Saleen History

IMPROVING THE BREED SINCE 1984

Timeline

1994
December 1

1994: 480 HP Saleen SR

1994: 480 HP Saleen SR
With a new generation of mustangs, Saleen introduces his most impressive product lineup to date including the 351 c.i.d. powered S351, and the 480 horsepower Saleen SR. The was a special edition model that was offered in addition to the standard Saleen Mustang lineup.
1993
December 1

1993: Saleen SA-10

1993: Saleen SA-10
Saleen celebrates its’ 10 year anniversary with the Saleen SA-10 Mustang. The SA-10 is a special edition that was offered to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Saleen Automobiles. All examples produced received sequential VIN numbers as well as SA-10 specific options.
July 13

1993: Next generation Mustangs

1993: Next generation Mustangs
Work begins on the next generation of Saleen Mustangs
July 13

1993: Return to SCCA Competition

1993: Return to SCCA Competition
Steve Saleen returns to SCCA competition with a prototype supercharged Saleen Mustang in the World Challenge series.
1991
December 1

1991: SCCA Truck Guard Shellzone Challenge

1991: SCCA Truck Guard Shellzone Challenge
Steve wins the SCCA Race Truck championship with five victories in six races which moves him into a tie for the most victories in the series (49 wins!), and provides Ford Motor Company with the manufacturer’s championship. Steve continues to campaign Trans Am series with Saleen Scorcher Mustang and sponsorship from Champion Batteries, secures three top ten finishes
1990
July 13

1990: Trans-Am Series

1990: Trans-Am Series
Steve Saleen switches back to Trans-Am series with a Saleen Mustang backed by General Tire.
1989
December 1

1989: Saleen Mustang

1989: Saleen Mustang
Saleen celebrates its 5-year anniversary with the Saleen SSC Mustang. This was a special edition model that was offered in addition to the standard Saleen Mustang lineup.
July 13

1989: Saleen SSC

1989: Saleen SSC
Steve builds the Saleen SSC, the most powerful Mustang built to date. The SSC boasted 300 HP! In this year Steve begins using his trademark chevrons.
July 13

1989: PPG Indy Car World Series

1989: PPG Indy Car World Series
Steve enters the PPG Indy Car World Series with a team backed by Montgomery Ward. The vehicle he drove was a 1977 March indy car. Steve Saleen was the fastest rookie to go through orientation. He finished 13th at Long Beach Grand Prix, and 12th at the Toronto Grand Prix. Steve Saleen continued his winning campaigns in both mustangs and trucks.
1988
December 1

1988: SCCA Escort Endurance Championship

On August 13, 1988, running a three-car Saleen team; Steve Saleen and his teammates finish 1-2-3 at 24 Hours of Mosport and gives Ford its first 1-2-3 finish since LeMans in the late ’60s. Saleen also enters a General Tire backed, Ford Ranger-based, Saleen Sportruck in the SCCA Coors Race Truck Challenge, captures two wins.
December 1

1988: Saleen Sport Truck

Coming out of the 1987 Race Truck Challenge, Saleen begins offering a Sportruck. Powered by a 6-cyl. 2.9L motor, the Sportruck offers the full Saleen package from performance to styling.
December 1

1988: Saleen Mustang

1988: Saleen Mustang
Saleen Autosport moves to Anaheim, CA and begins production on the 1988 Saleen Mustang. This year Saleen also begins using its “Championship Wreath” to signify its’ winning pedigree.
July 13

1988: 1-2-3 at 24 Hours of Mosport

Steve and his teammates finish 1-2-3 at 24 Hours of Mosport for the third consecutive year in a row and gives Ford its first 1-2-3 finish since Le Mans in the late ’60s.
1987
December 1

1987: SCCA Escort Endurance Championship

With increased horsepower and torque, Saleen adds 4-Wheel disc brakes to the list of Saleen equipment, a first for any Mustang. This year was also the first year Saleen produced a coupe version. Steve, as the lead driver of a Three-car Saleen team, wins driver, team, manufacturer and tire championships in SCCA Escort Endurance Championship with sponsorship from General Tire. Steve enters a General Tire backed, Ford Ranger-based, Saleen Sportruck in the SCCA Coors Race Truck Challenge and captures two wins.
December 1

1987: Saleen Mustang

1987: Saleen Mustang
Advancing from the 1986 Race Season, Saleen introduces the 1987 Saleen Mustang.
December 1

1987: SCCA Coors RaceTruck Challenge

Part of the SCCA series, Saleen runs two Saleen Sportrucks in the inaugural Coors Racetruck Challenge. Similar to NASCAR style racing, the sportrucks run in tight packs and become known for developing the bump drafting technique that is seen in many of todays stock car racing.
July 13

1987: Steve does his first advertisement

1987: Steve does his first advertisement
The ad is for Monroe shocks with the tagline “Monroe helped Steve Saleen handle some wild horses.”
1986
December 1

1986: Sports Car Club of America

1986: Sports Car Club of America
On October 10, 1986, Saleen Autosport enters SCCA series with a race prepared version of the Saleen Mustang, and wins grueling 24 Hours of Mosport with sponsorship from General Tire. Drivers: Steve Saleen, Rick Titus and Lisa Caceras were joined by IMSA drivers Skeeter McKitterick and Tom Winters, along with F1 and Indy car driver, Desire’ Wilson. Giving Ford Motor Company the “first” ever in a Showroom Stock Endurance Championship Series; The Saleen GT team WINS grueling 24 Hours of Mosport with sponsorship from General Tire and ESCORT.
December 1

1986: Saleen Mustang

Saleen Autosport releases the 1986 Saleen Mustang which anticipates their entry into the ’86 SCCA ESCORT Endurance Championship with new 16-inch wheels, newly styled front airdam and decklid spoiler, and Koni adjustable rear shocks.
1985
December 1

1985: Saleen Mustang

1985: Saleen Mustang
Saleen Autosport releases the 1985 Saleen Mustang, featuring all new aerodynamics, suspension, tires, wheels, and interior. In 1985, Steve Saleen’s secretary miscounted the vehicles produced that year, omitting vehicle number 6. Since 1985, Saleen has had the tradition of not issuing the #6 bumper number on any of its vehicles. The single race for 1985 was at his home track at Riverside International Raceway, California where he had won his first race twelve years earlier. This time though, he was competing in a prototype from his company, a black Saleen Mustang race car with two gold stripes.
1983
July 13

1983: Introduction to Ford Executives

1983: Introduction to Ford Executives
Steve continues to compete in selected SCCA Trans-AM races. This is where Steve is introduced to several Ford Motor Company executives.
July 13

1983: Birth of Saleen Autosport

1983: Birth of Saleen Autosport
Steve Saleen forms Saleen Autosport from his dinner table at his home in Santa Rosa, CA.
1982
July 13

1982: A return to closed wheel racing

1982: A return to closed wheel racing
In 1982 Steve returned to closed wheel racing in the SCCA Trans Am Series, where he campaigned a Pontiac Trans Am for Pontiac Motor Car Company. He set a number of track records during the season, though he was never able to win a race, due mechanical failures at each event. His season efforts contributed to the team’s ultimate win of the championship.
1980
July 13

1980: Setting Records

1980: Setting Records
Steve runs the complete Pro Formula Atlantic series in a Ralt RT1 where he sets several track records, and leads the championship up until the last race, where he finished 3rd, only 3 points away from 1st place.
1979
July 13

1979: Pro Atlantic

1979: Pro Atlantic
Steve Saleen entered the Pro Atlantic series and raced against the likes of Gilles Villenue, Bobby Rahall, Keke Rosberg, and Danny Sullivan.
1978
July 13

1978: 13 New Track Records

1978: 13 New Track Records
In Formula Atlantic Steve set thirteen new track records in his region and won the Pacific Coast Championship.
1977
July 13

1977: “Gas-Saleen”

1977: “Gas-Saleen”
Steve Saleen starts racing Formula Atlantic, in a March 76B. Steve Saleen won the Southern California championship and also set numerous track records. Due to his ability and speed on the track, Steve earns the new nickname of “GAS-SALEEN”.
1976
July 13

1976: Super Vee Advancements

Steve continues to progress in the Super Vee Series by adding more aerodynamics to his Tui AM29.
1975
July 13

1975: Kid Saleen

1975: Kid Saleen
In 1975 Steve switched from closed wheel to open wheel series and joined the Super Vee Series, in a Tui AM29. Steve picks up the name “Kid Saleen” from the movie Cat Ballou starring Lee Marvin.
1974
July 13

1974: Steve begins his professional racing career

1974: Steve begins his professional racing career
Steve was the runner up in the Southern California B Production Championship with his second generation metallic blue over white Fastback Mustang. He began his professional competition career as well.
July 13

1974: Blown Clutch

1974: Blown Clutch
Steve forgets he has 1200lbs of dog food in his Mustang and blows the clutch drag racing an El Camino onto the Glendale freeway!
1973
July 13

1973: Steve’s First Racing Win

1973: Steve’s First Racing Win
August 19th, 1973: Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California. Steve Saleen enters his first sports car race with his Ford Mustang and wins!
1972
July 13

1972: Steve’s Mustang Passion Expands

1972: Steve’s Mustang Passion Expands
Steve’s passion for Mustangs is unwavered as he purchases another Shelby GT350 for $300 and tows it to the same spot where he wrecked his last Mustang for its inaugural drive.
1971
July 13

1971: Racing is for tracks

1971: Racing is for tracks
On July 6th, 1971, Steve learns that racing is for the track when he drives his Shelby GT350 off a cliff in Turnbull Canyon in Whittier, California. Steve spends months recovering from his injuries.
1970
July 13

1970: Honing his skills

1970: Honing his skills
Steve continues to hone his driving skills.
July 13

1970: Steve continues to modify his GT350

1970: Steve continues to modify his GT350
Steve once again repaints his car to Candy Apple Red with gold stripes.
1969
July 13

1969: Steve modifies the Mustang

1969: Steve modifies the Mustang
Steve, not satisfied with the current paint scheme, repaints his Shelby GT350 to Big Bad Green Lime with black stripes. This is also where Steve begins to transform his street car to a race car by changing the wheels, suspension, adding a roll cage and side exhaust. This year Steve also begins engine work by adding two 4-barrel Weber carburetors and takes it to his first time trial.
July 13

1969: Steve buys his first Mustang

1969: Steve buys his first Mustang
Steve buys a Shelby GT 350 from the Hollywood School of Self Defense and quickly gives it a flashy new paint job
1968
July 13

1968: Steve’s Porsche Gets Painted

1968: Steve’s Porsche Gets Painted
Steve paints his Porsche Robin’s Eggshell Blue and adds more horsepower.
1967
July 13

1967: Steve’s Porsche

1967: Steve’s Porsche
Side view of his 1956 Porsche Type 356 Coupe European Model
1966
July 13

1966: Steve Saleen’s First Car

1966: Steve Saleen’s First Car
Steve gets his first car, a 1956 Porsche Type 356 Coupe European Model

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