Mustang MonthlyFeatured Vehicles
1985 Ford Mustang Saleen Stunner
Scott Olexy side-stepped Superstorm Sandy and saved a rare Mustang
Believe it or not, having to work on a weekend can be a good thing. By luck of a scheduling faux pas, New Jersey’s Scott Olexy averted an automotive catastrophe, a near calamity that would have certainly piled more bad luck onto the bad luck that Scott had already experienced with 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.
A long-time Mustang owner, Scott has purchased several nice examples over the years. Heck, his parents even owned a brand-spanking new ’64½ convertible. But when Scott was forced to sit back and watch his teenage son have all the fun in a ’00 Mustang convertible, he quickly decided that he wanted a T-top Mustang with its sleek Fox-body style and neat removable top. The model or even the performance accessories didn’t matter; it just had to be a Fox-body with T-tops.
A top-notch example turned up for sale in the local trader magazine, an ’85 Saleen that was up for grabs in nearby New York. After a thorough inspection, a deal was struck and the T-top Fox-body was coming home to Jersey… or so Scott thought.
Scott originally planned to pick up the Saleen on October 27. However, due to a scheduling mix up, he was unable to take that day off from work. The next available date was the 29th, a date that was soon ditched due to the increasingly severe weather advisories as Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Northeast. If the Saleen had been picked when initially planned, it would have been placed in the garage at Scott’s bay shore home in Brick, New Jersey, a house that saw over four feet of saltwater surge into the living quarters and garage during Sandy’s torrent. This influx of corrosive water would have no doubt destroyed the inner workings of the Saleen. Luckily, Scott’s work issue spared this rare Mustang.
Founded in 1983, Saleen Autosport produced only three vehicles for the 1984 model year but ramped up output to 140 for 1985, its first year of full production. The early conversion models were basically V-8 Mustangs with a stock drivetrain along with Saleen’s cosmetic changes and “Racecraft” suspension tuning, which included Saleen/Racecraft specific rate springs and Bilstein shocks/struts. Amazingly, Scott’s Saleen still has its original complement from Bilstein.
Any ’85 Saleen would be considered rare these days, but Scott’s ride is one of only eight built that year with the T-top option. Of those, only one had a true factory-installed top. The other Saleens, including this one, came with dealer-installed T-tops, which were converted at the Cars and Concepts facility with the conversion tags on the door jambs to prove it. Also included were storage bags for the panels and the lock-down straps in the hatch to secure the tops when not in use.
The black/grey color scheme was the most prevalent color combo that year and the one that graces this car. Saleen-installed interior pieces included a Wolf Racing steering wheel, Cal Custom Hawk shift knob, and a 170 mph speedometer.
Only 27 of the ’85 Saleens came with the large wheel option, which Scott’s car possesses. These rims were 16x7 Enkei 92s, complete with Saleen center caps.
Saleen #115 was repainted a few years ago, with the owner keeping the original paint scheme. Most of the body parts were in excellent shape, including the Saleen Autosports’ fiberglass side skirts, spats, polyurethane three-piece front air dam, and rear spoiler. The Xtang headlight covers are original to the Saleen build.
The original issue Cincinnati Microwave Escort radar detector is still in the car along with the super-rare Saleen issue front floor mats. The original alarm system is intact as well as the McGard wheel locks. Scott also received some special goodies with the car, including the Saleen owner’s jacket, manuals, brochures, and instructional cassette.
With just over 67,000 original miles, Scott is overjoyed with his purchase. This Saleen isn’t going anywhere as far as he’s concerned— especially not in bad weather.