Tom Wilson
February 17, 2008
Photos By: Jerry Heasley
As with the underhood, the interior vista of Randy's car is familiar to anyone who's been around GT 500s. Purely stock Shelby, it's definitely a good view. Randy Fontenot says he's "you know, just a Cajun," but his string of Mustang Cobra and Saleen Mustangs says he's maybe more of a cagey Cajun. A confirmed collector and car show fan, Randy is keeping his one-of-a-kind Shelby strictly for display. His favorite comment about the car is, "It's a dream come true."

Founded in the later '90s as the racing arm of Saleen as the Saleen/Allen Speedlab (Hollywood's Tim Allen had money to spend then), the Saleen Speedlab name has long since been applied to Saleen's aftermarket parts division.

In recent years, the Speedlab bumped along without much interest from the main Saleen organization, but that all changed according to Speedlab Sales Manager Carlos Duran. He says the Saleen board of directors recognizes the huge sales potential of Saleen-branded aftermarket parts and wants Carlos to make them happen.

Look for the expected Saleen Mustang and S331 truck parts, along with assemblies such as superchargers and complete engines. Carlos also says the Saleen retail store will be reconfigured to emphasize retails sales-our recent story on store manager Molly Saleen had barely hit print when she left the company. More such stores and Speedlab Centers (service shops) are planned around the nation. The main Speedlab Center and R&D facility will remain in Irvine, California, while Saleen production cars and trucks are now all being built at the Troy, Michigan facility.

Keep in mind that Speedlab Centers aren't limited to Ford products, but are free to install any part on any vehicle it believes is in keeping with Saleen standards.

Randy asked to have everyone who worked on the car to sign it, and they were happy to oblige. Most of the crew-18 of them-made their mark on the radiator shroud, but there are other signatures on the Watt's link and underneath the car behind the right rear bumper. Steve Saleen signed in his customary spot along the dashboard, which was one of the last times he signed a Saleen while still at the company on a daily basis.

As part of the parts sales push, Carlos says Saleen will remain active in its traditional road racing role, and add a more grassroots drag racing arm in Fun Ford Weekend, as well as likely NMRA and World Ford Challenge events.

Expect continued Speedlab emphasis on supercharging. Saleen has enjoyed strong aftermarket Mustang blower sales because its kits are packaged for easy installation, come nearly fully assembled, are cost competitive, and carry a warranty-an especially popular selling point. Even though the Saleen blower kits aren't engineered for over-the-top power, they've definitely carved a meaningful notch in the market.

Thus, "We might have a supercharger for everything shortly," says Carlos. They already have the Harley pickup blower, which has been adapted to the Navigator and Expedition as the Speedlab works its way through the complete Ford truck line.

Carlos confirmed the Speedlab is working on a new blower. It's the same twin-screw supercharger, but packaged to incorporate a Shaker hoodscoop. Just the thing for PJ and Classic Design people who'd love to go blower but don't want to give up their Shaker or change their hood. Preorders will be taken on this system in late winter of '08 with parts showing up next summer for those interested.

5.0 Tech specs
Stock IronCaster/Camber
281ci, 5.4 litersStruts
Cylinder HeadsSaleen Racecraft
Stock Four-ValveSprings
Power AdderSaleen Racecraft
Stock Eaton Hybrid RootsWheels
IntercoolerSaleen, 20x9-in
Stock air-to-waterTires
Fuel SystemStock 14-in Brembo
TransmissionRear Suspension
Stock six-speed manualSprings
 Saleen Racecraft
Engine ManagementSaleen Racecraft
StockControl Arms
GaugesSaleen, 20x10-in
Front SuspensionStock