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1988 Saleen Mustang - 900HP Fox
Yes Man: Fox Saleen Will Excite and It Will Delight
Some things you just can’t live down. The one time where you saw a Maverick and said, “That looks pretty good.” Suddenly, everyone thinks you love every Maverick, which is not the case. Then you take out a couple Cervini’s Cobra R bumpers, no big deal, right?! No one’s going to remember that! Well, you’re wrong... way wrong.
Everyone has something they wish they could take back, whether it’s an action or a statement. It could be as simple as a song you played for the Associate Editor of a Mustang magazine during said magazine’s biggest competition of the year.
That is Sergio Rojas’ cross to bear. During the ’09 King of the Street competition, Sergio wanted to show the range of his Saleen’s audio system. The song he chose...”Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes. Those of you under 40 can YouTube it.
I know the song because two of my older brothers were Yes fans. At the time of this writing, Sergio is 41, so he fits the demographic. Did the song show his Saleen’s auditory magic? Sure it did— but Yes? Really, Sergio? So the song has a strong mix of highs and lows, we get it. There are a million other songs that would’ve got the job done, but then we wouldn’t be talking about it now, would we?
Don’t think we’re the only one picking on Sergio for his musical taste, either. Since he’s a fixture at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida, whenever we’re down there for a tech article, Sergio always comes up as the guy that played that song at KOTS. Sergio won’t ever live that down. However, we can all have a good laugh about it.
Fortunately for Sergio, we not only remember Sergio’s Saleen for that song, we remember the car because as you can see, it’s unbelievable.
Sergio’s story starts way back in 1991 when he purchased his first Mustang, an ’89 GT. Coming out of an Oldsmobile Cutlass with a Rocket 350, the GT seemed to lack a bit of torque. Sergio’s buddy, and 5.0&SF feature alum Kevin Dunn, helped point Sergio in the right direction with the addition of some exhaust components, a cold-air kit, a ported mass air meter, and pulleys.
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“Just enough to get into the low 13s,” Sergio said. “Well, for good or for bad, here I am, six Mustangs later, owning the same platform in pursuit of Fox-body perfection.”
With that first GT, Sergio ended up in the low 11s with a heads/cam/intake combo on the spray. In 1995, that was pretty impressive, but after working hard on the GT to get it to that point, Sergio switched gears to a Honda Civic to see how the responsible and economical half live. Like everyone reading this magazine, Sergio found that way of life wasn’t for him.
Fast forward to 1999, Sergio purchased this Fox Saleen. Like his former GT, he went the heads/cam/intake route with the spray. That is, until 2005 when he bought a D.S.S. 331 crate engine and strapped a Vortech YSi supercharger to it.
“The nasty whine of that YSi blower through Flowmasters and the smell of C16 is like crack for Fox Mustang fans,” Sergio says. He says of all the combinations he’s run in any of his Fox Mustangs, the Vortech YSi garnered the most attention. “All that being said, it became noisy after about two hours of driving, quickly losing its cool factor for me.”
Something else that wasn’t cool was when Sergio got beat by a homely young punk with glasses in a green ’97 Cobra in 2006. “I couldn’t believe it, so we stopped and talked for a while,” Sergio says. The punk in the Cobra was Power by the Hour’s Jake Long, and his Cobra had a turbocharged, Four-Valve combo under the hood. Sergio still believed a turbo was kinda “ricer,” but after Jake gave him a ride, Sergio quickly changed his tune. “I was hooked,” he said.