What is a Saleen?
There are alot of answers and details, but the best short answer is a Saleen is like taking a stock vehicle and putting it on steroids. Whether it’s a Mustang, a pickup truck, Explorer, Focus or an Explorer or any of the other vehicles that have been converted, the answer is the same a high performance unique vehicle that owners around the world enjoy and are proud to own
Saleens have always been about handling first and foremost. The earlier cars were major improvements over the stock handling offered by Ford, but at a price in ride quality. You got race car handling, but you got the race car ride to go with it!
Earlier models of Saleens were ordered as Mustang LX hatchbacks or LX convertibles. A few LX Coupes have been built over the years, but are very rare (including a few that were built from Special Service equipped cars). SN95s (i.e. 94 and up cars) are ordered as either Mustang GTs or as SVT Cobras for the S281s. S351s start life as a V6 (with some rare exceptions)!
What makes them special?
The cars are dropped-shipped from Ford straight to Saleen, and converted. Springs, struts, and shocks all go, replaced with Saleen’s trademark “Racecraft” suspension. Bigger wheels and tires are added. The 87-93 cars used either 16″ or 17″ combos, the SN95s use 18″ with tire as large as P265ZR18 in the front and P295ZR18 in the rear! Serious rubber!
Body work is also added, consisting of ground-effects, front/rear bumpers, and spoiler. A windshield banner is standard. Interior options vary over the years, and have included anything from Flofits to leather Recaros (many cars retain the Ford factory interior). The pre-94 cars also received a stereo upgrade, mostly Pioneer and Kenwood equipment.
Later years, superchargers and engine mods were added.
How do you tell a real Saleen from a fake?
Saleen parts, especially the body work, are very popular in the aftermarket, so just because a Mustang *looks* like a Saleen, doesn’t mean it is one.
Some key things to look for:
Bumper Number: All Saleens have their serial number on the left front bumper. No Saleen has every been produced with a serial number of “06”.
Dash Plaque: All Saleen’s have a dash plaque with its Saleen Serial number on the center console. This plague should match the number of the bumper and the number on the plate under the hood.
Under-hood Plate: Saleens also have a metal plate under the hood with the Saleen serial number, and the date of production riveted under the hood.
“Hidden”: Saleen has also hidden the serial number in a secret location on the car.
The best way to determine authenticity is to call Saleen.