The 2018 edition of the Saleen Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina, brought out some of the finest Saleen products in the country. (If you missed our coverage, you can check it out here.) Narrowing a field of over 100 of the nicest Saleens around down to 10 was not easy, but at the end of the day, we finally found our favorites. Check them out below…
10. The Anniversary Cars
The featured cars of the 2018 Saleen Nationals were all anniversary machines — the SA cars. One of the coolest of that elite group is absolutely the SA10. Regarded in most circles as the holy grail Fox Saleen Mustang, these cars are all uniquely optioned and all tell a special stories. To have three of them in one place was definitely a rare treat.
9. Fox Saleen Driver
Remember the last name Smith, this will not be the last time you here that name in this top 10 list. This white 1989 belongs to Mallory Smith and made its maiden voyage at the Saleen Nationals after a year long refresh. Following the trend of her husband Travis’ own Fox Saleen, this car is tastefully modified to be driven and enjoyed. It features a crate engine topped by a Trick Flow intake, and rounded out with racing seats, a Dakota Digital dash and some gold wheels that look right at home beside the trademark Saleen gold stripes. The Smiths tell us a paint job is in the future but for now, they are just enjoying driving the car.
8. 600-Horsepower SSC
What’s cooler than an Saleen SSC? A Saleen SSC that’s modified and driven, of course. Terry Wiedman’s 1989 fits both of those categories. It is loaded with performance mods, including a Boss-block 347 stroker with aluminum heads, a custom-ground blower cam, forged internals, a ported Saleen intake, a Vortech T-trim supercharger, and a healthy shot of methanol injection. All in all, it delivers 609 horsepower to the rear wheels. Yes, this is one wicked-cool and fast Fox.
7. Spotless 1988 Hatchback
Dennis Fahey’s 1988 Fox Saleen is one of the cleanest we have ever run across. Painted in beautiful red with grey and silver accents, this car is easy on the eyes. If there is a flaw on this one, we did not find it.
6. Holy Grail Terminator
The 2003-2004 SVT Mustang Cobras hold a special spot in the hearts of many and for good reason. While there are plenty of cool Cobras out there, there are a few special ones that stand out above the rest. The Anniversary cars, the Mystic cars and the rarest of them all, the Saleen Cobras. Larry and Francine Hill’s 2003 Redfire Cobra is one of just 14 Saleen Cobra coupes built during the 2003-2004 Terminator run and one of only three produced in Redfire Metallic. The car won best in its class at the nationals and it definitely earned it.
5. Black and Gold Droptop
Saleen was famous for some pretty killer color combos, but in our opinion, none of which were as cool as black and gold. Robert Knee’s 1991 Convertible was lucky enough to wear this stunning and rare color combination. In fact, it is only convertible Saleen created in black and gold.
4. The Sport Truck
One of the stars of the show was the all new Saleen Sport truck. With the departure of our beloved Ford Lightning over a decade ago there is a huge void in the sports truck market. With aftermarket companies building sports trucks again, we can almost get our Lightning fix. This silver 2018 Saleen Sport Truck definitely drew a crowd all day with attendees wanting their chance to photograph it and sit in it.
3. #19 Race Car
One of the most advertised Saleen Mustangs in recent memory is this #19 race car. Featured in numerous ads and at shows all across the country, the car actually belongs to Sean Cook, the National Event Marketing Director for Saleen. It is a 2017 Saleen, which was built to pay tribute to the 30th Anniversary of Steve Saleen’s SCCA Championship win in the #19 General Tire car. It features a similar paint job including the General Tire and Montgomery Ward logos. Everywhere this car went during the Saleen Nationals a crowd followed with fans wanting to get an up close and personal look at this race-ready beast. We are even told that a few spirited test drives may have been awarded to a few lucky Saleen Club Of America members during the weekend.
2. 690-Horsepower Fox
There are modified Fox Mustangs and then there are modified Fox Mustangs. Travis Smith’s 1989 falls under the second category. About the only thing left untouched on this near 700 horsepower monster is the original color scheme and Saleen body kit, the rest has been touched by Travis in one way or the other. The modification list on this car is easily a mile long. The license plate on this beauty reads “WIKDSLN” and that is definitely accurate. This sure is one wicked Saleen. So much so that the participant-voted car show chose it as the top ’87-’93 Saleen at the event.
Simply put, Lizstick is one of the most beautiful colors to ever be laid down on a Ford Mustang. This special Saleen color was used in extremely limited numbers, in fact, only three Saleen Extremes were ever produced in this color, with Jay Ronca’s example being one of them. This beauty is one of just 153 Saleen Extremes built in 2006, and the only one to come with a glass roof, making it one of the rarest S197 Saleens ever created. Of course it should come as no surprise that the car won best in its class at the 2018 Saleen Nationals and it’s no surprise that it is number one on our list as well.