Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2001
Photos By: Chuck James

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P64877_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_SAAC_Snake_Number_08 Front_Passenger_SideP64878_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_SAAC_Snake_Number_08 Rear_Driver_SideP64879_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_SAAC_Snake_Number_08 InteriorP64880_large 1992_Ford_Mustang_SAAC_Snake_Number_08 Engine

It's 1998, and Tim Glenn of Eugene, Oregon, is perusing the automotive classifieds--as all of us Mustang nuts do--when his eyes come across a particular ad for a "Mustang Snake." Having an '87 GT for a daily driver as well as having a previously restored '68 hardtop, Tim knows Mustangs fairly well. But since he had never heard of a Mustang Snake, he did the modern thing and searched the Internet.Among his search results, Tim found information on the SAAC Car Company and its limited-production SAAC Mustangs.

Things were looking interesting, and Tim pressed on. Soon he located the original selling dealership, Damerow Ford, in nearby Portland. Tim talked to the dealership and learned that the '92 SAAC Snake No. 08 you see here was purchased new by Mark Gripp of Springfield, Oregon. Mark enlisted in the military about a year into ownership of the car, and after realizing that he couldn't afford the payments on the $29,480 selling price, he asked his father to put the car up for sale.

Tim was quite interested in the Mustang. He and his girlfriend decided to purchase the SAAC Snake as an investment for a new house a few years down the road. But what is really interesting is that after showing the car in less than eight shows, they came to the realization that a new house could wait. Now they plan to keep the Snake for at least 10 years and hit all the shows, unless Tim is offered a "smokin' deal," as he puts it.

What makes this Mustang so interesting, you might ask? That's a good question, actually. Let's give you a quick history lesson. Back in the late '80s, Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) principals, Ken Eber and Rick Kopec, scratched their collective heads with what-if scenarios on building a modern-day Shelby GT350. David Wagner, a SAAC member and manager of Ford's Power Products Operation Group, helped them in many of the what-if departments by devising parts lists and gathering sources. Soon the SAAC Car Company was born.

The first cars, the SAAC MK I--listed for $39,995--came only in hatchback form in white with blue Le Mans stripes and had a certified 295hp 5.0, using GT-40 accoutrements. Other SAAC items included Koni shocks, lowering springs, leather interior, five-lug, four-wheel disc brakes with aluminum 17-inch wheels, and plenty more. When MK I production ended in October 1992, the second year of production started off with the SAAC MK II model, which listed for $41,995. The only real changes to this second-generation car were that you could order it in black or red, as well as the original white, and you could also get the MK II in a convertible model. Many Mustang enthusiasts have seen either an MK I or an MK II, but you're still wondering about the SAAC Snake, right? OK, here comes the final answer (sorry, Regis).

About the only complaint the SAAC Car Company was receiving from prospective buyers (besides the price) was the nonavailability of an automatic transmission. While you could make an AOD live behind a powerful motor, SAAC wanted to use Ford-certified parts and not have to worry about warranty claims--thus the decision was made to offer a second model during the MK II run, called the SAAC Snake. This model would not have the 295hp 5.0. Instead, it would have a stock drivetrain to allow the AOD to live behind it. The Snake model also would not have the MK II leather interior or the interior stiffening brace. This model would alleviate two problems: the option of an automatic transmission and a lower price tag.

What is really quite funny here is that after all of the complaining and changes, not one single SAAC Snake (eight hatchbacks and three convertibles) was ever ordered or delivered with the AOD transmission.

Tim's immaculate '92 SAAC Snake No. 08 has just 15,000 miles on it and features all-original paint, decals, tires, and engine components. He recently sold the '68 hardtop but plans to hold on tight to this Black Mamba.