Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
July 14, 2008

Focusing on performance automobiles for 25 years takes a great deal of commitment and passion. From his early automotive days spent preparing his personal cars for racing, to his inevitable entrance into the professional racing world, and finally into the domain of the automotive business, automotive icon Steve Saleen has done it all. Steve set the course for his automotive future in his first race on August 19, 1973, at Riverside International Raceway, where he took his GT350 to the Winners' Circle, and he never looked back.

Steve Saleen moved up through the amateur, then professional, ranks of closed and open-wheel racing during the '70s and '80s, racing and winning against drivers such as Bobby Rahal, Gilles Villeneuve, and Danny Sultan. His racing career eventually intertwined with his USC business degree when, in 1983, he formed Saleen Autosport and produced his first vehicle, an '84 white-and-blue high-performance Saleen Mustang, the first of thousands of vehicles that would eventually be built based on his innovative niche manufacturing, certification, and racing business model.

Steve and his vehicles have dominated the competition wherever they raced around the world, having won nine championships, countless races and set track records from Daytona to Le Mans and every track in between. Steve is still racing, and he is currently testing one of the two European Le Mans Series Championship winning S7Rs in preparation for his return to competition in the American Le Mans Series later this year.

For 25 years, Steve Saleen has been the leading pioneer in lifestyle performance automobiles, with his companies building an amazing array of high-performance sports, race, and collector cars coveted by enthusiasts and celebrities alike from Tim Allen to Tom Cruise. His companies have created everything from the world's fastest production Mustang, the S302 Extreme, to the Saleen S7 and S7R, the most victorious supercar-based racing vehicle ever, with 171 Top Tens, 118 podiums, 84 pole positions, 76 fastest laps, 72 wins, and 9 GT Championships. Amazing cars aren't the only thing associated with Steve Saleen's name and ingenuity. His companies are also credited with an impressive array of patented automotive technological innovations.

As an entrepreneur, his endeavors encompass more than simply delivering the performance hardware. In 2006, he was the driving force behind the opening of his company's first automotive retail experience. With as much visual impact and excitement as one of his supercars, Maxim magazine awarded it "Best Automotive Retail Store."

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