Saleen SA-40: A Tribute To Speed, Luxury, and Uniqueness

Saleen, the lean, mean, fast machines that roll out of Corona, California, are world-renowned for flashy styling, big power, and fast Fords. Wearing the phrase “Power in the hands of few,” they embody that statement, creating some of the fastest vehicles to come with a factory warranty. Getting the opportunity to see one of these gorgeous cars in person would be a chance anyone should take. When I heard that Raabe Ford in the little town of Delphos, Ohio, has one, I had to check it out. The Saleen SA-40 is the pinnacle of modern day Saleen Mustangs. An enhancement on the already amazing Saleen S302 car. The SA-40 is an S550 S302 Black label for the true Saleen fan and collector. 

Saleen SA-40

Celebrating 40 Years Of Saleen

With the 40th anniversary of Saleen Autosport, the company decided to celebrate with a very special car: the Saleen SA-40. A sleek yellow missile as rare as it is beautiful, finished in Speedlab Yellow, a metallic pearl that glows under the sun. The Saleen SA-40 is an anniversary car done right, featuring a dash of carbon fiber that helps set it apart. The SA-40 includes a carbon fiber lip, side skirts, rear diffuser complete with an F1-style rain light, and notably, a speedster-style tonneau cover with a carbon fiber styling bar. With only 10 examples produced, this high-performance pony is as stunning as it is rare.

The interior of the SA-40 retains most of the normal Mustang’s features. One notable quirk revolves around the speedster tonneau cover. A keen eye will spot the fact that it still retains its back seats, albeit modified to include white inserts with color-matched yellow stitching. The tonneau is removable, and a soft top can be put up to shield the driver from the sun. At a glance, one would expect the car to have a permanent cover and a rear seat delete.

The doors feature black door cards with white and yellow inserts to pair with the seats. The black and white contrast nicely complements the black and white accent stripes seen around the vehicle, most notably on the side of the car and on its speedster tonneau cover.

The Numbers

The Saleen SA-40s are all theoretically sequentially numbered. Their interesting quirk is the individual numbers that appear on the front lip. In theory, the cars would be numbered 01, 02, 03, and so on. However, a keen eye would notice one car running around wearing the number 011 on the front lip. This is not an extra car, there never was a chassis 06.

The SA-40 packs a punch at 800 horsepower, thanks to a Whipple supercharger on top of its already amazing 5.0-liter Coyote V8. Transmissions vary from car to car; some were built with a 10-speed automatic, while others were offered with a 6-speed manual transmission. This is normally paired with a 3.15 rear gear but can be optioned with a 3.55 rear gear for better off-the-line performance for an additional $1,155.

The Saleen SA-40 comes with 13.9-inch slotted rotors standard, with Saleen pads. For those who desire a bit more, there are upgraded 15-inch 2-piece rotors and 6-piston calipers available for all four corners for an additional $9,197.

The ride is handled by a set of custom springs by Racecraft, along with Racecraft struts and beefy Racecraft sway bars. To put all the power to the pavement, the car is equipped with Saleen exclusive 5-spoke signature series 20×9.5 and 20×10 wheels, wrapped in 275/35ZR-20 tires for the front and wider 305/35ZR-20 for the rear.

Heading South

The car delivered to Raabe Ford in Delphos, Ohio, was car 09. It was optioned with a 10-speed automatic, 15-inch brakes, and the 3.55 rear gear. The bright yellow Mustang stood out well and would have fit right in with the other Mustangs in the area, like the Mustang RTR Spec 5 10th Anniversary that is also local to the area. Alas, the car was not destined to stay in this small town and will make a journey to Texas to begin its life with its new owner. To them, I say, take good care of 09; she is a true gem. One of the last S550-based Saleen Autosport Mustangs, it’s a car that deserves a good home and to be cherished forever.