Tag Archives: News

POINTS OF LIGHT

By: on MAY 4, 1998
Original Article: ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL, VOL. 21, ISSUE 18

Children’s Hospital Foundation of Orange County’s Padrinos will present the fourth annual Heroes of the Heart benefit at the Hyatt Regency Irvine on May 16. Tommy Lasorda, who retired as Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager last year, will be the public recipient and featured speaker. Other recipients include Jack Finnerty, Laguna Hills, Jon Rodberg, Irvine, Jason Purcell, Garden Grove and Caring K-9s of CHOC. For ticket information, call (714) 532-8690.

In addition, CHOC is searching for a director of marketing and public affairs and a public relations specialist. Anyone interested in these positions can submit a resume to the human relations department at CHOC, Mention the OCBJ sent you.

Concordia University, Irvine will host its 8th annual Eagle Golf Classic May 18 at the Strawberry Farms Golf Club. Proceeds will support the school’s athletic program. For registration information, call (949) 854-8002.

The city of Garden Grove Community Services Department will host its 19th annual Strawberry Ball May 21 at the Community Meeting Center. The ball will honor an outstanding senior man and woman who have done exceptional volunteer work in the City during the past year. For tickets, call (714) 741-5253.

Main Place Mali merchants will donate a day of primping and pampering this Wednesday to 12 mothers from the House of Hope in Orange, a shelter for homeless women and children.

“Eyewitness News” anchor Michelle Tuzee will serve as emcee for Saddleback Women’s Hospital’s 10th anniversary celebration May 30. Tickets to the event are $75 per person, with proceeds going to the Baby Alumni Club, a support group of Saddleback Memorial Foundation.

Comcast Online will maintain a website for Orangewood Children’s Foundation (www.inorangecounty.com/orangewood) that will include a schedule of Orangewood’s fundraising events such as this month’s child abuse prevention activities. and a sign-up form for interested individuals.

Marie Callender’s has launched a Partners in Education program through which its outlets will adopt area high schools. During last month. the schools received 50 cents for every slice of pie sold above the April 1997 sales level. A minimum donation of $100 per school was guaranteed.

Canyon Acres Children’s Services, an Anaheim Hills facility assisting abused and emotionally disturbed children, has received a $200,000 donation from the former and current owners of Pala Mesa Resort in Fallbrook. Former resort owner, Newport Beach-based Mark IV Capital Inc. and new owner Seattle, Wash,-based Triple Tree Corp. joined together to present the funds.

Mission Viejo-based Merit Property Management and Merit Association Services raised more than $36,000 for United Way charities through a week-long series of fundraising events that culminated in a company chili cook-off.

Arts International, a division of the Institute of International Education, has announced a grant of $2.15 million from the James Irvine Foundation to establish and support the California Presenters Initiative that would provide non-renewable grants of $75,000 each to 21 performing arts organizations.

Toshiba’s Electronic Imaging Division, Irvine has pledged to once again sponsor the Orange County Marine Institute’s Tallships Festival in Dana point, the second year it has provided such support. Toshiba has also donated matching funds to pay for repairs to the brig Pilgrim, a 52-year-old replica of the vessel that brought Richard Henry Dana to California in 1935.

Mimi’s Cafe last month debuted its new Second Chance program designed to support domestic abuse prevention and rehabilitation by donating a portion of the proceeds raised from the sale of Mimi’s French onion soup at all its locations to the program. Mimi’s will also host monthly lunches with women’s shelters, culminating in a yearly event at whiCh monetary grants will be presented to women who have successfully escaped domestic abuse.

Roger Johnson, former head of the U.S. General Services Administration and former CEO of Western Digital Corp., and his wife Janice, pledged $500,000 to UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology to establish a chair they hope will assist in bringing improvements in the way government is managed and for increasing citizen involvement in the political process.

Lake Forest-based Professional Community Management raised over $38,000 in a week-long fundraiser for United Way. The contribution represents a combined effort of all four of PCMs offices, including the Lake Forest headquarters and a Laguna Hills branch.

The West County Family YMCA raised over $71,000 in its annual support campaign to help needy families join various YMCA programs. More than 100 volunteers contributed to the effort. For information about contributions to the West County Family YMCA, call (714)847-9622.

Sprint PCS, Irvine, donated 36 phones with unlimited local service for the current school year to the Cox Elementary School of the Fountain Valley School District. The program is designed to introduce 100% digital PCS communications to the classroom and improve parent/teacher communication.

St. John Knits raised more than $30,000 for breast cancer research at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital through a recent private showing of its spring 1998 collection. The event featured the fashion show, tours of the St. John factory and a luncheon.

United Parcel Service donated $50,000 to the Saddleback Memorial Foundation’s Partnership for the Future campaign to assist in raising funds for Saddleback Memorial Medical Center’s new Critical Care Pavilion. The new facility will house a new emergency care center and critical care unit. Partnership for the Future has raised $12 million of the $15 million needed to construct the pavilion

Irvine-based Saleen Performance donated its services to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County by granting a Huntington Beach boy’s wish to have his Mustang customized. The teen’s customized car was unveiled after a special luncheon at Hard Rock Cafe and limo service to Saleen’s facility.

Wahoo’s Fish Taco Laguna Beach recently presented a $1,600 donation to Brandy’s Friends, a Laguna Beach-based family and youth drug counseling and intervention center.

The Southern California Frozen Food Council, Huntington Beach, served ice cream and held an ice cream decorating contest for children and their families at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in recognition of National Frozen Food Month.

Santa Ana-based NEXTLINK, a telecommunications provider, is participating in a joint program with the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Ana School District and city businesses called “Linking Schools to Business.” The program will culminate in 30 internships at Santa Ana businesses this summer.

Jeep Jeepster: Truck Trends

By: MATT STONE on April, 1998
Original Article: Motor Trend

Future Trucks

A Street Rod For The Rubicon Trail

Think of it as a V-8 Plymouth Prowler (with a back seat) that can also tackle a challenging trail with the best of the Jeep family. With its new-for-’99 4.7-liter/275-horse SOHC V-8, which will debut in the Grand Cherokee, and its unique, electronic four-wheel, independent adjustable suspension, you really could go anywhere with confidence-street or stream, boulevard or boulder-strewn trail.

The Jeepster’s dashboard-adjustable suspension switch allows the rod/ute a 4-inch range of travel, from a ground-hugging 5.75 inches to a rock-climbing 9.75 inches of clearance. The two-plus-two Jeepster, which takes its name from the now rare and collectible ’50 Willys Convertible, has a roster of useful features like water-resistant leather seats, a global positioning system, altimeter, grade and roll indicator, and exterior temperature gauge. Its full-time 4WD system is viscous coupled to a four-speed automatic that rotates huge 19-inch “Hot-Wheels”-inspired wheels equipped with “run-flat” Goodyear Extended Mobility Tires, eliminating the need for a spare.

The cool “what if” exercise certainly raises the possibility of eating your Rocky Road ice cream at the drive-in diner or at the top of the nearest mesa. It seems multiple personalities could pay dividends, after all.-Chris Walton

Performance Test

Saleen Explorer: A Performance/Utility Vehicle

Saleen Explorer XP8
Saleen Explorer XP8

The sport/utility vehicle market continues to subdivide itself. There are now full-size luxury SUVs, convertibles, and others. To this, add the newest trend: the PUV, or Performance Utility Vehicle. Everywhere we look, someone is slamming, supercharging, brake-equipping, and killer-suspending SUVs to perform like-believe it or not-cars.

Saleen Performance has been manufacturing steroid-injected Mustangs for more than a dozen years, and decided the top-selling Ford Explorer was an ideal canvas for its brand of performance redo. Steve Saleen and his band of designers, engineers, and assemblers have taken their customary approach to enhancing the Explorer; upgrading not only the engine, but (if desired) the braking, suspension, appearance, and interior accommodations.

The Saleen Explorer comes in two- or four-wheel-drive four-door configurations, packing either a SOHC 4.0-liter V-6, a 5.0-liter V-8, or a Saleen-developed supercharged 5.0-liter/286-horsepower V-8. Packing a dealer-installed Powerdyne blower, this top-of-the-line model is the subject of our test.

Saleen lowers the Explorer about 2 inches, for both improved handling and appearance. Springs and shocks are swapped for the company’s Racecraft components, and rolling stock is upgraded to Saleen’s own 18-inch genuine magnesium wheels wrapped by Pirelli 255/55SR18 Scorpion S/T radials.

The exterior appearance package includes special front and rear fascia, side skirts, door cladding, roof-mounted rear wing, and faux carbon fiber trim. The cabin is treated to either a real wood or carbon fiber appearance package, depending upon color choice, as well as Saleen gauge faces and floor mats. A particularly nice, though pricey, option is Saleen/Recaro leather seating ($3950), offering 10-way power adjustment up front and hip-hugging support.

According to Saleen, the goal is to enhance the Explorer’s on-road handling and performance with a minimum reduction in its off-road capability. Many SUV users will never leave the asphalt, so max ground clearance is seldom an issue to these folks. On the pavement, the Saleen corners much more confidently than just about any standard sport/ute. There’s a bit of a ride penalty, but the reduction in body roll will be worth it to many drivers.

Our test showed a 0-60-mph time of 7.4 seconds (an improvement of 3.3 seconds over a stock V-8 Explorer). Also significant: 60-0 braking distances are reduced by 26 feet. A big portion of the 0.09 g jump in max cornering forces (0.76 for the Saleen, 0.67 for the stocker) goes to the serious wheel and tire package. Though we did not test its towing capability, we suspect the Saleen Explorer will be popular among those sporty, active lifestyle folks who haul a boat or trailer full of personal watercraft. Increasing supercharger boost would add even more horsepower, but punchy midrange power and long-term dependability were judged more important than Top Fueler acceleration. And you’ve gotta love the tunes issued by the rumbling Saleen/Borla exhaust system.

The MSRP for a V-6 Saleen Explorer is $41,990, and a fully loaded supercharged V-8 model with all available options will run around $56,000. Both Ford’s and Saleen’s own warranties apply. See your Saleen-qualified Ford Dealer.

What’s next, the Swiss Army knife SUV?

THE NEW SUV: BIG, BAD, LOUD… AND FAST

By: SUE ZESIGER on March 2, 1998
Original Article: FORTUNE, VOL. 137, ISSUE 4

Unless you’re a racing-team owner like Roger Penske, chances are you don’t keep a few hand-tweaked, high-powered Chevy Suburbans in your stable, good for bigtime hauling as well as for sinful joy rides. For the rest of us 4×4 plebes, real high performance has been out of reach. But now, car companies are catching on that there’s a huge segment of urban and suburban sport-ute buyers who never go off-road and who see these hulks simply as status symbols, the automotive equivalent of a Gucci bag. (Now that we have bigger, what do we want? Faster!) Mercedes-Benz is planning a high-performance version of its M-Class SUV for model year 2000, with a bigger V-8 and sportier handling. And Porsche is looking into building a 4×4–which would be genetically incapable of sluggishness.

In the meantime, racer and vehicle-visionary Steve Saleen of Saleen Performance–a Ford-sanctioned small-volume manufacturer, based in Irvine, Calif.–is betting on the appeal of “performance utility vehicles.” He’s hot-rodded a Ford Explorer to prove his point and hopes to sell 500 this year. The Saleen Explorer has a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 286 hp and 333 ft-lb of torque. Plus Recaro seats, 13-inch four-piston racing-style brakes, lowered suspension, 18-inch Pirelli Scorpions…. It all adds up to lots of throaty burble, lots of torque, lots of opportunities to take corners at an alarming clip–and not heel over. “SUVs have been practical; now they need to be appealing,” says Saleen. For about $50,000 you can own this very distinctive beast (note extreme body flares)–and no one will mess with your kids when you pick them up after school.

LATE RACING NEWS

By: N.A. on February 17, 1997
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 47, ISSUE 7

First lady. Desire Wilson, whose credits include stints in F1, Indy cars, prototypes and Trans-Am, will be the first woman to compete in the North American Touring Car Championship. She’ll drive a Mazda Xedos campaigned by Schader Motorsports.

A new horse at le Sarthe. Steve Saleen and comedian Tim Allen will enter the first Mustangs ever at Le Mans next June. Saleen plans a world tour with GT-2 Mustang Cobras to promote his street cars. Scheduled stops include FIA GT races at Suzuka, Silverstone and Laguna Seca, with Price Cobb and Rob Rizzo in one car, and Dave Warnock and Phil Smith, winners of the 1996 British GT Championship, in another. Considering that Allen was just about the slowest driver at Daytona (and that’s saying something), let’s hope that he’s smart enough to stay out of the car at Le Mans.

Leader of the pack. Robert “Buster” Auton has replaced Elmo Langley as the Winston Cup pace car driver. Langley died happy, of a heart attack while practicing for the NASCAR exhibition at Suzuka last November. Auton was previously a NASCAR inspector and support truck driver.

Oui, oui. Former Indy Lights champion Eric Bachelart has signed Frenchman Christophe Tinseau to drive for his new Indy Lights team. Tinseau raced in European F3000 last season; Bachelart may drive a second car.

Academic success. Jeff Shafer, 21, and Matt Sielsky, 18, former karting champions, have won the scholarships from CART owner Barry Green’s Team Green Academy. The two were chosen from 25 drivers after a series of tests They’ll get a fitness program, an Indy Lights rest and unspecified financial help for the 1997 season.

Black boxes return. Ford has stepped in to continue the black-box crash data program for CART. GM initiated the program several years ago, but switched its technical support to the. Indy Racing League last season. Ford’s boxes are an evolution of the units used by GM, and are made by the same company, Impact Sensor Technologies.

SALEEN MUSTANGS NOW AVAILABLE AT BUDGET RENT A CAR

By: DAVE BURNETT on November 1, 1996
Original Article: AFTERMARKET BUSINESS, VOL. 106, ISSUE 11

Saleen Performance is offering its own fully serialized Saleen S281 Mustangs through Team Budget Rent A Car franchises. Like the collectible Shelby GT-350H cars, each S281 will have its own serial number beginning at 01B, with the “B” designating it as a vehicle from the Budget Rent A Car fleet.

Team Budget will rent Saleen S281 Mustangs at selected locations. Thirty 1996 models will be available beginning in August at selected Team Budget’s Southern California, Arizona and Nevada offices. The program will be expanded in October 1996 with an additional 100 Saleen S281 Mustangs to be dispersed throughout the country. By Spring 1998, Saleen Performance expects to have a total of 300 Saleen Mustangs available for rent at Team Budget locations nationwide.

“We first tested the rental car market by providing several cars to Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car earlier this year. These cars were so popular with Mustang enthusiasts and tourists, that the cars were always on rent,” says Steve Saleen, president of Saleen Performance. “We then decided to pursue rentals further and reached an exclusive agreement with Team Budget as the official rent-a-car company for Saleen Performance.”

Like the Shelby/Hertz deal, the Team Budget program will allow buyers the opportunity to test drive a Saleen Mustang before purchasing one. Saleen Mustangs are sold only through selected certified Saleen Ford dealerships across the country.

“Having Saleen Mustangs at rental car agencies is a great opportunity to reach new consumers,” adds Saleen.

The Saleen S281-B Mustang sports its own 18-in. magnesium alloy wheels and tires, complete Racecraft suspension, Saleen designed air management and extensive features such as a Saleen Performance air filter, spark plug wires, close ratio shifter, and a Saleen exhaust system. The S281 features Ford’s newest 4.6 liter, 215 HP modular engine. The cars will be available primarily as a convertible with sport bar and coupes at some locations.

Team Budget owns and operates numerous Budget Rent a Car franchises with a total of 161 locations engaged in car, truck and passenger van rentals in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The company also operates airport parking facilities at certain locations, leases vans for pooling operations in 22 states and markets retail used vehicles in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Richmond, three locations in Southern California, four locations in Indianapolis and two locations in Dayton.

Saleen Performance, the internationally-known specialty vehicle manufacturer of high-performance Mustangs, is based in Irvine, California. Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced more than 4,000 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. The company’s line includes Saleen Mustangs and Saleen Performance Parts, the latter a complete line of performance and appearance products for 5.0 liter Mustangs.

SALEEN S351: PONY EXPRESS

By: PARNELLI JONES on September 23, 1996
Original Article: FORBES FYI, VOL. 158, ISSUE 7

The Saleen Mustang may be street legal, but it feels every inch a race car

I HAD BEEN AT INDIANAPOLIS FOR THE 500. It’s always a great week down on pit row, or sitting up there in the stands watching time trials. But if you’re an old racer like me, you start to get the itch to be out on the track yourself. People still ask me how it feels tearing down that straightaway and into Turn One at Indy, and I always tell them the most apt description I ever heard: it’s like driving down the street at 200 miles an hour and turning left into your driveway. Not for everybody,! suppose. But, for me, a great feeling.

The itch was still pretty bad when! got home to Los Angeles. And that’s when I got a call asking if I’d like to drive up to the Willow Springs race track out near Mojave and try out the new Saleen Mustang on a closed course. It’s a pretty safe track since there’s not much to hit in the desert except sagebrush if you go off the asphalt. Sounded like just the cure to me.

The Saleen Mustang is named after Steve Saleen, himself a former race driver who went on to become a team owner and builder. So he knows something about the serious driver. The car he builds is so tough and fast, even George Foreman has one.

So, what’s a Saleen? Well, basically Steve’s company orders a select number of stock Mustang GT 5.0s each year from the Dearborn plant where they’re made. Then a team of technicians takes each car apart, throwing a lot of the factory parts away and installing custom replacements. Changing one of these Ponies over from top to bottom takes about 120 hours. They’ll add a new camshaft, cylinder heads and intake manifold to the engine, for example. And by the time they’re done, it’s about 75% more powerful than the car that left the Ford factory. (Since they upped the power to about 150 hp, they had to add a new speedometer as well; the new one goes up to 200 mph.)

It was about 103 degrees the day I got out to Willow Springs, two hours north of L.A. I used to run the course years ago, and I also used to scramble trucks and dirt bikes up in the hills around the track, so I know the area pretty well. It’s real scrub country out that way, but I love it.

When I got behind the wheel of the Saleen, the car sure didn’t look or feel like your basic Five-Oh anymore. They’ve added Recaro racing seats–real buckets–that are comfortable and come up high along your butt so you really feel supported in the car. The gear shift has a closer ratio, and the gauge cluster on the dash has a white background that is easier to read than the usual black.

Now, whenever you test a new car it’s always a good idea to inch your way up to speed little by little. So I hit the track at about 100 mph, and then started concentrating on going fast.

Saleen has changed a lot more on this car than just the engine. (Each car is so altered from the machines that come out of the factory, in fact, that Saleen is legally registered as a manufacturer.) The chassis has been pretty well tuned up, and they’ve replaced the springs and struts. They’ve added a sway bar, side skirts, and a rear wing and front spoiler, so at 120 to 130 the ground effects combine to provide good stability on the track. None of the slipping and sliding you’d expect from a street vehicle.

The Willow Springs track has got one long high-speed corner just before you pass the pit area on the straightaway, and it’s in high-speed corners that a car’s true colors will come out (and this car comes in quite a few crazy colors). A lot of people don’t know that handling high-speed curves is the toughest job a race driver has. In fact, they think driving an oval course is just “going around in Circles.” But nothing could be more wrong. Tight, slow curves might look more dramatic because the driver is throwing the car all over the place, but in a high-speed curve you’ve got to hold the car out there on the edge. You make any mistakes and you won’t be easily forgiven. And that’s where the Saleen came through. The model I drove was a 35I, so it had a lot of torque to begin with, and the supercharger gave it even more top end. The harder! got on it, the better it handled.

Coming to the end of that high-speed turn at 110 mph, I down-shifted into third. The gear was a little hard to find–my one complaint about the car–but when I tapped the brakes I knew right away that they were better than anything that came with the Ford stock package. Much better. Saleen will install four-piston calipers with 13-inch disks. Plus, they’ve added big 18-inch wheels and ram-air intakes, which means you get much-needed cooling on each wheel.

All in all, Saleen has put a lot of thought into the car, and it’s really fun to drive. You look at the price range it falls into and, well, it may sound high, but considering what you get it’s not out of sight. There are two basic packages: the 281 engine that starts at about ,29,000, and the 351 engine, the one I drove, for about $43,000. Add-ons here and there can put the price up over *50,000, but to a lot of folks it’ll be worth it, and they’re the same folks who won’t mind putting premium fuel in every trip to the gas station.

You know, race cars are built strictly for that: racing. They’re too ugly to run on the street. The beauty of the Saleen is that it feels like a race car, but once you throttle back it becomes a street car again, smartly laid out and quiet inside. In fact, when I came off the track at Willow Springs, I cranked up the radio and the air conditioning and was ready to head home on the freeway.

But then I decided that I wasn’t quite ready.! had spent the afternoon going clockwise around the track, and since there was plenty of daylight left, I thought I’d spend a little time doing counterclockwise laps. Driving backwards; it’s just another one of those itches some old racers get from time to time.

For dealers: 800-SALEEN-4; or hook up on the ‘Net at www. saleen.com.

MOTOR TREND: 1996 S351 ROAD TEST REVIEW

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.

TECH DATA
Saleen Mustang S351 R
General
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
Dimensions
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
Engine
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
Horsepower
hp @ rpm, SAE net 480 @ 5500
Torque
lb-ft @ rpm, SAE net 487 @ 3600
Horsepower/liter 83.5
Redline, rpm 5750
Recommended fuel Premium unleaded
Driveline
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
Chassis
Suspension
Front MacPherson struts, lower control arms,
coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear Live axle, four trailing links,
coil springs, anti-roll bar
Steering
Type Rack and pinion, power assist
Ratio 14.7:1
Turns, lock to lock 2.4
Turning circle 38.3
Brakes
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
Instrumentation
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
Handling
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
THOUGHTS
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]

SALEEN PERFORMANCE EXPANDS TO NEW FACILITY

For Immediate Release

IRVINE, CA – Saleen Performance, the new company formed to oversee the production of new Saleen automobiles, has moved their headquarters to 9 Whatney in Irvine, California.

The company has moved to a new facility at the high-tech “lrvine Spectrum” complex. The new building encompasses 28,000 square feet and provides separate modules for corporate headquarters including space for the Saleen race team, a full production wing dedicated solely to the construction of Saleen automobiles and Saleen Performance Parts.

Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced nearly 3,500 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. This year, production is expected to exceed 500 vehicles. The company’s line includes Saleen Mustangs and Saleen Performance Parts, the latter a complete line of performance and appearance products for 5.0 liter Mustangs. For more information contact (714) 597-4900.

Contact: Kim Seguin
JMPR: (818) 992-4353

SALEEN PERFORMANCE CARS
9 WHATNEY
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA 92718
714-597-4900
741-597-0201 FAX

SALEEN PERFORMANCE: DEFINING SPECIALTY CAR MANUFACTURING

For Immediate Release

Having produced more than 3,500 Mustangs, Saleen Performance has carved a niche for itself in the emerging specialty car manufacturing sector.

Saleen reaches customers throughout North America via a franchised new car dealership network of more than 75 locations, all staffed with a “Team Saleen” member who is versed in all aspects of Saleen Performance. At those outlets, customers can test drive, purchase and service Saleen vehicles.

Saleen differentiates itself from “tuner cars” for the following reasons:

  • While Saleen vehicles are offered in new car showrooms through Ford dealerships across the country. Tuner cars are not emission-certified as complete vehicles, and cannot be sold as new cars by a dealership.
  • Saleen builds a limited run (per each model year) of vehicles, each with matching specifications, unlike tuners, who build each vehicle based on the individual consumer’s preferences.
  • Each Saleen vehicle carries a comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty offered through Ford Motor Co. Most tuners make no such offer.
  • Saleen vehicles are serviced the same way other Ford vehicles are serviced. The vehicle can be brought back directly to the dealership for maintenance repairs.
  • Because Saleen is considered a manufacturer throughout the automotive industry, each car produced has a high resale value. Because tuners are considered modified cars, their resale value has traditionally be less than that for the base model.

Contact: Kim Seguin
JMPR: (818) 992-4353

SALEEN PERFORMANCE CARS
9 WHATNEY
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA 92718
714-597-4900
741-597-0201 FAX

MOTOR TREND: 1994 SALEEN SR ROAD TEST REVIEW

Car Reviews
Just Your Basic 480-Horsepower, Magnesium-Wheeled, Carbon-Fiber-Fortified, Scooped, Spoilered, and Supercharged Mustang

Writer: C. VAN TUNE; Photographer: RANDY LORENTZEN on January 02, 1995
Original Article: MOTOR TREND

It’s as subtle as a 20-megaton bomb in a whoopee cushion. As conventional as Jeffrey Dahmer at a Kiwanis father/son picnic. And about as charming, erudite, and socially responsible as a great white shark in a bloody sea of baby harp seals. Make no mistake, the new Saleen SR is a predator of the highest order: a rapacious, wild-eyed, super-Mustang, purpose-built to feed on the weaknesses of others.

If you’re looking for sensible transportation, look elsewhere. The Saleen SR likes nothing better than to stamp its big steel-toed workboots into the cherubic face of “sensible.” Creator Steve Saleen’s mindset here is one of total world domination-one Corvette, Porsche, or Ferrari at a time. And with a supercharged 5.8-liter Ford V-8 that produces well over twice the horsepower of a new Mustang’s 5.0-liter, this veteran racer/car-constructor’s latest offering is his meanest yet.

Now entering his 11th year of producing modified Mustangs, Saleen dishes up the most vicious ponycar available without a prescription. With a reported 80 more horsepower than the Dodge Viper’s V-10 and 75 more than the Corvette ZR-1’s DOHC V-8, the 480 horses churned out by this pressurized Ford V-8 makes the Saleen SR the most powerful American car sold in dealer showrooms.

Dealer showrooms. That’s the operative phrase here. Saleen’s cars aren’t your typical “aftermarket” buy-by-mail-order concoctions. Rather, this California-based company has been certified by government officials as a “small-volume manufacturer.” Over 3000 Saleen Mustangs have been sold since 1984, and the only way to get a ’95 model is to purchase it from one of the 75 Ford dealers certified as “Team Saleen” members. Each car comes with a full factory warranty and a clean-and-green stamp of low-emissions friendliness.

For ’95, Saleen offers four performance levels of Mustang. The bargain of the group is the V-6 Sport, a muscle-toned insurance-beater. The price for this package is approximately $18,000, but another four grand buys you a Vortech supercharger for the 3.8-liter V-6, a set of ceramic-coated headers, and electronic boost control. With a projected 220 horsepower, performance should at least equal that of the Mustang GT’s 215-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8.

1994 Saleen SR
1994 Saleen SR

Grab the next rung of the performance ladder and clamp down on Saleen’s potent S-351. Stuffed with a 5.8-liter (351-cubic-inch) modified Ford V-8, this $37,000 freeway flyer wears aluminum cylinder heads, a hydraulic roller camshaft, modified upper and lower intake manifold (sectioned and enlarged for improved high-rpm power), a larger-diameter throttle body and mass airflow sensor, higher-flow fuel injectors, ceramic-coated headers, and a low-restriction 2.5-inch-diameter Borla stainless exhaust system. Backed by a well-fortified suspension, 18-inch rolling stock and full-posture bodyshaping, the S-351 is a 371-horsepower gorilla with projected 0-60-mph times in the low 5s.

Pipe a Vortech supercharger onto the intake tract of that angry simian, and prepare to run for your life. Saleen’s literature quotes the mechanicals as being an 8-psi system, but this motor swelled to 11 psi of boost by the recommended 5500-rpm shift point. Dyno sheets from Duttweiler Performance corroborated the internal-combusting muscle living beneath: With 480 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 487 pound-feet of earth-torturing torque at 3600 rpm, the Saleen SR is a nuclear-powered jackhammer-from-hell, capable of pulverizing small-town street toughs into quivering piles of emasculation with just one rap of the throttle. Prices start at $49,990.

An aluminum driveshaft and a four-row radiator are heavy-duty items unique to the SR, but the purpose-built equipment doesn’t stop there. Everywhere you look, touch, or try to sit, Saleen has replaced the “sensible” factory part with an alternate component fashioned by some sort of whacked-out racing groupie. Most of it works quite well.

Regardless of its giant 18×10.0-inch Speedline five-spoke magnesium rear wheels wrapped with juicy 285/35ZR18 Dunlop SP8000 radials, there’s more torque than traction until well past 60 mph. Outfitted with a transplanted Tremec five-speed and tough Auburn Traction Loc rearend with 3.27:1 gearing, the goes-sideways-just-by-looking-at-it Saleen SR requires a talented hand in order to extract 10/10ths performance, but it’s so surprisingly easy to drive at 7/10ths that even Piltdown Man could dust off every new Corvette in town (despite the fact that such a fraud of anthropology couldn’t have properly operated a stick-shift). At a test venue with less than perfect traction, we coaxed the SR from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and through the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 117.0 mph. The last stock Viper we tested ran 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and bludgeoned the quarter mile in 13.2 seconds at 112.1 mph.

Saleen quotes top speed at 186 mph, which is about 40 mph faster than that of a stock Mustang GT. We didn’t get the opportunity to corroborate that claim, but our vintage slide rule attests to the fact such a velocity is technically feasible-albeit careening toward the barrier of mechanical reason given the gearing limitations. Plug in the Viper’s Borg-Warner T56 six-speed, and things could get really interesting.

Slathered in Saleen Racing Yellow paint and affixed with every race-car styling cue created since the era of Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp, the SR embodies a look that evokes either mouth-watering stares of wanton lust or scrunched-brow grimaces of dyspepsia. Wearing a carbon-fiber hood with functional air vents, aggressive body side-scoops, and a dual-plane rear wing large enough to lift a vintage Stearman tail-dragger into the sky, this Saleen isn’t a car you’ll easily lose in a Chuck E. Cheese parking lot. The usual assortment of bulging fascias and tape-stripe graphics are included, but you can specify an even more outlandish $5500 “FIA Body Components” option that delivers carbon-fiber laminates in the front fascia, front fenders, and rear deck, plus the fitment of a Lexan rear window. Weight savings for racing use is the obvious sales tactic for this package, though at 3094 pounds, the SR already boasts about 285 pounds less heft than the Saleen S-351.

Part of that weight reduction came from the interior, where an upholstered shelf resides in lieu of a back seat, and thin-shell Recaro racing buckets replace the original Mustang couches. As curvaceous and purposeful as anything you’d find in a Group B rally car, these high-sided body-huggers are, however, nearly unusable by anyone with a wider pelvic girth than that of Macaulay Culkin. Combined with seat tracks that don’t allow enough legroom for six-footers, these pinched-derriere torture chairs diminish much of the car’s long-haul comfort.

The rest of the interior is pretty much standard Mustang in design, except for the addition of boost and fuel-pressure gauges in a dashtop pod (replacing the clock binnacle) and a technoid-looking carbon-fiber shift knob. A four-point chromemoly rollbar (officially referred to as an “internal chassis brace”) is well integrated into the rear area. Adding color to the otherwise all-black cockpit are body-hued panels on the sides and backs of the seats, and inserts on the door panels. Saleen-spec white-faced gauges provide a 200-mph speedo and a classy look during the day, but absolutely abhorrent nighttime illumination that pours a mish-mash of green, red, and orange lumens out of every tiny opening in the cluster. We’ve seen better use of display lighting in a Hot Dog On A Stick menu board.

The car we tested (the first SR built) had been rushed through production to meet our deadline and had not yet received the Saleen serial number plates or safety harnesses. Drilled-aluminum pedal covers had been installed, bringing a wider throttle pad that noticeably aided heel-and-toe downshifts. Unlike the S-351 model, however, the SR isn’t offered with leather upholstery nor as a convertible.

Suspension improvements come in the form of progressive-rate coil springs, gas-pressurized struts/shocks, urethane bushings, and a larger diameter front anti-roll bar (1.38 inch), plus the race-bred tweaks of camber/caster plates, a beefier Panhard rod, rear shock mount bracing, and reinforced rear lower control arms. The front-strut tower brace hadn’t been installed at the time of our test, but chassis flex wasn’t a problem. However, by using staggered-size tires (255/35ZR18s up front and 285/35ZR18s at the rear) aggressive steady-state cornering (such as that produced on a skidpad) lets the rears easily maintain their hold, while the overworked outside front tire gives up the ghost-resulting in understeer. There’s little doubt the Saleen SR’s 0.90 g of lateral grip could be improved upon by fitting same-size tires at all four corners, but it would be no minor challenge to stuff 285-series rubber under the front fenders. The other option, using 255-series tires at the rear, would only make for more impressive burnouts.

In real-world situations, where transient response and squirt-to-the-apex talent is more important than driving around a 200-foot diameter circle, the Saleen is in its element. Rapid steering response, precise turn-in control, excellent balance, and an overall authoritative road manner combine with the Lockheed SR-71 jet firepower to move you ahead in a big hurry. The car’s 66.6-mph average speed through our 600-foot slalom was slower than expected (due to moderate twitchiness in the fast left-right-left maneuvers), but this is only part of the equation. From Mulholland to Malibu, the SR runs with all but the hottest Cafe bikes and makes you the center of attention upon arrival at the Sheriff’s impound yard. Pizza-pan-sized grooved brake rotors (13.0-inch-diameter front; 12.0-inch rear) with Alcon four-piston calipers are standard and halted the rampaging pony from 60 mph in 117 feet, despite their present ABS incompatibility. With computer-modulated assist, that figure could decrease significantly.

Sure, there may be questions as to America’s need for a 480-horsepower Mustang, especially one that tops $55,000 with every magic-bean race ornament installed. And no, we aren’t the types who could live with such a temperamental brute on a daily basis. As a commuter car, the Saleen SR is as ridiculous as a GE turbine engine with a barbed-wire seat and training wheels attached. So take the minivan to pick up Nana for the weekend. To use this car properly, you need ready access to a road-racing track and a gas card with a six-figure limit. Then, it’d be one helluva fun ride.

Tech Data
Saleen Mustang SR
GENERAL/POWERTRAIN
Vehicle configuration 2-door, 2-passenger coupe
Engine configuration 90° V-8, OHV
2 valves/cylinder
Engine displacement, ci/cc 351/5752
Bore x stroke, in./mm 4.0 x 3.5/101.6 x 88.9
Compression ratio 8.8:1
Fuel/induction system Multipoint EFI,
Vortech supercharger
Horsepower,
hp @ rpm, SAE net 480 @ 5500
Torque,
lb-ft @ rpm, SAE net 487 @ 3600
Horsepower per liter 83.4
Redline, rpm 5800
Recommended fuel Premium unleaded
Transmission 5-speed manual
Axle ratio 3.27:1
CHASSIS
Suspension, f/r MacPherson struts/solid axle
Steering Rack and pinion, power assist
Brakes, f/r Vented discs/vented discs
Wheels, f/r 18 x 8.5/18 x 10.0, magnesium
Tires, f/r 255/35ZR18/285/35ZR18, Dunlop SP8000
PERFORMANCE
Acceleration, sec Stock Saleen
0-30 2.4 2.1
0-40 3.5 3.1
0-50 5.0 3.9
0-60 6.7 4.7
0-70 9.2 6.0
0-80 11.7 7.3
0-90 14.7 8.4
0-100 10.0
0-110 11.7
Quarter mile, sec/mph 15.1/92.8 12.9/117.0
Braking, ft
30-0 31 29
60-0 125 117
Slalom, 600-ft, mph 66.8 66.6
Skidpad, 200-ft, lateral g 0.86 0.90
PRICE
Base price $49,990
Price as tested $51,500 (est. )

[Source: Motor Trend Magazine]