Tag Archives: Mustang

POWER PASSION DOESN’T GO FOR A SONG

By: ROB GUEST on June 15, 2002
Original Article: HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE)

I LOVE cars. At the last count, I have owned 85 since I began driving in New Zealand at the age of 15. That works out to about two different cars a year.

But I would have to go a long way to beat my latest, a 2001 Saleen Mustang Speedster.

I bought the Mustang, fully imported from the US, on impulse one afternoon while driving around North Sydney.

I just traded in the BMW on the spot, because I loved the Mustang the minute I saw it.

I have owned Jaguars, Porsches, BMWs, a Lotus Esprit and Mercedes but one thing is certain: my passion has cost me a lot of money.

Probably the worst deal I have made was when I bought a black Lotus Esprit Turbo S4. It had been first prize in a raffle. It was worth $215,000 on the road, so I said I would buy it if the highest offer was less than $130,000.

I was doing Phantom of the Opera at the time and my mobile phone rang during the interval to say I had been successful.

I had to sell my Mercedes 500SL Convertible to pay for it and the Lotus proved to be a very unwise investment.

I later sold it for $115,000 with only 3000km on the clock. It was a great car to drive. It would go from nought to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, but to reach the handbrake I had to rest my head on the windscreen.

My mum has seen at first hand my impulsive nature. I was out with her one day in my black Jaguar XJ6.

I saw a Triumph Stag on a stand at a car dealership. I pulled over, worked out the difference in the changeover, had the stereo moved into the Stag and half an hour later we were off again, in the new car.

The problem is, you never make money on cars. Luxury cars are just that… you never make money on them.

But I just love cars and I always will.

FELLOWS’ WIN BREAKS BAD LUCK SPELL AT SEBRING

By: RICK MATSUMOTO on March 17,2002
Original Article: TORONTO STAR (CANADA)

Ron Fellows has finally captured the elusive 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Mississauga driver brought the Corvette C5-R across the finish line at Florida’s 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway last night at the head of the GTS class.

The victory came in the fourth attempt by Fellows and Corvette Racing to win the Sebring race, which along with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona, is considered one of the three major endurance events of world sports car racing.

“Finally, we finally did it,” said a relieved Fellows on the victory podium.

While Fellows, who had put the Corvette on the pole in qualifying, started and finished the race, he shared the driving with long-time co-driver Johnny O’Connell and newcomer Oliver Gavin.

Fellows’ car finished ninth overall, after covering 317 laps, 29 laps behind the winning Audi.

Interestingly, Gavin was one of the three drivers in the Saleen Mustang that upset Fellows and Corvette in last year’s Sebring race. This year, the Saleen S7R placed second with 309 laps.

Fellows had been the surprise overall winner of the 2001 24 Hours of Daytona a month earlier and had been the heavy favourite to win at Sebring. However, major mechanical problems allowed the Saleen to take the checkered flag in the GTS class.

This year Corvette Racing decided to pass up the Daytona race and concentrate its efforts on producing a reliable, as well as quicker, car for Sebring.

Audi, with lead driver Johnny Herbert driving the last hour, won the Prototype 900 class and the overall title for the third consecutive year.

PENSKE TOPS IRL: Helio Castroneves, a pilot for the IRL-interloper Marlboro Team Penske, captured pole position for today’s 200-lapper at Phoenix International Raceway by turning in a blistering lap of 20.0124 seconds around the one-mile oval – a speed of 179.888 m.p.h.

Castroneves nipped defending race winner Sam Hornish Jr. by 0.017 of a second to capture his first IRL pole.

TARGA RALLY TALLY A RECORD 150 ENTRANTS

By: N.A. on June 22, 2001
Original Article: WAIKATO TIMES

This year’s Dunlop Targa New Zealand rally will be the largest competitive rally held in this country with 150 entries so far.

The six-day tarmac rally is the seventh to be run and will be held from October 23 to 28.

The 2000 event was taken out by Australia’s Craig Dean in a Saleen Mustang with most of the 11 Australian cars that crossed the Tasman acquitting themselves well.

The 2001 Targa, which runs in central North Island, has a mixture of old and new stages over 600km of closed roads and 1300km of touring.

Since the 1999 event the emphasis of the event has changed away from contemporary 4WD cars (only six are accepted), which has brought out a larger number of interesting cars.

Among the entries there is a 1963 Sayer lightweight E Type Jaguar, two ex-group B MG Metro 6R4s from the 1980s, 10 Ford Escorts, both MK1 and MK2 with two being RS1800s from the 1980s, a Mini Cooper powered Mini Marcos, two 1960s Sunbeam Rapiers, several MGBs and a lone Audi Quattro.

Also entered is Robbie Francevic, the charismatic Kiwi who has been winning national and international events since the 1960s. Francevic won the 1967 national championship for sedans in the Custaxie, the inaugural Wellington street race with a Volvo 240T in 1986, and the following year the 1987 Australian Touring Car Championship.

Francevic is running in a 1969 Pontiac GTO.

In the more modern categories there are four Mazda RX7 Batmobiles, seven Porsches and seven Peugeots, two Nissan Skylines and the latest Ford Mustang Cobra R. There is also a yet-to-be released 2001 Honda Integra Type R.

Ex-Tasman Motorsport Indy Car Team owner Steve Horne has put to one side his normal management role and is driving the Integra.

Some of the more quirky vehicles include a 1955 Chevrolet Pickup with a 5-litre V8, a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado ute, a Subaru Legacy GT Station wagon and a Ford Anglia with Nissan running gear.

Already entered from Australia are a Tasmanian team in an EH Holden and a MGB Roadster from NSW. Andrew Bryson from Western Australia has teamed up with Kiwi Rootes Group specialist Brian Bradshaw in a Hillman Imp. From Queensland there is a 1970s Datsun H510.

HARRY DRIVES ‘EM WILD

By: NEIL DOWLING on March 28,2004
Original Article: SUNDAY TIMES, THE (PERTH)

People lust over this car and for good reason. It’s the only one of its type in the state and costs more than $100,000. Neil Dowling reports on a rare import

Harry Martin is used to people admiring his rare car. One day, at a concourse for Fords in Perth, he returned to his display car and found a woman sitting behind the steering wheel receiving stern words from her husband.

“I can’t get her out,” the husband said, “and she says she won’t leave until she gets one.”

She didn’t get one because there’s just one in WA, possibly only one in Australia, and it cost Harry $110,000 six years ago. So she left.

But that’s the attraction of the rare Saleen Mustang or to give it its full title, the S281 Speedster.

“It always draws a crowd because it is a mix of retro and modern, and people clearly see it’s not a Mustang Cobra, even though it’s based on one,” Harry said.

“Once I reckon I spoke to 600 people at one car show. It was great.”

Harry’s passion for the Saleen goes beyond owning a rare car.

When his car goes on show it collects much-needed donations for the Special Air Services’ resources trust, an organization involved in funding community projects such as mobile work camps. Harry heads the SAS Trusts not-for-profit Administrative Training Services Unit.

When the car is on display the trust holds raffles of rare-model Saleen cars signed by the car’s maker, Steve Saleen, as prizes.

“We’ve raised about $11,000 for the trust through car appearances and raffles,” Harry said.

Harry’s charitable example of an S281 is No. 10 of a limited edition of just 100 cars. It is the most popular model of a seven-car line-up produced by the Californian-based specialist vehicle builder, Saleen.

“It has the smallest engine of the V8s but Saleen has worked on it to produce 213kW (285hp) and a 0-100km/h time of only 5.2 seconds,” Harry said. “It is not only quick but I regularly get 11-litres/100km on standard unleaded petrol.”

“That’s a lot better than a quad-cam Mustang Cobra previously sold here through Tickford.”

To create an S281, Saleen buys Mustangs from Ford’s Dearborn factory at Michigan and strips them back in its Californian workshop in Irvine, Orange County.

Parts replaced range from suspension to brakes, body kits to woodgrain trim, and a new engine, differential and exhaust system.

It is numbered, in Harry’s case 9810 for the year of manufacture and its production number, and has flank graphics to bang the point home that this is no Mustang.

It’s unusual for a Saleen to be exported. Harry’s car was converted to right-hand drive in Australia. The high cost of his convertible is attributed mainly to the handmade components used to change it to right-hand drive and the import and state stamp duties.

His purchase was also influenced by the poor exchange rate in 1998. “It would be a lot cheaper to buy one now,” he said.

“Saleens are hard to get hold of and they’re very scare on the second-hand market in the US.”

They also hold their value. Three US magazines, Road & Track, Car & Driver and Motor Trend, rated the Saleen Mustangs as having the highest resale value of seven sports cars, including the Porsche Boxster, Jaguar XK8, Firebird Trans Am and Corvette.

“In this year, my 1998 model has an 84 per cent retained value. That’s pretty hard to beat for a six-year-old car.” Harry’s car may even be worth more. It recently won gold in its class at this year’s 40th anniversary Mustang show held by the Mustang Owners Club.

It looks, and drives, like brand new. The interior is flawless leather, the chromework is unblemished, the Eagle tyres barely show wear and the Laser Red paint mirrors the devotion given to the car.

That it’s covered just 26,000km since Harry bought it also improves its value and appeal.

“It’s my job,” he said of the low odometer reading. “I’m away 260 days of the year, so I don’t get to drive it as often as I want.”

The mesh-covered intake holes in the front spoiler and on the flanks seem to be for aesthetics.

“No, they’re for real,” Harry says. “The front ones lead to ducting to cool the front brakes and the intakes on the side, behind the doors does the same thing for the rear brakes.”

In the flesh it looks great. Smaller than the specifications indicate but well-balanced and distinctive.

“If it wasn’t as fast as what it is, I’d still have bought it,” he said. “It’s just a great car to drive.”

“At 110km/h that engine is only spinning at 1800rpm in fifth gear. Generally, I’d only use up to third gear, sometimes fourth, on a drive.”

This weekend Harry leaves to again visit the Saleen factory and catch up with a few good Ford guys, including racer and Cobra originator Carroll Shelby.

He may even have a look over the Saleen S7.

“I wouldn’t sell my car. Well, perhaps for an S7,” he says, of the purpose-built Saleen racer. “Maybe an SR. No, no. I’d only sell my car for the S7.”

specs
Saleen S281 Speedster
Price: about $120,000
Engine: 4.6-litre, V8, SOHC, 16-valve
Power: 213kW @ 5100rpm
Torque: 449Nm @ 4100rpm
0-100km/h: 5.2 seconds
Top speed: 260km/h
Fuel: Standard unleaded
Fuel tank: 59 litres
Fuel economy: 11.5-litres/100km
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Drive: Rear
Suspension: Front — MacPherson struts, variable-rate springs; Rear
— live axle, four-link, variable-rate springs on trailing arms,
four gas shocks
Brakes: 4-wheel discs, ABS
Wheels: 17-inch alloys, 245/45R17 tyres
Spare tyre: Full size
Length: 4630mm
Width: 1828mm
Height: 1305mm
Track: Front — 1493mm; Rear — 1538mm
Wheelbase: 2533mm
Weight: 1645kg

KEVIN HEFFERNAN’S COMPETITION S351 READY FOR GT-P NATION’S CUP SERIES

By: MICHAEL KNOWLING, Pictures: JULIAN EDGAR
Original Article: AUTOSPEED.COM

Ride ’em Cowboy

A Y2K Mustang that’s been breathed on by Saleen to the tune of over 450hp and then fully prep’d for GT-P Nation’s Cup series. Yep, this bucking horse is a real traditional-routes type circuit racer…

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

In a racing world that’s becoming increasingly filled with turbocharged, multivalve, DOHC techno screamers, it’s nice to occasionally see a traditional style grunter out there on the starting grid. Amidst a field of Porsches, Ferraris, a supercharged NSX and a Diablo SVR, Kevin Heffernan’s Ford Mustang is a real standout attraction in the Nation’s Cup series, the elite GT-P class exclusive to high performance exotic cars. This wild horse doesn’t pretend to combine the very best modern suspension design with the most efficient engine – it’s a big thumper of a fast car and that’s that!

Kevin Heffernan’s an experienced tin-top racer, having started off with Minis when he was barely 15, then moving onto a Gemini, Group C Commodore, VL Group A and, finally, VP and VS V8 Touring cars. His decision to step over to GT-P Nation’s Cup series for this year was heavily swayed by the relatively high level of television coverage there is per dollar. We spoke to Kevin at the 2000 Adelaide Clipsal 500 just before the Mustang’s very first competitive outing in the newly formed Nation’s Cup series.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

Carrying over his existing primary financial backing from Price Attack, Kevin recalls choosing the right car. “A Porsche was out of the question and a Corvette with all the jewellery wasn’t in my direction – but I still wanted a muscle car. Something a bit different.” The rulebook says you must have a manufacturer’s car, which can be tuned by their in-house high performance divisions – but it definitely cannot be just an aftermarket job. So it was the Ford-backed Saleen Mustang that won the ticket. After preparing freight and all the paper work to have a brand-spankers car brought over from the US, it arrived on the wharf like an unclaimed baby. An $84,000 baby.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So what exactly is a Saleen Mustang? It’s a US package available to upgrade the average Mustang. And believe it or not, this car left the Santa Margarita Ford dealership powered by a mere six pot – now look at it! It came back from Saleen pepped up with a Vortech V1 supercharged 351 that’s packed with forged pistons, high performance alloy heads, roller rockers, hydraulic roller cam and lifters, Saleen upper and lower intake manifold sections and a 65mm throttle body. A high volume fuel pump and larger injectors are used for the fuel delivery side of things – incidentally, no high octane race fuel is allowed in the Nation’s Cup. Everyday PULP is the regulation brew.

These good bits combine to give “what they say in America is 495hp”, but this one’s actually been dyno’d here at 460 horses. However, it varies slightly from the usual Saleen spec sheet by having a MoTeC M8 programmable management system, which has seen the Saleen 80mm airflow meter replaced by a MAP sensor.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

The reason for the conversion is that “the MoTeC is more usable here (in Australia) and there’s limited local knowledge about Saleen system,” says Kevin. And other than that, the only other mechanical change post-Saleen is to the exhaust, which is carried on from their beautiful ceramic coated extractors. Having to comply with a regulation noise limit, a dual 3 inch exhaust system is muffled by four custom mufflers (no cats are required).

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

The driveline was beefed up by Saleen through the fitment of a 6-speed Borg Warner gearbox (complete with a short shifter), high performance clutch and pressure plate, custom “whopper” tailshaft and a Detroit 3.27:1 locker diff. Eighteen inch Saleen rims and a full body kit rounded out the cosmetic department. An aluminium radiator and an oil cooler were also fitted at Saleen as calculated safety measures – but the latter has since been beefed up in capacity given the car’s 100% racing role.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

With the massive Saleen upgrade fitted to the shiny new red Mustang, the Aussie guys then focussed on taking it that little step further. Making it a racecar. The factory suspension design was brought up to level with a Proflex fully adjustable combo. This gives 3 way (slow bump, fast bump and rebound) adjustable dampers complete with external reservoirs and coil springs only slightly softer than those in the V8 Tourers. Kevin chose the Proflex product safe in the knowledge that they’ve performed very well on his Touring Car, his wife Carol’s GT-P (Class E) Honda Civic VTi-R and even a hottie Monaro. Interestingly, he says that the overall suspension set-up of the Mustang actually feels similar to a V8 Touring Car.

After only a couple of brief familiarization laps, he says the car feels workable and has great turn-in – but it does lack a bit mid-corner. “There seems to be a geometry problem in the centre of the corner – which maybe probably something to do with the steering.” Unfortunately, at this early stage, not very much fine-tuning has been able to be done – the car’s barely finished being assembled. But all the right ingredients are there for a good result.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen MustangKevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

Braking wise, the Mustang holds onto its 4-pot Alcon/Saleen calipers, but the front discs are now up-sized substantially to 14 inches. Gone too are the Ford rear discs, and in their place are 4-pot Brembos biting 13 inch discs. No ABS is fitted. The heavily worked fronts are helped by a pair of fat convoluted ducts that feed cooling air to the eye of the hubs. And another indication that the car is harsh on the front brakes is reflected in the selection of front-to-rear pad materials. Pagid 14s go on the front and cooler temp 9s go on the back. The rules state that normal rubber brake hoses must be kept in service, however fluid is free. This car uses proven Castrol SRF.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

The ‘Stang is technically allowed to have 18×9 rims at the front and 18x10s at the rear, but it makes do with Saleen 18 by 9s all ’round. “It’s not so bad,” says Kevin, “you don’t really notice the difference.” There’s no control tyre used in Nation’s Cup and Kevin was free to go for Michelin 270/65 slicks all ’round. And, like brake fade, Kevin was unsure if high temperature wear of these soft rubbers was going to be a problem. “It is a bit heavy,” he comes back to once again.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

Inside the car, there are also regulations that have to be met. A car must retain its full interior, with the exception of the door trims (which enables the installation of a roll cage). The rear seat (if factory fitted) must also be retained. Virtually anything else can go. Kevin’s removed the factory airbags, stereo and the air conditioning system (there’s no compressor or any other part left). The heater is still hooked up for demisting purposes though. Things that went into the cockpit include a Saleen steering wheel (unfortunately there’s no non-airbag boss available) and Saleen knob, drilled pedals, fire extinguisher and a battery kill switch. A data logger (mainly for revs and boost) is also installed so that the scrutineers can keep an eye on what competitors are doing.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

For added safety inside the Mustang, there’s a Sparco carbon-fibre driver’s seat and a Velo passenger’s pew, plus a Willans harness for each. A full chrome-moly cage protects the whole cabin. Oh, and being from the US, it’s left hand drive too!

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So how’s the big bill looking now? Well, add about another 20-30 grand and that’d be about right – bringing the grand total up to $104,000-114,000! More than most people’s piggy bank can hold, that’s for sure. Plus then there’s the expense of a huge team truck, racing fees and charges and maintaining the car. Here we’re talking tyres, fuel, pads, etc. In terms of spares, Kevin has only a windscreen, two axles and some replacement lower control arms. He does plan on getting some more parts behind him though, but at the moment there’s a possibility Ford Australia might decide to bring in guards.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So you can see why sponsorship is so important. Cost is a killer. It’s actually Price Attack and various other sponsors that really own the car, truck and equipment. And, of course, sponsors want to see their products being paraded around on a top lookin’ car. The Mustang keeps its factory red paint work but it’s now crazed by crisscrossed silver pin-striping, sponsor logos and a black/yellow bonnet.

Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang
Kevin Heffernan’s S351 Saleen Mustang

So if Price Attack owns just about everything, what’s Kevin’s position? He’s the mechanic, truck driver and race driver – that’s what! He’s a very dedicated man. But he’s up against some tough opposition in the Nation’s Cup series. As he puts it, “The Porsches are breeding like rabbits and there’s some incredible cars here.” And when we asked him where on the track he’d like to be running, he jovially replied “hopefully just running on the track!” Kevin’s not expecting to be an outright contender – not just yet anyhow. The near future will see the team develop improved handling, more hp and solve a chronic fuel starvation problem.

Footnote:
While running at the Clipsal Adelaide 500, the Mustang was forced to retire due to it “melting a couple of pistons”. The cause is thought to be related to that dreaded fuel surge, or excessive combustion temps. Either way, Kevin says they’ll probably miss the next round, but they’re aiming to be back for Canberra. That’s racing.

[Source: autospeed]

KEVIN HEFFERNAN MAKES BID FOR GTP NATIONS CUP WITH SALEEN MUSTANG

On February 23, 2000 at 11:45 PM
Original Article: MOTORSPORT.COM

Another hot contender for the new Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup motor racing series has been confirmed with the launch of a supercharged Saleen Ford Mustang for former V8 privateer Kevin Heffernan.

Heffernan unveiled the car at the Gold Coast this week, featuring the familiar red and white livery of his long-time sponsor, hair-care retail group Price Attack. Fudge hair products will provide additional sponsorship .

The Mustang is one of around 25 ultra-high performance production GT cars that series organizer PROCAR Australia expects to have on the grid for the first round in Adelaide on April 9th.

Others include Monarch Motors’ Lamborghini Diablo SVR, which will arrive from Italy this week for driver Paul Stokell, four new competition-specification V10 Dodge Vipers and a Jaguar XK-R under construction in the United States for Queenslanders Mark Trenoweth and Bob Thorn.

Two Porsche 911 GT3s, a Ferrari F360 Modena Challenge, a Chevrolet Corvette C5 and a Toyota Supra RZ already have competed in pre-season races.

Heffernan is confident the Price Attack Mustang, bought new from a California Ford dealer, is a potential front-runner.

“It should have around 500 horsepower and our racing weight will be 1425 kg. It’s got a six-speed gearbox, four-spot front brake calipers and has been ordered with the optional 18 x 9 and 18 x 10 wheels,” he said.

Heffernan mentioned he was looking forward to the eight-round series, which will feature some of the world’s fastest and most desirable production cars. “We thought Nations Cup would be able to give us a good television package for our sponsors.” He continued, “I still love V8 touring cars, but I don’t think we’re stepping back from them so much as side-stepping into an elite car market. I think the fans will relate strongly to a name like Ford Mustang.”

GTP Nations Cup manager Steve Bettes has been advising Andy Kritikos, of AKG Motorsport, in Zion, Illinois, on the specifications required to build Trenoweth’s Jaguar supercharged V8 coupe.

[Source: motorsport.com]

ALL-NEW 2000 SALEEN SR PROVIDES ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE

FOR RELEASE AT 3 P.M. PST, JANUARY 7, 2000

SR Blends High Performance With Race Technology

IRVINE, Calif. – There’s a new car from America’s best-known performance car manufacturer. The 2000 SR from Saleen takes “street performance” to its ultimate.

With an energizing 505 horsepower from its 5.8 liter Saleen Centrifugal Supercharged V-8 engine and a Saleen Racecraft designed independent rear suspension, the SR takes curves with the same force as it does straightaways.

“We’ve used our racing experience on the track and adapted this technology in the engineering of the SR to create the ultimate street performance vehicle,” said Steve Saleen, president and founder of Saleen lnc. .“The SR goes frdm 0-60 mph ‘very quickly’ and hits a quarter mile speed ‘very fast.”

The 2000 SR is highlighted by Saleen’s 5.8-liter Ford-based engine producing 505 hp and 500 lbs of torque mated to a Saleen six-speed transmission. A custom Saleen driveshaft leads to an IRS differential system at a gear ratio of 3.55:1. Braking is through 14.4” front rotors with four-piston calipers. Rear brakes are 13.0″ metallic discs with four-piston calipers. Unibody construction features a complete roll cage and suspension reinforcement system. A refined Saleen Racecraft suspension includes independent uneven length double wishbones with Saleen N2 triple adjustable shocks and adjustable sway bars in the front and a Saleen-designed push-pull Independent rear suspension.

The SR also includes power assisted rack and pinion steering. Additional features include race inspired seats and a white instrument gauge cluster with a 200 mph speedometer.

The Saleen SR boasts exterior aerodynamic refinements beyond the base complete body panels of the Saleen S281, including a specially-designed composite hood, composite rear bodywork and underbody tunnel. The SR was wind-tunnel tuned at Lockheed-Martin’s full-size tunnel in Marietta, Georgia. The SR comes standard with 18” wheels and Pirelli P-Zero tires. Every body part is unique to the Saleen SR, with the exception of the windows.

The Saleen SR is available as a coupe only. The retail price for the Saleen SR starts at $150,000. Like all Saleen vehicles, the 2000 SR is available only at Saleen Certified Ford dealers nationwide. For a list of Saleen Certified Ford dealers, contact Saleen at 9 Whatney, lrvine, CA 92618, call 949-457-9100 or go to www.saleen.com.

Saleen manufacturing facilities include complete research, engineering, design and assembly capability. Saleen is certified by the federal government as a specialty vehicle manufacturer. Saleen manufactured vehicles meet all the same Federal government regulations as those of large automobile manufacturers, and come with a full factory warranty.

Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced over 7,000 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. The company’s line includes Saleen S281, S351 sports cars, Saleen XP8 sport utility and Saleen Performance Parts, the latter a complete line of performance and appearance products for Mustangs and Explorers.

Contact: Michael F. Hollander, Pacific Communications Group 310.224.4981

9 Whatney Irvine, CA 92618
t 949 597 4900
f 949 597 0301
www.saleen.com

Click here to participate in the discussion.

SALEEN MUSTANG S281

By: DUTCH MANDEL on November 11, 1999
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 49, ISSUE 46

Saleen: the world’s largest tuner or the smallest manufacturer?

350 hp @ 5000 rpm; 410 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Base price, $29,900; as tested, $40,344

When is a tuner not a tuner, and is instead a manufacturer?

It’s a question not of semantics nor philosophical debate, but of pride. It is also a question Steve Saleen begs to ask. Saleen argues that by definition tuner companies get cars or trucks and bolt onto them go-fast, look-trick, be-pretty parts. On the other hand, Saleen gets a car virtually as a body in white and puts it together from the ground up. In this way the company is able to tune suspension, drivetrain and many other parts-all while maintaining quality control-unequalled in the tuner car world.

That question asked, even the government identifies Saleen as a specialty vehicle manufacturer, which requires the Southern California-based company to build cars under the same strict governmental guidelines for safety, emissions and quality as those that regulate DaimlerChrysler or General Motors.

Saleen has a point. One of the first things you notice in getting behind the wheel of the 2000 model year S281 Mustang is the fit and finish; everything seems to fit and it looks finished, neither of which can be said for fly-by-night jobbers. The white Saleen gauges integrated in the instrument panel match a pair of supercharger boost gauges tucked in a dash-mounted housing that appears to have come from Dearborn. It has not, of course, and this is where Saleen’s argument begins to bear weight.

Take a look at some of the other interior details attributable to Saleen: An extremely close-ratio gearbox moves in shifts that can’t stretch more than four inches, whether from first to second, or second to third. The shifter isn’t fitted with a knob so much as a form-fitted thick stalk which begs to be grabbed and directed. Even the throttle, brake and clutch pedals are cleanly customized with Saleen identification. Subtle Saleen identification.

Which seems another touchstone for tuners: the insistence on making it known to the free world This Car Is Tuned By (Fill In The Blank). Please guys-including you, Saleen-learn a softer, gentler touch. We understand the want to brand a car, but the overuse of over large, bright graphics is closer to scarification. This Saleen would be best with the exterior graphics removed-let the exceptional, almost sinister profile grab attention, and the S281’s mighty performance do the talking.

It is amazing what 350 supercharged horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque will do for the Mustang-even a Mustang without the Cobra’s independent rear suspension. But this suspension works. It’s a hybrid MacPherson strut front with Saleen Racecraft struts and variable rate springs. Keeping the front end locked down is a serious 1.38-inch antiroll bar. In the back is the tried-and-true live axle, this with lower trailing arms, stabilizer bars and a Quadra Shock system, also fitted with Saleen-calibrated units.

The fun is in the driving. And if you need to crank up the fun quotient a bit, find some moist pavement with newly fallen leaves. All we can say, after the heart stops its fibrillation, is thank goodness for traction control and ABS, both of which are on the S281.

When driving the S281 on clean, dry pavement, the car’s mature behavior is immediately noticeable. It doesn’t want to dart and shoot willy-nilly. It sets a track and takes the line. The ride, while not luxury-sedan smooth (nor should it be), is not at all uncomfortable as many high-performance cars can be. The question, of course, is could you own and drive this as a daily commuter?

Sure you could. The likelihood is that for its 25-percent premium over the base Saleen Mustang (the S281 we tested topped out at slightly more than $40,000, which includes dealer destination) you’ll want to keep it in the garage for special cruising. You wouldn’t be alone as in the 16 years since Saleen first plied his trade, he’s produced more than 7000 vehicles. And that’s a far step ahead of where tuner cars-or perhaps better and more accurately said, specialty vehicle manufactured cars-once were.

S351 RATED AMERICA’S FASTEST “STREET-LEGAL” RACE CAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Top-Of-The-Line Saleen Mustang S351 Smokes The Competition,
Blends Sleek Styling With Ultra-high Performance

“This is a car that does everything the way God intended it to.” AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE

IRVINE, Calif. – Faster than a speeding bullet, Saleen’s S351 Mustang is a combination of superior engineering and sleek styling, making it the quickest sports car on the road today. Besides speed, the S351 offers optimum handling and comfort.

“We’ve used our racing experience on the track and adapted this technology in the engineering of the 351 to create the ultimate performance vehicle,” said Steve Saleen, president and founder of Saleen Inc. and the Saleen/Allen “RRR” Speedlab. “The S351 goes from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and hits a quarter mile speed at more than 122 mph, making it the fastest sports car in America.”

The S351 is highlighted by Saleen’s 351 cu. in. Ford-based engine and six-speed transmission, producing 495 hp and 490 lbs of torque, 13” front brake rotors with four-piston calipers and a refined Saleen Racecraft suspension. Additional features include race inspired seats and a white instrument gauge cluster with a 200 mph speedometer.

The Saleen Mustang S351 boasts exterior aerodynamic refinements from the base Saleen Mustang S281 including a specially-designed composite hood, composite rear wing and rear fascia. The 351 also comes standard with 18” wheels and Pirelli tires.

The Saleen S351 is available as a coupe, convertible or ultra-exotic Speedster. The suggested retail price for the Saleen S351 Mustang starts at $55,990. Saleen vehicles are available at Saleen Certified Ford dealers nationwide. For: list of Saleen Certified Ford dealers, contact Saleen at 9 Whatney, Irvine, CA 92618, call 949-457-9100 or go to www.saleen.com.

Saleen facilities include total research, engineering, design and assembly capability. Saleen is certified by the federal government as a specialty vehicle manufacturer. Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced nearly 7,000 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. The company’s line includes Saleen Mustangs, Saleen Explorers and Saleen Performance Parts, the latter a complete line of performance and appearance products for Mustangs and Explorers.

Contact: Michael F. Hollander, Pacific Communications Group 310.224.4981

9 Whatney Irvine, CA 92618
t 949 597 4900
f 949 597 0301
www.saleen.com

SALEEN / FORD MUSTANG IN RETROSPECT

By: LARRY ROBERTS on October 30, 1998
Original Article: www.theautochannel.com

Sometimes when I get Steve Saleen’s press releases about his Team Saleen endeavors both on the race track and in the showroom, I get the feeling that he was born after his time. He should have been in the business of building specially-built sports cars in the ’60s when Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney and the other Southern California hot-rodders-turned-car-constructors were in their hey-days. They built cars for the SCCA Trans Am series for pony cars and became house-hold names to American road racing fans.

It’s not that Saleen has done badly. Quite the contrary. Starting in ’84 with the “Fox” platform Mustang, he’s built a successful business of modifying Ford Mustangs into Saleen Mustangs that are changed enough cosmetically so that buyers of his slick speedsters won’t have their mounts mistaken for the Dearborn version and souped-up enough so that the drivers of most other cars on the street will only get a view of Saleen tailpipes. And he’s done it with the approval of our federal government, a daunting task in itself.

But the promotional venue that Saleen shines in is his participation in racing. In his early years, Saleen himself drove sports car races in semi-pro SCCA events, branched out into driving Saleen-prepared Ford Rangers in the now defunct SCCA series for mini-pickups and even into an unsuccessful stab at the Indy 500, as I recall.

Saleen’s fortunes took a quantum leap a few years ago when he took in Tim Allen, star of the TV series “Home Improvement,” as a partner and formed Saleen/Allen “RRR” Speedlab to build and campaign Saleen SR351 Mustangs in various road races. Allen himself did some of the driving in these events but it quickly showed that simply enjoying cars and owning part of a racing team doesn’t qualify a person to strap himself into a racer and get into the thick of the action. When I saw Allen drive a Saleen/Mustang at Sears Point Raceway in Northern California a few years ago, he was nine seconds off the pace and the regular Saleen pilots had a task in hand to make up the time. I haven’t heard of Allen driving for a while and I suspect that it dawned on him and his TV producers that a guy can get hurt in professional racing if he’s not up to the pace. He did drive at Grand Rapids, Michigan this year where he placed 14th.

For 1998 Steve Saleen and his Saleen/Allen “RRR” Speedlab team pretty much concentrated on the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) World Challenge T1 series for more-or-less production-based sports cars (as opposed to the purpose-built SCCA Trans Am “tube frame” cars), and to say that Saleen was a big fish in the fairly small pond is an understatement. His star driver, Terry Boscheller, won five of the nine races outright and placed second enough times to win the Manufacturer’s Cup for the Southern California-based company as well as the Driver’s Championship for himself.

Although the World Challenge is considered a Saturday warmer-upper race for Trans Am and other more premium events, the Saleen team won against such classy car-and-driver combinations as Bobby Archer, a long-time Chrysler driver, piloting a Dodge Viper GTS and Peter Cunningham in a factory Acura NSX.

For ’98, Steve Saleen is branching out into other auto fields like videos, jackets and tee-shirts, club memberships and other booster merchandise. He also produces a line of special Saleen/Mustangs for a Budget rental fleet in the Los Angeles area.

On second thought, I think that Steve Saleen is in his correct time frame. He’s too much of a business man to have been able to acclimatize his organization to those wild and loose days of the ’60s.