BORN OF RACING
Saleen creates high-performance vehicles for both street and track, including the S7 American supercar, the S302 Mustang, SportTruck, and new for 2018, the Saleen S1. The company also produces and markets a broad line of performance parts, as well as providing design, engineering and certification services to the automotive industry.
A vision of former racing driver Steve Saleen, the company began in 1983. Saleen used his business degree from USC, coupled with experience gained in his father's manufacturing business and his passion for racing, to build his company. Steve began autocrossing, and then rapidly moved into SCCA pro series (Formula Atlantic, Trans-Am Championship) before advancing to professional Indy car racing and the Indianapolis 500.
By 1984, the first Saleen street car was ready for sale. It boasted special aerodynamics, an attractive and highly functional cockpit and a precise-handling suspension package. The result was a car built as a limited edition model with individual serial numbers assuring authenticity. Demonstrating the car's performance capabilities, Saleen’s race team brought home a victory in 1986 for Ford at the 24-hour race at Mosport Park in Ontario, Canada.
Fast forward to the 1987 season. Saleen, now a three-car effort, captured all four SCCA World Challenge championship titles, including Drivers' (Steve Saleen and Rick Titus), Team, manufacturers’ and Tire. The team continued its winning ways in 1988, claiming its third consecutive victory at Mosport and taking the top three positions. The Mosport podium was the first 1-2-3 finish for a Ford-powered car since its GT40s took the top three positions at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the late 1960s.
In 1989, Steve Saleen entered Indy Car racing, using that experience to increase the performance of his Saleen street vehicles. In 1991, Saleen Racing's Ford Ranger won the 1991 SCCA Race Truck Championship.
In 1995, Steve Saleen teamed up with television and motion picture star Tim Allen and formed the Saleen/Allen "RRR" Speedlab race team, campaigning Saleen Mustangs in the SCCA World Challenge Series. The team won three more Manufacturers’ Championship titles from 1996-1998. In 1999, a Saleen customer in a turn-key Saleen Mustang SR Widebody racecar won the manufacturer’s title in Spain.
The following year the Speedlab team won the GTO "triple crown" (Drivers', Manufacturers' and Team) Championships in the inaugural Grand American Road Racing series, while in 2001 the brand new Saleen S7R stunned the sports car racing world by winning four Drivers’ championships in four different series around the world. 2010 also marked the a monumental victory for the Saleen nameplate with an LMGT1 class win at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"The knowledge we gain from motorsports feeds right back into our street performance Saleen road cars,” says founder Steve Saleen. "Our customers love performance – they want the feeling of driving a race car. Our powerful, specialty vehicles are a direct translation of superior racing technology adapted to street use."
Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced over 25,000 complete and EPA certified vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. In addition, Saleen has equipped more than 500,000 vehicles worldwide with Saleen products to improve a vehicle’s ability to stop, go, slice-through-the-wind and turn—both corners and heads. Producing a well-made car and putting "Power in the Hands of a Few™" is the backbone of the Saleen tradition. A pioneer in mass customization and niche vehicle manufacturing, Saleen’s design and production practices are now being adopted by major automobile companies the world over.
"From the beginning, we have been dedicated to one goal: helping our customers get maximum performance and driving pleasure," said Saleen. "Whether it's horsepower, handling, aerodynamics or overall performance, we guarantee that quality is engineered into every Saleen vehicle.”