Tom Wilson
September 11, 2007
Photos By: E. John Thawley III E. John Thawley III
The first time we saw Molly working a Saleen event, it was from a distance, and we momentarily confused her with her mom-who shares her long blonde hair and fair skin. Molly has put her own stamp on the The Saleen Store, and she seems poised to extend that mark with new goods and stores.

Miss Molly
For years, Saleen the company was Steve and Liz Saleen. Steve was everywhere in the young startup, of course, but his wife Liz was very active as well. She handled most of the public relations, as well as incredible hours-24 hours nonstop was typical for the enduros-as the Saleen racing team timer. Recently, Liz ran the Saleen registry and kept track of the 12,000 Saleen vehicles that have been sold.

While Liz has retired from active participation in the company, her daughter Molly has taken an active role. A 2005 USC honors graduate in psychology with a minor in pre-law, Molly joined Saleen after graduation while working part-time at a law firm. When The Saleen Store was coming together, Molly concentrated on the new retail outlet. She quit her law job and is now the general manager of The Saleen Store, a job she's taken to with impressive skill, her father says.

While running the store is demanding, Molly finds time for her boyfriend, the nearby beach, and the occasional foray to Las Vegas. Still, the store is her focus, and we're sure its success is largely due to her efforts. She says The Saleen Store has surpassed all expectations for sales and visibility. She reports no one class of Saleen product dominates the store's activity; apparel, accessories, hard parts, and cars all sell well. In May 2007, no fewer than 14 Saleens were sold through the store (several mega-dollar S7s sold through the store in its first few months). Hard parts, mainly for Mustangs, are a quick mover as well. Customers can drop their cars off for valet delivery to Saleen's main facility a few miles away, or take them directly to the factory and enjoy a tour while their parts are installed. Those customers typically purchase superchargers.

Molly says her customers come from all around the United States. It's typical for people to stop in the store on their way to Disneyland or another major attraction. Furthermore, the Irvine Spectrum Mall assures a steady stream of traffic, augmenting the visiting car clubs and touring individual enthusiasts.

Molly finds the apparel business especially interesting, and plans on offering her own clothing under the banner. Her other passion is opening more Saleen stores. Look to Las Vegas as the next likely location.

The standard Saleen interior is brightened considerably by the all-glass Scenic Roof option. We've tried this roof on a couple of test cars and have really enjoyed it. It's tinted and treated just enough to keep the blazing summer sun at bay, but the air conditioner still sees considerable use. We might not go for the fish bowl effect in Phoenix, Houston, or Miami, but wouldn't hesitate in any northern clime.

5.0 Tech Specs
Aluminum 4.6Springs
Cylinder HeadsSaleen Racecraft
Ford 3-ValveStruts
INtake ManifoldSaleen Racecraft
Saleen Stage VI superchargedBrakes
CamshaftsSaleen 4-piston, ABS w/14-in slotted and
Fordvented front rotors
Power AdderWheels
Saleen Stage VI twin-screwSaleen chrome 5-spoke 20x9-in
Saleen stainless steelPirelli P-Zero Rossas, 275/35ZR-20
Fuel InjectorsSaleen Racecraft
TransmissionSaleen Racecraft
5-speed manualWheels
RearendSaleen chrome 5-spoke 20.10-in
8.8-in, 3.75gears, Saleen MazGripTires
limited-slipPirelli P-Zero R ossas, 275/40ZR-20
Engine ManagementTraction Devices
Saleen Power FlashFord 3-link w/Saleen Watts link
Saleen faced w/200-mph speedometer, twin
gauge pod w/charge cooler temp. boost