Car Nuts

Saleen is back with commemorative Mustang

Championship Edition pays tribute to General Tire sponsored racing Mustang

Some 30 years ago, if you wanted a “special” Mustang, you went to see Steve Saleen. After years of exploring several business paths, it looks as if there may be a new Saleen Mustang in the works.

In 1985, entrepreneur/racer Steve Saleen — the creator and literal driving force behind the race-tuning, aftermarket parts and original manufacturing company — fitted a supercharger onto the 5.0-litre V-8 powerplant of the Mustang to power the company into the new millennium, see the introduction of a signature supercar, and put Saleen the company on the road to bankruptcy.

The company currently offers modified versions of the Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Tesla Model X.

The latest car — the Saleen Championship Edition Mustang — is a tribute to the General Tire sponsored Mustang with which Steve Saleen captured the SCCA Escort Endurance Series driver’s championship in 1987, a year after first racing the car to victory at the 1986 24 Hours of Mosport, and then followed it up with consecutive wins at the 24 Hour race culminating in sweeping the podium at the 1988 24 Hours of Mosport (now Canadian Tire Motorsport Park), which marked the first time Ford cars swept a podium since Le Mans in 1966.

The new modified Mustang will be done up in the historic white/black/yellow General Tire livery (complete with stunning white wheels), with dedicated street and track car improvements. For example, the supercharged engine has been tuned to deliver 730/750 hp (street/track versions, respectively, which is a significant improvement on the Saleen 302 Mustang), harnessed by a shorter-throw manual transmission.

Other enhancements include a new exhaust to handle the increased engine power and upgraded Racecraft suspension, with the track car adding a larger radiator, and a roll cage and 4-point harness. And it removes the rear seat.

The production run limited to just 30 cars (to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the SCCA championship season) is due to begin the fall, with the cost reportedly $87,000 US.

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