Karl LaFrance's '93 Saleen SA10
Photos by: Flim Flam Media
Permit me if you will to be a little self indulgent. Your author has had the honor to share some amazing cars , from amazing people, with amazing stories. I consider it to be a true honor to represent cars for their owner, and it isn't something I take lightly. It is a large undertaking to provide accurate, informative, and entertaining features. When I agreed to feature Karl LaFrance's SA10, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Not only is Karl an astute collector, but the car itself has a rich heritage that must be portrayed accurately. No pressure right? Before we get into the nuts and bolts of what makes up a $100K fox body Mustang, a little back story is due.
Karl purchased this car from Mark Lamaskin, owner of Performance Autosport. Mark purchased this car from a very high profile, private collection. The company that had the car was called Always Evolving Performance. This company was owned by the late Roger Rodas, and Paul Walker. Yes, that Paul Walker. Karl had to sell three of his other Saleens, to purchase this car.
The Saleen 10th anniversary was very special for two reasons: it marked ten years of success in building the cars themselves, and it marked the end of the traditional fox body Mustang that Saleen was founded on. Saleen began with these cars, and as the new '94 models were slated for release, it would mark a turning point for the brand. Taking this into consideration, Saleen wanted to celebrate with a very special car.
Starting under the hood, Saleen offered a Vortech supercharger making 8 psi, ceramic coated headers, and a high volume fuel pump. The suspension was all Racecraft, with the addition of a panhard rod, and rear shock tower brace. Other additions were 13" Alcon brakes, 17" three piece Stern wheels, 3.55 gears, and Hurst quick ratio shifter. Inside, the cars received a gray 200mph speedometer, black leather Recaro seats, door panel inserts with 10th anniversary styling, two point roll bar, and the usual Pioneer sound system. The exterior styling was typical Saleen fare, with the addition of a free flowing composite hood, and yellow & white graphics package, distinguishing the cars from other Saleen models. The Saleen World Challenge race cars for '93 wore the same graphics package.
The cars themselves were ordered from Ford as black on black LX hatchbacks. Steve Saleen chose the hatch because that body style was going away after '93. Ten cars were slated to be built, number 1 through 11, as Saleen never never produced a number 006 car. The VIN numbers were sequential, through a special arrangement with Ford. To buy a SA10, a $1,000 deposit was required, and you had to be a member of the SOEC. Each owner would be able to sit down with Steve himself and choose the options they wanted from the Saleen performance catalog.
The options were fairly plentiful, things like a balanced short block, Edelbrock aluminum heads, custom interiors, and much more. The only stipulation to the build was that the exterior of the cars could not be changed. Saleen wanted to offer the buyers the ability to customize the cars to their own tastes, aside from the exterior. With that being said, seeing the cars side by side, you can't tell one from another. However, the performance modifications, and interiors make each car a one of one.
There is obviously much more information on these cars than I have time to cover. My hope is to pay homage to what will go down as the rarest, and most coveted fox body Mustang ever built. Sadly, only nine were actually built. Car number four was never completed, but that is a story for another day. The number seven car was stolen from the original owner shortly after he took delivery in '94, and was never recovered. With only eight cars remaining, it isn't hard to see why these cars are drawing six figures already. Take a good look, this is history. CR
Special thanks to Flim Flam Media for the photos, and Mark Lamaskin of Performance Autosport.