Jim Smart
July 1, 2008

Scott Robinson has long had a thing for Saleen Mustangs. To be more specific, he always wanted a Fox-body Saleen coupe, commonly called a notchback. With less weight than hatchbacks and convertibles, coupes tend to be all business. The huge majority of Saleen Mustangs were the swoopier hatchbacks and sportier convertibles, but a handful left the Saleen production facility as lighter-weight coupes between model years 1985 and 1993.

For a long time, Scott had his eye on Dave and Penny Willis' '88 Saleen coupe. Clad in Oxford White with gold appointments, it was just what the doctor ordered for Scott's affliction. But he couldn't get his hands on the car for a while: Dave and Penny needed to give the car a good workout first.

Penny raced the Saleen coupe at Seattle, Portland, and a host of other tracks around the Pacific Northwest. She also did her share of autocrossing and made constructive changes to the car, adding a sunroof, an alarm system, a Panhard bar, and adjustable caster/camber plates. When it was time to retire from racing, Penny had the car repainted in its original Saleen livery.

Before we get into how Scott finally put this car in his garage, it's important to know its history. Saleen didn't originally order this coupe from Ford; it was ordered by the Oregon State Police as a pursuit vehicle. When the police department didn't accept delivery, it presented Dave and Penny with a unique opportunity to buy it and have Saleen build them an extraordinary Mustang. It's one of the more unusual Saleens ever built because of its cop-car features, such as manual windows, door locks, side mirrors, and fuel door, along with the absence of cruise control.

As a Saleen coupe, it's one of 25 built in 1988. Only five others were produced in Oxford White with gold, but it's the only one built from a police package coupe.