade” specially built for the “Transformers” movie. On loan from Robert Rendon.
  7.  2020 Saleen Sportruck XR, Baja capable, but daily driveable. On loan from Saleen.
  8.  2014 Saleen SA-30, to celebrate the company’s 30th Anniversary. On loan from Tim Anderson.
  9.  1996-1998 Saleen/Allen Racecar, “RRR” Speedlab racing team, with comedian/actor Tim Allen. On loan from the PAS collection.
  10.  1990 Saleen Race Truck, which competed at Des Moines, Road Atlanta, Colorado National Speedway, and Las Vegas. On loan from Mike Charles.
  11.  1988 Indy Car 88 March, in 1989, Steve Saleen enters the PPG Indy Car World Series. On loan from Saleen.
  12.  2001 Saleen S7, the first S7 manufactured and featured in the movie, “Bruce Almighty.” On loan from Bob & Linda Yallen Intermedia Racing.
  13.  2005 Ford GT, Saleen is awarded two contracts to build the new Ford GT for Ford. This vehicle’s VIN# is “1966” coinciding with Ford’s win at Le Mans. On loan from Saleen.
  14.  1976 March 76B Formula Atlantic, Steve sets 13 track records and ultimately wins the 1977 Pacific Coast Championship. On loan from Saleen.
  15.  1987 Saleen Mustang Racecar, competed in the 1987 – 1988 SCCA Escort Endurance Championship, winning the Driver’s Championship as well as the Manufacturer’s Championship. On loan from Dave Frezza.
  16.  2020 Saleen 1 Cup Racecar, 1 of 20 race cars built for tine inaugural Saleen Cup Series. On loan from Saleen.
  17.  2019 Saleen S1, Lizstick Red promotional car. On loan from Saleen.
  18.  Rarely seen collection of Saleen racing and manufacturing memorabilia.

If you close your eyes for a moment, you can picture a Mustang, a Bronco, a Model T, a Thunderbird, and yet year after year we attend car shows to see these cars with our own eyes. This Saleen Exhibit hosted by the LeMay Automotive Museum is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feast your eyes on a selection of Saleen vehicles and memorabilia that you may never be able to see again.

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LEMAY: AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM OPENS STEVE SALEEN RETROSPECTIVE

LEMAY: AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM OPENS STEVE SALEEN RETROSPECTIVE

Renowned Tacoma, Wash. automotive gallery unveils a year-long exhibit celebrating a legacy of racing and road cars by acclaimed racer-turned-automaker Steve Saleen

“Saleen: A Journey from the Heart of a Racer to America’s Supercar” features 17 historic vehicles, including early race cars, Saleen Mustangs, S7 supercar, S1 and more

TACOMA, Wash. (Nov. 20, 2019) — For the next 12 months, racing fans, high-performance car buffs and other automotive enthusiasts can get up-close and personal with historic vehicles and articles from a true American automotive legend – all at a world-class museum facility in the Pacific Northwest.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, LeMay: America’s Auto Museum (ACM) in Tacoma, Wash. opened the facility’s first year-long lifetime retrospective dedicated to a single automotive personality – internationally acclaimed racer-turned-vehicle manufacturer Steve Saleen, and his Corona, Calif.-based company, Saleen Automotive.

The exhibit, “Saleen: A Journey from the Heart of a Racer to America’s Supercar” offers visitors a unique display of Steve Saleen’s rich automotive history, spanning over four decades. Visitors can enjoy a variety of historic vehicles on display, including Steve Saleen’s personal racing machines, early Saleen Mustangs, the Saleen S7 (considered America’s first supercar), and examples of the company’s new Saleen 1 midengine turbocharged sports car and recently unveiled Saleen 1 GT4 concept race car. The exhibit initially features 17 Saleen vehicles, with additional cars rotating into the exhibit throughout the year-long display.

  • 1976 March B Formula Atlantic race car driven by Steve Saleen
  • 1984 Saleen Mustang
  • 1987 Saleen Mustang race car
  • 1988 March Indy Race Car driven by Steve Saleen
  • 1990 Saleen Race Truck (winner of the SCCA RaceTruck
  • Challenge)
  • 1995 Saleen S351 Mustang
  • 1996 Saleen Mustang SCCA T1 race car
  • 2003 Saleen S7 supercar featured in the film “Bruce Almighty”
  • 2003 Saleen SA-20 Mustang
  • 2005 Ford GT (engineered and manufactured by Saleen under contract to Ford)
  • 2005 Saleen Mustang featured as police Decepticon Barricade in “Transformers” (2007)
  • 2007 Saleen S281 Mustang in “Molly Pop” hot pink
  • 2014 Saleen SA-30 Mustang
  • 2015 Saleen S302 Mustang “Black Label”
  • 2020 Saleen Sportruck XR
  • 2020 Saleen 1 sports car (street version)
  • 2020 Saleen 1 GT4 concept race car

The Saleen exhibit at ACM officially opened to the public on Saturday with a ‘Saleen and Caffeine’ event that invited visitors to meet Steve Saleen and enjoy a guided tour of the display. The exhibit opened to record attendance on Saturday morning, with Saleen owners and enthusiasts across the Pacific Northwest gathering for the event.

“It’s an honor to stand here in America’s Car Museum’s beautiful facilities with vehicles representing over four decades of my life and career,” said Steve Saleen, founder and CEO of Saleen Automotive. “I’m proud of our past achievements, but I also look forward to continuing our legacy into the future with unique new Saleen vehicles and a global presence in motorsports.”

In addition to showcasing the uniquely American automotive brand, the “Saleen: A Journey from the Heart of a Racer to America’s Supercar” exhibit aims to inspire the public with Steve Saleen’s illustrious career in automotive engineering, design and manufacturing.

“This is more than a chance for the community to get up close to some of the most extraordinary cars in the world,” said ACM CEO Jennifer Maher. “This is also an opportunity for young people to see that there’s a clear career path in automotive technology and people like Steve Saleen are the role models.”

For more information on “Saleen: A Journey from the Heart of a Racer to America’s Supercar” and to purchase tickets visit: www.AmericasCarMuseum.org.

For more details on Saleen Automotive and Steve Saleen, visit www.Saleen.com, or follow Saleen on social by using on Facebook at Facebook.com/Saleen , or by using @Saleen on Twitter and @Saleen on Instagram.

About Saleen Automotive, Inc.

Saleen is dedicated to transforming the transportation experience. For over 35 years, the California-based automotive manufacturer has redefined driving through high-performing vehicles that combine championship-winning racing pedigree with innovative technology and distinctive styling.

From the first Saleen Mustang in 1984 to the legendary S7 in 2000 and the groundbreaking new Saleen 1, company founder Steve Saleen has continually set the bar for vehicle design and performance engineering on streets and racetracks worldwide. In addition to its distinctive Saleen Signature and Saleen Original vehicle lines, Saleen offers a wide variety of technical parts, lifestyle accessories and apparel for those with a passion for performance. Learn more at www.saleen.com.

About LeMay – America’s Car Museum

America’s Car Museum (ACM), a member of America’s Automotive Trust, is an international destination for families and auto enthusiasts to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile and learn how it shaped our society. Based in Tacoma, Wash., the stunning 165,000-sq.-ft. facility has been recognized as one of MSN’s 10 Best Automotive Museums worldwide, USA Today’s 10 Best Museums in Seattle and KING5’s Best Museum in Western Washington. ACM serves as an educational center for students of all ages, features 12 rotating exhibits and hosts AAT’s annual Signature Events. For more information, visit www.americascarmusueum.org.

Contacts
Media Contact:
Saleen PR – Collin Whitley
cwhitley@Saleen.com

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Saleen Automotive]

HAGERTY: SALEEN MUSTANGS COMMAND A PREMIUM PRICE

Saleen Mustangs still command a premium price

By: ANDREW NEWTON on November 6, 2019
Original Article: HAGERTY.COM

Values have risen 27–34 percent in 2 years.

Conventional wisdom would have you believe that modifying your car will wreck its value. Fair enough. Doing your own “improvements” out back with a hacksaw and a hammer certainly won’t do your car any favors when it comes time to sell, and buyers are often wary of even professionally tuned cars.

However, it’s not true that deviations from factory stock always make a car less valuable in the long run. Just look at what people are paying for RUF Porsches, early AMG Mercedes-Benzes, and Alpina BMWs these days. What sets those cars apart from the average modified car with bolt-ons and custom wheels is that the RUFs, AMGs, and Alpinas are series-built by well-known, small-volume manufacturers, often with the knowledge of the carmakers, which is a far cry from your local shop.

Another, closer-to-home example is Saleen. With the contract to build the 2005–06 Ford GT, not to mention its own S7 supercar, Saleen has done some big things, but it is best known for building souped-up Mustangs since the mid-1980s. Even the early Saleen Mustangs were carefully and professionally built, and you could buy them through your Ford dealer. They even came with a Ford factory warranty. Saleen also built its Mustangs with racing in mind and in small numbers (especially by Mustang standards), so it’s no big stretch of the imagination to think of Saleens as the Shelbys of the ’80s. Saleens are already significantly more than regular Fox-body Mustangs, and their values have been growing at a faster clip, but check how much a ’60s GT350 is worth and it looks like the Saleens have plenty of room to grow. There’s a reason why we put them on our Bull Market list earlier this year.

88-0001, Saleen Mustang - courtesy of Colin Comer
88-0001, Saleen Mustang – courtesy of Colin Comer

Steve Saleen started Saleen Autosport in 1983, and he built a handful of cars in 1984. Because of emissions regulations, he left the Mustang’s 5.0 engine alone, but the addition of stiffer springs, Bilstein dampers, alloy wheels, and stickier tires were more than enough to turn the lumbering Fox-body Mustang into an entirely different car—a stiff, unapologetic, track-ready corner-carver. Nifty custom FloFit seats, a 170-mph speedo, and Escort radar detector rounded out the interior, while a body kit and bright graphics let everyone know you were driving something special.

Things only got better for Saleen. The company quickly reached an agreement with Ford to put Saleen Mustangs inside Ford dealerships, where they retailed for more than a standard 5.0 GT but less than Ford’s turbocharged Mustang SVO. Saleens also had great success in SCCA racing, including three consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Mosport from 1986–88, and the company started building modified Ranger pickups in 1987.

1988 Saleen Mustang Convertible & 1987 Saleen Mustang Hatchback - courtesy of Colin Comer
1988 Saleen Mustang Convertible & 1987 Saleen Mustang Hatchback – courtesy of Colin Comer

Steve Saleen was finally able to combine his already effective handling improvements to the Mustang with a more potent engine in 1989 with the Saleen SSC. A larger throttle body, improved intake, new exhaust with high-flow cats, and other improvements brought power from 225 hp in the base car to 290 hp and 325 hp, crazy figures for the ’80s. A heavy-duty battery and clutch, along with larger wheels, were other upgrades. Saleen improved on the SSC further in 1990 with the SC, which makes 304 hp and features better handling and a more aerodynamic body. A Vortech supercharger arrived for ’93, but both SSC and SC were very expensive when new. Saleen sold just 161 SSCs, followed by 28 SCs. Even the normal 225-hp Saleen Mustangs are rare. Production totaled just a few dozen in some years, while even the peak years of 1988–89 produced only a little more than 700 cars annually. Meanwhile, Ford sold over 400,000 Mustangs in those two years. Hard driving, theft, and accidents have taken plenty of Saleens off the road.

After 1993, Saleen went on to build Mustangs based on the fourth-generation cars, but it’s the 1984–93 versions, with their wild body kits, that are arguably the best known. When it comes to how much these standout Mustangs are worth, it’s actually not a Saleen but Dearborn’s own ‘roided-out track-ready Fox-body—the SVT Cobra R—that carries the highest value among Fox-bodies, with a condition #2 (excellent) value of $57,450. The slightly rarer Saleen SSC and the much rarer Saleen SC are a bit behind, with #2 values of $41,450 and $47,700, respectively, while a normal production Saleen Mustang comes in at an average of $24,150. More run-of-the mill sporty Fox-bodies are worth way less. A 5.0 GT is, on average, 45-percent cheaper than a Saleen ($13,300), and a 5.0 LX is 64-percent cheaper ($8650).

While it isn’t a surprise that Saleens are pricier than base cars, they are also appreciating faster than their factory cousins. Across all 1979–93 Mustangs, values are up an average of 16.5 percent over the past two years, and Fox-bodies of all types have been among the hotter cars in the market over that time; Saleens are up anywhere from 27–34 percent over the same period.

Other than the aforementioned 1993 SVT Cobra R, of which 107 were built, no Fox-body Mustang has appreciated faster over the last few years than Saleens have. Like Shelby, the Saleen name commanded a premium price from the beginning, but that premium is getting bigger.

1989 Saleen Mustang - Sandon Voelker
1989 Saleen Mustang – Sandon Voelker

Our Marketplace Editor Colin Comer owns several Saleens and watches the market for them closely. “The production numbers are really low, in many cases much less than the 1965–70 Shelbys, and finding a really good one that hasn’t been crashed or modified or beat to death and still has original parts is already really tough,” according to Comer. “I absolutely think these Saleens will be the early Shelbys for another generation.”

He also notes that the earliest cars are particularly sought after and especially the first dozen-or-so cars, which featured some unique parts. Speaking of parts, “due to the realities of being a small manufacturer that used other people’s parts, a lot of things are tough to get,” Comer adds. “Original radios, wheels, body kit parts, shift knobs, etc. are prized, and for the 1987-and-up cars with Flofit the seat fabric is long unavailable so that’s a biggie.”

Finding a good one is, therefore, worth the wait. And given the bright future these fine-tuned Fox-bodies have on the collector market, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hang on to your Saleen for the long haul, too.

[Source: Hagerty]

SALEEN UNVEILS 2020 SEASON GT4 CONCEPT RACE CAR

SALEEN UNVEILS GT4 CONCEPT RACE CAR

High-performance automaker introduces new factory-built race car concept based on Saleen 1 model, designed to compete in SRO Motorsport Group’s GT4 Series

New turnkey track cars to be manufactured in California by Saleen and available for order immediately following homologation approval by SRO

The Saleen GT4 concept is a specially-built racing versions of the new Saleen 1 turbocharged, mid-engine sports car, designed to compete in GT4 racing series worldwide. (Photo: Brett Turnage)
The Saleen GT4 concept is a specially-built racing versions of the new Saleen 1 turbocharged, mid-engine sports car, designed to compete in GT4 racing series worldwide. (Photo: Brett Turnage)

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (Oct 18, 2019) — One of the most legendary names in GT racing will soon return to the starting grid at the world’s most prestigious racetracks with an original new machine designed specifically for track competition.

At a press conference and demonstration event held yesterday at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Saleen Automotive announced it will soon offer specially-built versions of it’s new Saleen 1 turbocharged, mid-engine sports car designed to compete in GT4 racing series worldwide.

The new Saleen GT4 concept model – which will be built at Saleen’s Corona, Calif.-based facilities starting in November 2019 – is based on a dedicated racing version of the Saleen 1 model, which debuted in the 2019 Saleen Cup racing series. The single-make “arrive and drive” series concludes its inaugural season with a grand finale event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 18-20.

Saleen’s GT4 concept features distinct changes from the standard production model Saleen 1, including updates designed to comply with GT4 series specifications. The Saleen GT4 concept features updates to the car’s front splitter and fenders, plus new advanced rear diffuser to improve aerodynamics. Per GT4 specifications, a large rear wing is included to add maximum downforce and traction. Saleen’s GT4 concept car also offers front and rear anti-lock braking systems and other GT4-specific equipment.

“We developed the Saleen 1 to be fully capable on the track and easily adapt to racing applications,” said Steve Saleen, CEO and founder of Saleen Automotive. “Our company was founded on racing DNA and the track is where we prove our reputation. We look forward to completing the homologation process with SRO and seeing these cars compete at GT4 events around the world.”

The GT4 category was created by the Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) in 2007 to offer a championship that featured a wider range of manufacturers and better affordability than other racing series. Starting with an initial series in Europe, GT4 racing has expanded worldwide with additional championships in the United Kingdom, North America, Asia and Australia.

“The Saleen Cup has been an important and exciting addition to our race weekends in 2019 and we look forward to the Saleen GT4 joining our Pirelli GT4 America grids in 2020,” said Greg Gill, President and CEO of SRO America.

Boasting innovative chassis design and performance influenced by Saleen’s legendary S7 supercar, the mid-engine Saleen 1 marks the latest in the company’s Saleen Original vehicles line. With its turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine producing 450 horsepower, plus lightweight chassis and carbon fiber bodywork, the Saleen 1 is a formidable track car – even in street form.

“We found during the inaugural Saleen Cup season, our test session lap times were already competitive with the top GT4 times, regardless of the track,” said Saleen Director of Motorsports Gabriele Cadringher. “The performance of the Saleen 1 has exceeded even our high expectations and we expect this car to be very competitive in GT4 next year.”

Once Saleen’s GT4 concept car completes homologation approval and begins production, the expected price for each car will be $225,000. For information on pre-ordering, please contact Gabriele Cadringher at gcadringher@saleen.com or call (800) 888-8945.

For more details on Saleen, including product info and racing information, visit www.Saleen.com, or follow Saleen on social by using on Facebook at Facebook.com/Saleen , or by using @Saleen on Twitter and @Saleen on Instagram.

About Saleen Automotive, Inc.

Saleen is dedicated to transforming the transportation experience. For over 35 years, the California-based automotive manufacturer has redefined driving through high-performing vehicles that combine championship-winning racing pedigree with innovative technology and distinctive styling.

From the first Saleen Mustang in 1984 to the legendary S7 in 2000 and the groundbreaking new Saleen 1, company founder Steve Saleen has continually set the bar for vehicle design and performance engineering on streets and racetracks worldwide. In addition to its distinctive Saleen Signature and Saleen Original vehicle lines, Saleen offers a wide variety of technical parts, lifestyle accessories and apparel for those with a passion for performance. Learn more at www.saleen.com.

About SRO Motorsports Group

The global leader in GT racing. With more than 25 years’ experience at the forefront of a continuously evolving industry, SRO Motorsports Group is the established international leader in GT racing.

Best known for the development and implementation of the GT3 and GT4 regulations, SRO promotes and organizes championships that embrace professional and amateur competitors. Its portfolio of highly regarded series spans Europe, America and Asia, while its flagship Intercontinental GT Challenge features events on five different continents.

The 2019 season will see more than 100 races run under the SRO Motorsports Group banner, highlighted by the prestigious Total 24 Hours of Spa. In addition to promotion and organization, the company operates SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Circuit Paul Ricard – and provides the ultimate driving opportunities at world-renowned facilities through Curbstone Track Events.

SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel. With offices in London, Paris, Liège, Austin, and Hong Kong, its work is facilitated by a dedicated global team of full-time and freelance staff.

Combining a passion for performance with industry-leading experience, SRO is ready to play a key role in shaping the future of international GT racing.

Contacts
Media Contact:
Saleen PR – Collin Whitley
cwhitley@Saleen.com

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Saleen Automotive]

HOT ROD: A SALEEN MUSTANG COLLECTION TO DIE FOR

A Saleen Mustang Collection to Die For
Power in the Hands of… One?

BY: MARYBETH KICZENSKI on OCTOBER 2, 2019
Original Article: HOTROD.COM

We’ll wager a bet that you’ve heard the name Steve Saleen, and we’ll bet the farm that every Mustang enthusiast knows the name, as the builder of the infamous Saleen Mustangs. Coming from a Formula Atlantic open-wheel racing background, Saleen began turning out modified Fox-body Mustangs in the 1980s, from 1984 to 1993. Roughly 2,700 of the Saleen Mustangs were built during the Fox era, and a bunch more from ’94 to today. The Saleens were among the first “tuner” Mustangs on the market, and with their modified (sometimes Vortech-supercharged) engines and suspensions, they were a bright spot in the often dismal mid-1980s performance scene.

Saleen’s tagline, “Power in the hands of a few,” definitely means a bit more to Scott Warren of Highland Park, Illinois. As an avid Mustang enthusiast, the performance capabilities of the Saleen-modified ones always peaked (piqued) his interest. Scott’s first Mustang was a black-over-grey 1987 GT that would go on to both fuel his addiction to black cars, as well as the quest for a real Saleen.

For Scott, what stood out about the Saleen cars was their track record. Saleen took home the driver, team, and manufacturer’s championships in SCCA Escort Endurance series in both 1987 and Saleen’s winning continued in 1988, including a 1-2-3 in the 24 Hours of Mosport in ’88 with a three-Mustang team, a first for Ford since the GT40 tromping of Ferrari at LeMans in 1966.

Saleen Mustangs are special in that every vehicle is serialized, like Shelbys were and still are. This appealed to Scott, as well. Not only does serializing make each car unique, they also come with a story that can be tracked throughout a car’s history. Scott used this to his advantage in searching out cars from limited-production runs, super high-performance offerings, press cars, test mules, or Saleen’s personal cars—that unique serial number and bumper number tells the story. Scott learned that the cars with low bumper/serial numbers tend to be these special builds or in-house company demos; the ones sold to the public typically begin at number 10 but the numbers also don’t always follow in sequence.

After nearly 20 years from his first encounter with a Saleen Mustang, Scott purchased his first one, a black 1987 convertible. While this car started his journey into actual ownership, it would be the special ones mentioned above that he would ultimately end up with.

While the core of his collection consists of Fox Saleens, his many years of driving and collecting them have led him to appreciate all the body styles. Scott is also an active member of The Saleen Club of America which, as he says, has brought together so many people from across the country who share a passion for Saleen automobiles. Even though the Fox Mustang started it all for Saleen, there are highly desirable variants spanning across various generations of Mustangs, many of which he has in his collection. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

1993 SC #02

Saleen released its first Mustang in 1984 and to celebrate its five-year anniversary in 1989, produced the Saleen SSC, a special edition of 161 Mustangs with specially modified engines that made 292 hp. The ’89 SSC was the first Saleen to receive full EPA certification. These cars proved popular so in 1990-1993 the model was referred to as the Saleen SC, (for Super Car). The production was skipped in ’92. This car, of which only 26 were built, was designed to showcase how far the Fox platform could be pushed while retaining a warranty, something that’s critically important to anyone purchasing a new car. The production numbers of this top of the line Saleen SC can be broken down like this:

SALEEN SC PRODUCTION
1990 13
1991 9
1992 0
1993 4
TOTAL: 26

All of them, except one, sported unique interiors. They were fitted with unique wheels and a larger diameter exhaust. Engine-wise, Saleen fitted them with a Saleen-specific intake and other engine parts. Some received adjustable suspension bits, and some later models were Vortech-supercharged. In 1990, the SC cars were rated at 315 hp, which was a lot of power for the early ’90s. Saleen offered the package for 1992, but there were no takers. For 1993, four cars were ordered. Of these cars, one was a convertible. What makes this batch special is that they came with a 450hp rating. These cars were identical in performance to the SA-10 models except for paint scheme and interior seat stitching. The ’93 SC cars even had the carbon hood originally offered on the SA-10. Scott’s ’93-’02 SC is the lone hatchback produced with this 450hp combination. What does this equate to in performance numbers? Off the showroom floor the car would bolt 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and cover the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds. Again, for the early ’90s that was fast!

Scott’s 1993 #02SC originally stickered for $39,990 and was used as a daily driver during the first part of its life, where it was traded between collectors. Later it spent several years on display at Performance Autosport in Richmond, VA. Scott was adamant about telling his friend there how much he loved that particular car and this communication proved beneficial when the car came up for sale a few years back. Scott was able to scoop it up with 54,000 original miles.

1993 SA10 #01

The Fox-body Mustang came to an end in 1993 which coincidently was also Saleen’s 10th year of production. To celebrate, the company decided to offer the SA10 model. In order to purchase one of these special edition cars, you had to be a member of the Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club. What makes the SA10 models special was that these were the first cars to use sequential serial numbers from Ford. All 10 of the black LX hatchbacks came off the line in order and were shipped to Saleen for the conversion. Exterior wise, the black cars were marked with yellow and white accent decals, a carbon fiber hood, and flat-lipped Stern wheels. Scott notes that these wheels are often copied, and stresses that only 10 or 11 Saleens ever came with them. Interior wise, all but one car received Recaro leather seating. From this point, the customer could pick and choose his/her vehicle’s options from the Saleen Performance Parts catalogue and as such, no two cars are exactly the same. The SA10’s base car, a supercharged Saleen but not an SC, came with 325 hp. Obviously, based on which additional performance goodies were ordered, the car could leave with 450 hp. Less than 10 Fox-body Saleen Mustangs with 450 hp were ever produced—four were the Saleen SC flavor, and the remainder were the SA10 cars.

SA10 #01 was originally built for John McCauley, President of the Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club. Like all original purchasers of these special cars, John met with Saleen to discuss the additional details of the build. John enjoyed racing so he wanted this to be a race car. While some collectors would frown upon this decision, others would applaud it—after all, these cars were born from a racing heritage. SA10 #01’s performance story began with a balanced and blueprinted engine fitted with ported cylinder heads. This is the only SA10 with a Saleen-specific intake for more horsepower. From there, a Tremec five-speed and a 3.55 gear with an Auburn differential transferred that horsepower to the ground via heavy duty racing springs and shocks at all four corners. Interior wise, John had the rear seat deleted, and a four-point roll cage installed. A custom Pioneer stereo with a 10-disc changer rounded out the build because, you know, street car! Because of the racing intent for this particular SA10, it would become the most-optioned build, and was built by Joe Gosinski and his team at Saleen. Joe, for those not up to speed on Saleen history, was the man behind the infamous 1994-1999 S-351R but met a tragic end a few years ago—more on that later.

Being the first prototype build, SA10 #01 has a few other details that make it different from the reminder of the SA10s. The graphics are slightly different and the wheels have unique polished center caps. The car also spent time on the show circuit, including being Vortech’s booth car at SEMA. What was the original cost for this special Saleen? MSRP was over $50,000 for this race-ready Fox. Gosinsky would later open Chicane Motorsports in California, A subsequent owner of #01 took the car to Joe’s shop where he refreshed the entire drivetrain and brought the car back to collector-original quality. Scott eventually purchased the car from Mark LaMaskin who owns Performance Autosport in Richmond VA (and helped us with some technical information on this story). The car had been in the Roger Rodas’ collection. Roger was a good friend and client of Mark’s, after Roger’s death Mark helped the family place all of his collectable Mustangs. The SA10s, due to their storied history and performance prowess, firmly place them as one of the most sought-after Fox-body Mustangs. Of the 10 offered, only nine were ultimately built due to a customer backing out on the deal. This car is one of Scott’s most prized possessions, the other being the aforementioned legendary S-351.

The Non-Saleen: 1993 SAAC MKII #01 Convertible

Scott may be a die-hard Saleen owner but that doesn’t limit him from appreciating special cars built by other notable builders. Carroll Shelby, as everyone knows, made history with some of the most incredible Mustangs ever to grace the planet. The SAAC MKI and MK2 cars of the early 1990s have an interesting history due to the fact Shelby was under contract with Chrysler at the time, building the crazy pocket rockets for Dodge. This project was a secret between a few Ford engineers and Shelby, so secret that the first few cars were built in the garage of one of the original people involved in the program. Production was eventually moved to Watson Engineering in MI. Scott’s car was the last one built, and it was assembled at Kar Kraft (home of the Boss 429 Mustangs). The goal was to create a modern day G.T. 350 and they almost pulled it off, but right around the launch of the MK1, Chrysler issued a cease and desist order against Shelby. The cars were quickly rebranded as SAAC (Shelby American Automobile Club) instead of Shelby. Production-wise, 37 white-with-blue-stripes MK1 cars were built. MK2s saw a mix of hatchbacks and convertibles and the colors were expanded to include red and black. Out of the approximate 21 cars made, 12 were convertibles.

The MK cars came with nearly 300 naturally-aspirated horsepower with the GT40 package that consisted of different heads, larger throttle body, and a tubular GT40 intake. The brakes were upgraded to four-wheel discs and three-piece Simmons wheels finished the look. In order to assist with brake cooling, the fog lights were removed in favor of air ducts. Interestingly enough, some believe that without this secret project the 1993 Cobra would have never happened. Ford sold some back-room parts to get the cars built and also used it as the test bed for EPA certification. Also note the lack of fake air scoops that the GT body had.

Scott’s ownership of this car came through an eBay auction—goes to show that sometimes you really can find awesome things on the site. Sitting at around 10,000 original miles, this drop-top Fox is a wonderful example of this complicated three-way relationship that left a sour taste in one manufacturer’s mouth.

1997 S351 #026R

The “R” designation on any Saleen means something special. The S351 series was built from 1994 until 1999, and these legendary cars were the first ones in which Saleen changed out the entire driveline. There were less than 300 produced throughout the entire production run. Some of these cars started out as basic V6s while others were V8s and after Saleen’s swap, power output ranged from 371 hp on the naturally aspirated models to the 505hp fire-breathing supercharged variants. Again, this is the mid- to late-’90s so that kind of power for a car with a warranty was incredible at the time.

Scott acquired S351 #026R after the untimely murder of Chicane Motorsports owner Joe Gosinski in 2010. The car found its way to Joe’s shop with intentions of being turned into a track car. The customer ran out of money, so Joe acquired it as a personal project. A Maximum Motorsports suspension and Global West subframe connectors were installed just prior to Joe’s untimely passing, so when Scott took possession his job was to reassemble and install the original drivetrain and Tremec six-speed. Currently sitting at 15,000 miles, this was one of four cars built with every available option. Those options were the 10-inch rear wheels, 3.55 rear end, two-point chassis brace, and the Recaro leather interior. All S351s received Alcon brakes as a standard feature in 1997. S351 #026R is Scott’s favorite car to drive on the street. He said that the combination of the chassis and suspension work with the sheer power from the supercharged engine make it an absolute beast. Because of his connection with Joe, this car holds a special place in his heart and he never plans on selling it.

1997 S281 Cobra #173

The Supercharged Extreme Rainbow Cobra Speedster Saleen is a mouthful to describe. It is one of 182 cars built on the Cobra chassis and the only convertible ever painted this color—less than 20 Saleens in total were painted this color. Often confused with Ford’s Mystic, this is a completely different color as BASF was a partner of the Saleen/Allen racing team and manufactured the paint for them.

The story of S281C #173 began as a custom build for a customer in Colorado. He insisted on a white top, and the only way to get one was to order a red car, so this car started life as a red cobra convertible. Why is this significant if the car needs to be repainted? Well, Saleen preferred black cars because then they didn’t have to paint the engine bay. A bill for an additional $4,000 for labor was added to the customer’s build in order to remove the drivetrain to paint the engine bay. With an original sticker price of $58,287 and the additional labor costs, plus $4,286 for the supercharger install, this car topped out at $66,573! The original owner supplied a disposable camera to document the build and some photos are said to show the test-fitting of the Vortech supercharger at Saleen’s production facility but Saleen records show that the car was shipped off to a dealer for the supercharger install.

This was another eBay score for Scott. He came across the auction 12 years ago and immediately called the seller to end it. This was his second Saleen and the one he has owned the longest. As it sits today, the car only has about 4,000 miles on it. With the eye-catching paint and unique build details, the car remains one of the most recognizable Saleens out there.

2011 Black Label #01

With all these rare and special Saleen vehicles, what does Scott drive daily? Why a Saleen, of course! True to his collector roots, this also isn’t just “any old Saleen.” The 2011 Black Label (2011-01BL) that serves daily duty started out as a car for Liz and Steve Saleen to use as a commuter for work. At some point, the car was then used as a test mule for what was going to be “George Follmer” editions. A modified engine in addition to suspension tweaks were installed and tested at the track. The car was then shipped to Charlotte to celebrate the Mustang’s 50th anniversary where Steve Saleen gave test rides in the car on the track. Then in 2014, the Black Label body kit was installed and the car was shipped to China as a marketing tool to help launch the brand there. When the Mustang switched body styles in 2015, Saleen sold it to Scott with 26,000 miles on it. Modern Saleens use a “label” to designate the trim levels: White Labels are base models, Black Label is the top trim, and Yellow Label is a White Label with a supercharger. As a true daily driver, Scott has driven this car to over a dozen states and has taken it to two different Saleen Nationals plus Ponies in the Smokies.

There we have it! A somewhat brief history into Saleen as told through the stories of one dedicated owner and his collection of rare and unique Mustangs!

Factoid

In 1985, Steve Saleen’s secretary miscounted the vehicles produced that year, omitting vehicle number 6. Since 1985, Saleen has had the tradition of not issuing the #6 bumper number on any of its vehicles. And now you know.

[Source: Hot Rod Network]

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]