Tag Archives: Saleen


By: BOB McCLURG on October, 1993



Whenever the name “Saleen” is spoken, either “Steve” or “Mustang” usually accompanies it. However, there is another “Saleen” that figures quite heavily into the over-all scheme of things. That particular Saleen is named “Elizabeth”, or just plain “Liz” to the legions of close friends who know her.

Elizabeth Summer is a by-product of the deep South, born into a modest household in Huntsville, Alabama. Liz and her sister – who still insists on being an “only child” were brought up around the Sixties aerospace industry (Huntsville is home to the NASA Flight Center) during a time when the names “Project Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo” were household words.

In the true Southern tradition, Liz was married at 19, and divorced with two young sons at age 25. Looking to start over again, she packed herself and her two babies into the car, and headed for the Left Coast. To pay bills, Liz took a Civil Servant’s job with the State of California, while obtaining her political science degree at night.

Eventually Summer worked her way up to an executive assistant position on the staff of California Governor Jerry Brown. Liz humorously relates that at the time “He” (Brown) drove an old beater Plymouth. I drove a 1975 Mustang!”

As a member of the Governor’s staff Liz traveled up and down the west coast between Sacramento and LA. for extended periods of time. It was during one of those flights that she met SCCA race car driver Steve Saleen. Later she took a job as Executive Assistant to Mickey Cantor (of recent Clinton Democratic Presidential Campaign fame) who had been appointed the US. Trade Representative. Because of the new job Liz relocated her family of three to LA.

By the dawn of the Eighties “Reaganism” bloomed, so this upwardly mobile young lady Democrat resigned from full-time politics to become the full-time Mrs. Steve Saleen. In 1981 the Saleens became the proud parents of Molly-Anne, one of two exciting events which occurred for them in the early Eighties. The second of course was the founding of their new enterprise, Saleen Autosport.

Operating as Elizabeth Summer, Liz became the full-time P.R. person for Saleen Autosport, Saleen Enterprises and the Saleen Racing Team. It was her job to generate publicity materials, put together brochures, function as press liaison between car enthusiast magazine editors and the company, act as a mouthpiece for the race team, coordinate travel activities, talk to sponsors, and just generally do whatever was required to make things click. By 1989, Liz had ascended to the position of Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for Saleen Autosport.

It’s been ten years since the Saleens founded the late-model Mustang specialty car business, and today Liz is busier than ever! While she still unofficially functions as the “front-woman” for the company, much of the P.R.-related activities have been passed along to a full time P.R. agent.

Instead, Liz now documents and maintains all of the historical and production data covering ten years worth of Saleen Mustang, Saleen SSC, Saleen SC and Saleen SportTruck production, as part of her “Team Saleen” activity. And, if that already wasn’t enough to do, Liz is also involved in publishing a Saleen Owner’s Registry which will be available soon! Busy hands are happy hands!


LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA (June 30, 1993) – Saleen Performance has announced it will build a special limited run of SA-10 Anniversary Edition Saleen Mustangs in celebration of the first 10 years of Saleen production. The 10 cars, all hatchbacks, will be the final Saleen production cars for the ’93 model year and for this 14-year-old body style. Hatchbacks were specifically chosen because they will be dropped from the Mustang lineup with the introduction of the new ’94 models. A number of features will contribute to the special collector’s status of the anniversary edition Saleens including sequential VIN numbers through special arrangement with Ford, and the ability to provide buyers with a degree of customization through purchasing directly from Saleen Performance.

In a tribute to 10 years of production, the SA-10’s will incorporate something old and something new. Proven performance modifications developed over each of the production years will blend with a variety of new items including a new Saleen design lightweight composite hood, bolt-in rollbar, 3 piece 17 inch Saleen wheels, Saleen Panhard rod, Saleen rear shock tower brace and supercharger/ceramic coated header power package. The interior will receive a special black leather package with Saleen stitching, new gray Saleen gauge faces and a CD player. All 10 cars will receive a unique black, yellow and white paint and graphics treatment to commemorate the championship winning Saleen race teams. This year’s World Challenge race team will carry a similar paint scheme including special 10th anniversary graphics.

Saleen, the most successful specialty car maker in the U.S. today, has built over 3,000 vehicles over the past 10 years. Only Carroll Shelby has been more prolific.

In the incredibly popular 5.0 liter Ford performance market only Saleen Mustangs are EPA certified for dealership sales. The Team Saleen Ford dealership network puts a Saleen Mustang within a two-hour drive of practically any location in the U.S.

For more information, contact: Saleen Performance 1827 Ximeno Ave., Suite 310, Long Beach, CA 90806 310-424 8065



By: BOB McCLURG on June, 1993


When John McCauley purchased his Saleen Mustang in 1990, he was like many other Saleen buyers – interested in high performance! John had owned two Mustang GTs in, and although both were fine cars, he openly admits that he wasn’t quite ready for “the Saleen Experience”.

A self-titled “old-fart-throwback” from the Sixties musclecar era, John began a life-long association, or “life-long commitment,” to cars with the purchase of an MGA roadster which promptly broke down five miles from the dealership. McCauley feels the MG experience was “a young man’s fantasy gone astray over the needs of an automobile.” By the time he sold the car to trade up to a more practical “family” car, he had the little import running like a fine Swiss watch.

However, John’s idea of a family car was anything but your typical station wagon. A special order 1967 Chevy Nova two door with 275 hp/327, 4-speed, Posi rear and front disc brakes was what John McCauley thought a family car should be. He fondly remembers both drag racing and slaloming the car while stationed with the US. Navy in Pensacola, Florida. It was there that John got his first taste of what a “real” car – namely a Ford Mustang – was all about. “I remember I was always coming up short against this one Mustang at the local Corvette Club slaloms. I sold the Nova to a friend for far more than what it was worth, and purchased my first Mustang, a 1969 Mach-1. “Man that thing flat flew”!

John’s conversion to Ford products firmly took hold. With a growing family, his next car was a 1971 Gran Torino. That would be his last high-performance car for a while, that is, until 1984 when he purchased his first Mustang GT. McCauley drove the GT until 1988, and then passed it on to his daughter with the arrival of an even newer GT. John soon learned that the feeling a late-model Mustang gives you is, “like no other, stopping short of the standard reference to sex”, and he found himself continuously testing his the prowess of every “bowtie” he ran up against.

With Saleen ownership came the desire to join some type of Saleen enthusiast’s organization. Answering an advertisement for the Saleen Registry in a magazine, McCauley soon found himself becoming extremely involved in the club, to the extent that he was eventually elected to the office of Vice President. Unfortunately, the Registry was underfunded and politically constricted leaving McCauley looking for something else. “As it (the club) was on its way out in 1991, I called Saleen, and decided to express my interest in forming a national club.” The Saleens were skeptical, and Steve basically told John “don’t tell me, show me!”

With the gauntlet thrown down, John organized the first Saleen outing to the Ford Motorsport Nationals (Maple Grove, Pennsylvania) followed by yet another at the US. Ford Nationals at National Trails Raceway in Columbus, Ohio. Similar meetings were also staged at the Saleen Performance Parts “Cruisin’ the Queen” car show in Long Beach, California, and at Watkins Glen, New York. It was at the ‘Glen that McCauley again met with the Saleens, and was given their official blessing. Hence the Saleen Owner’s and Enthusiast’s Club (SOEC) was born.

“Our long term goals are to establish a comprehensive registry of our Saleens, maintain sources for “obsolete” Saleen parts, provide sponsorship for show and track events, and to promote ownership of our vehicles. Our deepest hope is that we can document the history of these cars and trucks while the information is still current instead of having to resurrect it some twenty years later!” Go to it John!


Contact: Steve Saleen


LONG BEACH, CA, September 30, 1992. . . . Steve Saleen and Saleen Performance Parts are proud to announce the lineup of the 1993 Saleen Mustangs, GT Sport and Saleen Sportrucks. 1993 celebrates the 1oth model year of the Saleen Mustang and promises to be the best Saleen Mustang yet! New for 1993 is the 50 state legal, Vortech/Saleen supercharger that will produce 325+ hp. We have also added our own design 17″ wheel and have restyled the front air dam and graphics.

The Saleen Mustang SC is producing well over 400hp using the supercharger and Dart II cylinder heads. Large Brembo 4 piston caliper brakes and a Tremec/Saleen 5 speed transmission are also new for 1993.

After a brief association with Cars and Concepts building the cars in St. Louis, Mo., and many false promises and representations from an investment group (Saleen Enterprises), Saleen has decided to take more of a “hands on” approach to the sale and building of the vehicles. This will be done under Saleen Performance with offices and production based in Long Beach, CA. The new address and telephone number are:

Saleen Performance
1827 Ximeno Ave.
Suite 310
Long Beach, CA 90815
(310) 424-8065

For additional information regarding vehicle test drive scheduling please feel free to contact us directly at the above number.

Click here to participate in the discussion.


The staff at Saleen Performance Parts, Inc. would like to cordially invite our southern California retail customers to a special preview of our new retail showroom/ installation center on Saturday February 23rd, from 8:30AM to 5:00PM. Our new location is 3080 29th Street, Long Beach, CA. 90606.

Stop in and see our Saleen Mustangs on display, visit the guys and check out the latest in high performance Mustang conversions, parts and accessories.

Among the scheduled event for the day will be:

  • Door prizes awarded every hour
  • Technical seminars on:
  • * Suspension improvements
  • * Engine/ driveline performance
  • * Performance driving tips by Steve Saleen
  • A complete “while you watch” Saleen suspension installation
  • Steve Saleen autographed t-shirts and posters
  • Food and drink (free popcorn)

The events begin at 8:30AM so come join in the fun and help celebrate the opening of promises to be the new standard of excellence in Mustang performance installations!!!


ANAHEIM, CA., October 20, 1989… The final round of the Escort Endurance Series took place October 14th at the new Heartland Park facility in Topeka, Kansa.

The #20 General Tire Saleen Mustang driven by Calvin Fish and Paul Dallenbach qualified sixth in the grid with an average speed of 75 mph around the 2.6-mile track. When the green flag dropped, starter Dallenbach kept the Saleen Mustang in contention. Fish, who also drove in the Racetruck Challenge and Formula series races, took over the driving duties on lap 33 and grabbed the lead on lap 42.

The Saleen performed flawlessly until two hours and twenty minutes into the four-hour battle when the #20 pitted for a costly brake change. Dallenbach brought the Saleen across the finish line sixth in class, despite driving his last stint with no clutch and only fourth gear.

In end of the year Championship standings the Saleen Mustang #20 finished forth with 100 points and first among the Fords in the Manufacturers standings.

The Saleen Racetrucks, driven by Trans Am Champion Dorsey Schroeder, filling in for Steve Saleen who was participating in the Indy Car event at Laguna Seca, Dallenbach and Fish farad better on the windy weekend than the Mustang Raceteam.

After consistently quick practice lap times, Dallenbach, Schroeder and Fish qualified their General Tire Ford Rangers fourth, sixth and eighth, all within hundredths of a second of the pole. After the inversion of the top six, Schroeder held the pole with Dallenbach directly behind. Into the first turn, Schroeder and Nissan independent Chuck Hemmingson made contact and spun forcing both to the back of the pack. Fish took over the lead on lap nine of the action packed raw followed by a two-some of anxious Jeeps who passed Fish two laps later.

After 15 of 20 laps, the Jeeps of the Archer Brothers were in the led followed by Fish, Dallenbach and Schroeder. One lap from the finish, Fish waived Dallenbach by in an attempt to pursue the Jeeps, who following post-race technical inspection were disqualified for illegal motors and stripped of all points and prize money.

The Saleen Team was awarded points and prize money for first, second and third and for his admirable pursuit of the field after his first lap incident, Schroeder was awarded the Rugged Liner “Move of the Race” Award.


ANAHEIM, CA., October 4, 1989… Just two short weeks after the Atlanta event, the Saleen Mustangs were again on the racetrack, this time at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Rockton, Illinois for a three-hour enduro, the first professional race at this facility.

Steve Saleen was on hand for his last drive of the season in the Endurance Series as he will be at Laguna Seca campaigning his Indy Car while the Mustangs are at their last event of 1989.

Saleen was joined in car #20 by Paul Dallenbach while Calvin Fish and Kees Nierop assumed their regular driving duties in #19. Dallenbach qualified the General Tire Saleen Mustang second on the grid, just three positions ahead of his teammates.

In addition to the first frost of the season and temperatures in the 30’s, the Saleen team was once again agonized with brake failure that led to the early retirement of Saleen #20 as well as #19 soon thereafter. Fish and Nierop had taken control of the event before the brake demise. When the checkered flag flew, the Saleen Mustangs were sixth and seventh in class.

The finale of the 1989 Escort Endurance Series will take place October 11 at the new Heartland Park facility in Topeka, Kansas.


ANAHEIM, CA., August 28, 1989… Night racing was the order of the month. But the month began in Connecticut at Lime Rock Park on August 5th. The Saleen Mustangs #19 and #29 were prepared for a three-hour enduro.

With a total of eight lead changes, Dorsey Schroeder and Paul Dallenbach finished only 20 seconds behind the #37 Camaro for a second place, finish. Keess Neirop and Calvin Fish were also on the lead lap and finished a very close third. After 4 races this season, this was the closest finish to date.

The next venue for August began our quest for “hot laps'” in the dark. On August 12 and 13 the Saleen Team returned to Mosport Park in Ontario, Canada to try to recapture the victory of the 24 Hours of Mosport. With perfect weather our ally, broken spindles our enemy, the team struggled through the night leading – then not leading until one too my brake failures, kept the team from a repeat win. The #19 Saleen Mustang succumbed early to a 1 ½ hour engine replacement pit stop due to a rock through the radiator. “Just completing s 24 hour race is a great accomplishment, especially with the problems we dealt with,” said team owner and driver, Steve Saleen. “The crew worked especially hard to keep the cars safe and running as hart as they could.” The results of 5th and 9th for the 2-car team were disappointing but kept the team in the top Ford position.

How about Saturday night, 10:00 under the lights, 5/8 mile banked oval in the “Heart of the South”? Sounds like a truck race to me! Nine Nissans and three Fords showed up to play. Steve Saleen was the fastest of the fast with Pete Halsmer and Calvin Fish showing the off-shore boys their taillights throughout practice and qualifying.

After the starter gave the Nissans a 3-truck head start at the flag, the Ford formation had a run toward the front. Right front tire wear was a dangerous complication suffered by every competitor.

After nudged into the wall, Saleen worked his way back to second place at the finish with Fish a close third. Halsmer had a pit stop which too him out of the run.

Next stop for the Mustangs and Rangers will be Road Atlanta, September 9th and 10th.


(714) 777-1033

Contact: Elizabeth Summar


ANAHEIM, CA, August 1, 1989… Saleen Autosport in conjunction with Ford Motor Company, San Jose District Office, recently showcased the Saleen Autosport “California Edition” Mustang GT at Sears Point International Raceway, in Sonoma, California.

The occasion was the Motorcraft NHRA Nationals on July 29th and 30th. The 50 specially prepared dealer drive-away GT’s were complete with Racecraft Suspension featuring Monroe Formula GP Shocks and Struts, customized American Racing wheels and General XP 2000V high performance tires.

Steve Saleen made a personal appearance on Sunday, signing autographs and meeting the local Ford Dealers invited to this special gathering.

For further information regarding the “California Edition” project, please contact Scott McDonald of Saleen Autosport.



SEARS POINT, CA., MAY 6, 1989… Saleen Autosport and General Tire ran two Saleen Mustangs at Sears Point international Raceway in the SCCA Escort Endurance Championship season-opener. Steve Saleen and Rick Titus drove the #20 Saleen Mustang in the three hour race while Kees Nierop, Calvin Fish, and Paul Dallenbach each piloted car #19. The cars finished in third and fourth places despite a damaged strut on the Saleen/Titus Mustang. “Handling was off with number 20 because of a problem with the suspension,” said Saleen Autosport President Steve Saleen. “In a race this short, there’s not enough time to type of repair so we had to make it work.”

Now the team is preparing for Mid-Ohio, where they will be racing in the 12-hour event on July 16.