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Thread: Saleen History
12-11-2008, 01:38 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
Steve Saleen is founder and president of Saleen, Inc., a specialty vehicle manufacturer. Saleen worked at his father's manufacturing business prior to attending the University of Southern California. He graduated with a degree in business. His interest in fast cars was sparked by his fatherís purchase of a Porsche. Saleen joined the Porsche Owners Club and began to autocross and race, leading to a career in professional racing. He set 13 SCCA Formula Atlantic records and finished third in the championship behind Jacques Villeneuve in 1980. In 1982, Saleen entered the Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am Championship.
In 1983, Saleen formed Saleen Autosport. Following in the footsteps of Carroll Shelby, Saleen began improving the appearance and performance characteristics of the Mustang. By 1984, Saleen had completed the first Saleen Mustang. He equipped the car with special aerodynamic, suspension and handling packages, and an attractive and highly functional ****pit. Proving that his car could successfully compete against the worldís top sports cars, Saleen brought home a win at the grueling 24-hour race in Mosport, Canada.
Victories continued in 1987, where the Saleen team captured SCCA championship titles for driver, team, manufacturer and tire. In 1989, Saleen tested his mettle in the CART/PPG lndy Car World Series. He returned to the Trans-Am series in 1990-91. He won the 1991 SCCA Race Truck Championship driving a Ford Ranger.
In 1995, Saleen teamed up with motion picture and television star Tim Allen and racing legend Bob Bondurant to form the Saleen/Allen "RRR" Speedlab race team, which campaigned Saleen Mustangs in the SCCA World Challenge Series. The next year, Saleen was inducted into the Mustang Hall of Fame along with Carroll Shelby.
In 1997, the team successfully competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A Saleen Mustang also clinched the SCCA Manufacturer's title for the third time. In 1998 the team claimed their fourth SCCA Manufacturer's Championship title, as well as first and second-place in the Driver's Championship.
Saleen introduced the Saleen Mustang S351, then the fastest vehicle available on a showroom floor, along with the S281 for high performance at a lower cost. He built the first high performance sport-utility vehicle, the XP8 and then the SR, the fastest Ford Mustang. With the introduction of the S7, Saleen created his first vehicle not based on any previously-existing platform.
Steve Saleen is married to Liz and has a daughter, Molly, and two sons, Clint and Sean. The Saleens live in Orange County, California, near the companyís production facility.S
12-11-2008, 02:38 PM #2
01-07-2009, 04:19 PM #3