"one of seven"
Scott McIntosh's '86 Saleen #152
I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how long the fox body Mustang has been around. They were larger than life to me when I was a kid, and simply don't seem dated to me. I remember going to car shows when I was young and seeing them, basically brand new, and for me; what dreams were made of. When '86 #152 left Frontier Ford in Santa Clara, CA, I was nine years old. Yes, I am dating myself a bit. A lot was going on in the country, like the space shuttle "Challenger" blowing up, and the "Iran Contra Affair" was made public to the world. For me? I was just a kid who loved cars, watching Michael Jordan play basketball, and riding my Tony Hawk skateboard.
Launching just two years prior, Saleen Autosport was just getting their legs under them, building tuner fox body Mustangs. While your author has covered the Saleen history many times, I don't get tired of the tales (hopefully you don't either). What makes these early cars so special is that there were so few of them produced. Three cars for '84, 140 for '85, and 201 for '86. These numbers make them the oldest, and rarest of the breed, aside from very special models like the SA10 for example.
The '86 were very much a carryover from '85, with some minor changes. Early in the model run, they began the phase-in of the 16x7 wheels, with only 14 cars being sold with the Hayashi 15" hoops. Enkei and Riken produced the new wheels, and were shod with either Fulda or General tires, in the 225/50/16 sizing. Late in the '86 run, the unpainted basketweave wheels were used, with this car being the lowest build number receiving them in this finish.
Another interesting note is due to supply issues, 41 of the cars were shipped without the standard Hurst shifter. This part did not become available until after production had begun, the shift knob also suffered the same fate, with many cars wearing the factory Ford piece. New for '86 also was the Momo three-spoke steering wheel. Only four cars were shipped without this latest addition.
More small changes came in the way of performance as well. The move from Bilstein to Koni adjustable dampers increased the capability of the Racecraft suspension. A Saleen strut tower brace was also offered in the Saleen catalog, were used on the race cars for that year, but were not installed on the production cars.
The option list for the '86 Saleens was a short one. The hatchback or convertible configuration were the only way they were offered. However, you could order a booming Kenwood stereo system, complete with KRC 6000 cassette deck, with two way speakers. This was quite a popular amenity, as 148 of the 201 cars produced, came with this option.
Scott is proud to say that he actually gets the car out and enjoys it. "Not a museum piece, but a solid, unmolested example that sees the light of day, instead of being tucked away in the garage" says Scott. Luckily, #152 was owned by a solid list of Saleen lovers and collectors, which have preserved the car extremely well over the years. Having all of the documentation from the dealer, and DMV registrations, as well as the manuals from kenwood, Ford, and Saleen. Listed as one of seven cars produced in this combination, this four eye Saleen is fox body Mustang history. CR