Sometime back in the mid 80’s before I had a license, I remember checking out a Road & Track magazine where they did a road test of a 1984 or 1985 Saleen Mustang. I remember I used to like it a lot. I thought it was a pretty damn cool car actually. I had nothing against the 5.0’s, but then again, I didn’t know shit back then either (they suck BIG TIME ass stock). Most of my buddies in high school had 5.0’s. In fact, my first hidden nitrous install was in my buddy Ed’s 1988 5.0 Mustang GT. We smoked hella fools and made plenty of lunch money street racing that thing. All the black dudes with Mustangs, Novas, RX-2s, etc. would always set us out car lengths and sometimes the move in the Compton/Wilmington area. Anyhow, that’s another story for another time. Saleen was one of the first aftermarket “tuners” to build a turn key car sold at Ford dealers. For Saleen to do this successfully, the cars had to be built and prepared well. While the Saleen Mustangs back then were not much faster than a stock car back then, it was the general driving feel and appearance of the car that made it cool to own. The Saleen suspension and chassis mods made the Mustang a MUCH better car.
Throughout the years, Saleen grew and made bigger, badder, faster Mustangs. Then they came out with the mistake of a car, the S7. I think that was what broke Saleen as a company. It was a commercial failure and it looked like ass. Shit, for $550k why not drop another $200k and get a Ferrari Enzo? Or spend $200k less and get a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640? If you’re dropping $550k on a car, then $800k ain’t shit to you. I for one, have no idea what its like to drop $300-800k on a car and I probably won’t in my lifetime. Anyhow, this leads me to my activity on an online auction earlier today. Saleen/ASC was blowing out machinery, inventory, and equipment on an online auction.
There was some bad ass equipment that went for pretty damn cheap. I’m talking 3D measurement systems, automated parts washers, measuring equipment, machinery, spray booths, office equipment, tires, and even cars. I got some goodies from the Irvine auction for myself. Saleen is consolidating to a new location in Michigan. I hope they survive and continue building buff Mustangs, but with Ford loosing $8.7 billion, it might be a long, hard road. Saleen was one of the companies that paved the road for the acceptance of modified cars to the general public. Yeah, we still have to fight the whole “rice rocket” bullshit, but it would be a lot worse if companies like Saleen weren’t around. Good luck, Saleen.