Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
2000 Saleen S281 - Third Time's A Charm
Brian Longo of West Warwick, Rhode Island, is one of the fortunate few. "In 1996 I got my first car, a Teal '93 Cobra." Brian tells us. "Shortly after I bought it, I installed long-tube headers, mufflers, 3.73 gears, and a B-303 camshaft. I loved the Cobra, but I always wanted a Saleen."
Over the next few years, Brian had not one, but two Saleen Mustangs--a '96 S281 and a '00 S281 supercharged Speedster. At the end of 2010, he was looking to pick up another specialty Pony, and came across exactly what he wanted. "I was looking for a Torch Red Saleen, and was pretty specific about what I wanted," Brains explains. "When I found this car, everything was already done and it was turnkey. I was looking for a needle in a haystack, and I found it." One of the biggest selling points for Brian was where the work was done--Anderson Ford Motorsport. The Clinton, Illinois-based Ford dealership has a long history of top-notch performance parts and service, and it shows on Brian's Saleen.
The base of its power is an MMR 900 short-block from Modular Mustang Racing (MMR) in Camarillo, California. The stock-displacement bottom end consists of a polished Cobra crankshaft, forged Manley connecting rods, and forged Manley pistons, all combining to create 8.5:1 compression. The stock Two-Valve cylinder heads have been treated to a significant amount of CNC port work, thanks to Patriot Performance. The stock camshafts were reinstalled in the ported heads, along with a set of Comp Cams valvesprings and retainers.
The long-block was topped with a 2.1L Kenne Bell Twin-Screw supercharger, which feeds the engine 14 pounds of boost. Exhaust exits through the stock manifolds, into a Mac Performance Pro Chamber, then exits via the Saleen/Borla center exhaust. Mike Dezotell of Dez Racing (Seekonk, Massachusetts) put his tuning skills to work, and with the help of the SCT tuning software, Brian's S281 cranked out 493 rwhp and 494 lb-ft of torque.
Power is transferred to the Tremec T-56 six-speed transmission via a Spec Stage 3 clutch, which spins an FRPP aluminum driveshaft. A set of 3.73 gears turn the 31-spline axles, giving power to the stock Saleen wheels. Nitto rubber keeps the car glued to the street, and Wilwood binders give Brian the ability to bring the fun to a halt at any point. H&R Super Sport springs, Saleen Bilstein shocks and struts, and a slew of parts from Maximum Motorsports, including caster/camber plates, rack bushings, and upper and lower control arms, help Brian's scarlet Pony handle better.
Brian tells us he has been to six car shows with his Saleen, and he's taken home a trophy from each one. The combination of power and good looks have left Brian with an incredible street machine that holds its own on the street and in the show fields.