Saleen is a name known and respected in Mustang circles both for its long history and for the power and handling abilities of the Mustang-based automobiles they’ve been building for the last 30 years. The latest iteration of the Ford Mustang features an all new 5.0 liter V8, which harkens back to the humble roots of Saleen and has helped them put out what is arguably the best Saleen Mustang yet, the S302.
And now Brenspeed, based in Pierceton, Indiana and the largest Saleen SpeedLab in the country, is starting a new program to build Saleen serialized, driver-tailored drag racers. Based on the S302, these track-ready drag racers are for anybody wanting an authentic Saleen without tearing it apart and building it themselves.
“We are going to build a drag racer around the racer’s needs, whatever that may be, and they will still be Saleen cars,” says Brenspeed’s Brent White. Called the S302 DR, these purpose-built drag racers will come straight from the Saleen factory and into Brenspeed’s hands, where they will offering full-weight, street legal drag racers bearing the Saleen stamp of approval. “We’re working on a supercharger application that should be done in the next six weeks, but we’ve already got one of these new 5.0’s running 11.6’s with just bolt-ons.”
This is welcomed news to Saleen purists and fans, many of whom have modified this traditionally slick-handling Mustangs to put a bit more power to the ground. When you start modifying any limited edition vehicle, you are detracting from its worth both as a collectors item, and as a time capsule of a famed product like a Saleen Mustang. “We are targeting the drag racers who want to burn rubber down the drag strip in a Saleen,” says Brent White.
While they are exploring the idea of offering purpose-built “packages,” right now you can order a Saleen S302 DR to your specific needs and desires. Want a roll cage? You can have it. Fuel cell, racing seats, and a harness? You betcha. Built rear suspension? You can have those too. And a supercharger package is in the works that should have the S302 DR deep into the 10-second range. All with the blessing of Saleen, with a documented serial number and all of its collector’s value completely intact. This is a car that you can drive from your home, to the track, and then the local Saleen club’s car show, all in the same day. Pretty cool, right?
So what about the word that Saleen is stopping production on cars? Brent wasn’t worried, and while he couldn’t say why, we’ve got a feeling that he knows more about what is going on than we do as he has a 2012 vehicle program in development. All he could say is that a “branding” change is in the works, and that it shouldn’t stop anybody from getting on the phone and ordering one of these 2011 drag race-ready packages. The cost will depend, on exactly what you’re ordering, but with the base cost of a 2011 S302 starting at $54,995, expect options and additions to only go north from there. But can you really put a price for a serialized Saleen drag racer that you can truly call unique and your own? We don’t think so.
You can contact Brenspeed via their website or by calling 574-594-9559.