June 1, 2013

Saleen 351

Saleen fans have something to smoke their tires about with the announcement of a new 351 model. The press release notes the muscular 700 hp and 655 lb-ft of torque we've come to expect from headlining Saleens, along with a 3.73 final drive, amped-up suspension, design mods inside and out, 15-inch brakes, tall 20x9- and 20x10-inch wheels, and plenty of signage to get the message across.

A call to Steve Saleen netted a few more details. The engine is Coyote-based, with a complete teardown and rebuild to install the stroker crankshaft and heavy-duty hardware. Steve says he's using his 296 twin-screw blower on the 351, which wasn't too hard to imagine after hearing the power figures. The six-speed manual transmission and a custom clutch are specified.

Two cars were reported going together last January at our deadline, and frankly we're eager to see the finished efforts for several reasons. If nothing else, these will be the first truly new Mustangs from Steve Saleen now that he's reunited his old Saleen company name and SMS. The company is significantly smaller and less distracted these days compared to the pre-Great Recession peak, and we think that will show positively in the car's personality. There's a new taillight promised, for example, which should give us Mustang fans something to editorialize on.

We're also looking forward to sampling a new glass-roof option from Saleen. This is a version of the Scenic Roof, but with a touch-to-opaque option—simply touch the glass and it frosts over to block unwanted heat and light. Steve also notes the 351 features his Red Butterfly hood, which opens throttle-like butterflies for cold-air induction at WOT.

Asked about distribution of the new cars and Steve says he's continuing to build a dealer network for his Ford, Dodge, and Chevy products. There are already dealers in place, so there should be an opportunity to see the 351 before reaching for its $80,000 base price.

—Tom Wilson

Wide Array

At the North American International Auto Show, Shelby American (www.shelbyamerican.com) unveiled a pair of intriguing new vehicle options. The headliner was a wide-boy version of the vaunted Super Snake package, while the wild card was a Shelbyized version of Ford's latest hot hatch, the Focus ST.

"Carroll Shelby's innovative and aggressive hot-rodder spirit lives on at Shelby American today. " said John Luft, president of Shelby American. "His Cobra redefined the sports car genre, and then Shelby turned what some called a ‘secretary's car,' the Mustang, into the fire-breathing GT350. A few years later, Shelby practically invented the American ‘Pocket Rocket' with the four-cylinder turbocharged, front-wheel-drive Shelby GLH. This year, we're returning to our roots with a pair of game-changing cars that will rewrite the rules for American performance."

Most of us are quite familiar with the 850hp Super Snake package, which expounds on Ford SVT's potent GT500 by adding a larger supercharger, a tuned suspension, and numerous styling upgrades. For an additional $17,995, you can add the Wide Body variant, which wears 10-inch-front and 13-inch-rear wheels to fill out its widened haunches. Aside from the obvious aesthetic gains for the wider rubber, it also affords this powerful vehicle some much needed traction.

If you are looking for a Shelby that's a bit more compact, the company is playing off its compact-car roots in the Brand X world with the debut of the '13 Shelby Focus ST. Showing that this ST is a Shelby are a litany of appearance mods, including a CSM badge, hydrocarbon grille inserts, Shelby lettering, and a hydrocarbon rear spoiler. Performance mods include a Shelby/Borla exhaust, and larger brakes with drilled and slotted rotors. Production of the Shelby ST is limited to 500 units, and you can have one for $14,995 on top of the ST price tag.

Most of us are quite familiar with the 850hp Super Snake package, which expounds on Ford SVT's potent GT500 by adding a larger supercharger, a tuned suspension, and numerous styling upgrades

Dare to Dream

It would be a dream come true to win one Shelby GT500, but winning two is a fantasy. But that's just what could happen if you win the 2013 Mustang Dream Giveaway ( www.winthemustangs.com). This drawing is sponsored by WorldCause Foundation and licensed by Ford Motor Company, and its winner receives a 1968 Shelby GT500 and a 2013 Shelby GT500 plus $50,000 for taxes.

That's a pretty awesome prize, but what makes it even cooler is that these Shelbys are unique, both featuring sunroof options. The '68 is a Candy Apple Red variant with a saddle interior. It's '13 doppleganger is a Track Pack car, and it also features red paint and a custom saddle interior. Suffice it to say, both cars are pretty sweet.

For a chance to win them, you need only make a tax-deductible $3 charitable donation to gain entry into the drawing. These donations will go toward the Carroll Shelby Foundation, PVA Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund, DAV, and Henry Ford Health System.

Holman Moody

If you're an old-school Ford fan, you know all about the historic racing exploits of Holman Moody. If you don't, rest assured that they have old-school Blue Oval cred. What we ran across at the 2012 SEMA show is not a history piece, however, but Holman Moody's latest creation—the 50th Anniversary Holman & Moody TdF Mustang (www.hm50th.com).

Reminiscent of the HM's '64 Mustang racers, the TdF Mustang features a host of performance mods and some signature retro touches. To a Race Red '14 Mustang GT with the Track Pack, the TdF package adds HM Performance fully-adjustable, splined sway bars; SVT adjustable struts/shocks; and Progressive lowering springs for even better handling. Under the hood, this car receives stainless steel tubular headers, Ford Racing sport mufflers, a Ford Racing stainless steel X-pipe, a K&N/Ford Racing air filter, an improved radiator, and an oil cooler.

Letting the world know your 'Stang is a legit TdF Mustang are the custom wheels, commemorative body stripe, commemorative badging, Holman & Moody embroidered carpeting, and a Holman & Moody TdF Mustang serial number plate.

5.0 feedback

Job Well Done

I enjoyed the article on the Romeo Niche Line (“Romeo's Delight,” Jan. '13, p. 50). The group shot of the build teams in the story got me wondering who built my 2011 motor. Sure enough, it was the same team you followed through the build process. No doubt Larry and Paul do a great job—the motor they did for me now puts down 756 rwhp. How many people have pics of the team that built their motor?

Don Wilson
Hackettstown, NJ

We are glad you enjoyed our visit to the Romeo Niche Line. It's an impressive place, and it's shocking to us that it doesn't get more attention than it does. The men and women there build some of the coolest engines around, and they really seem to enjoy doing it.

We've been there a few times and covered a few build teams, so at this point there are quite a few SVT owners who could have photos of their build team. Of course, if they don't read this mag like you do or pay attention to the names on their engine tag, they might not be aware.

By the way, your '11 is putting down some serious power these days. I'm sure Larry and Paul will be proud.


I read your editorial (“Onward or Upward,” Feb. '13, p. 15). I have always modified my Mustangs, but this time my wife and I decided to buy one I wouldn't need to modify. We spent part of our sons' inheritance and bought a '13 GT500. We drove it from Georgia to Northern California in November of last year, a total of 6,800 miles. We stayed off the Interstate as much as possible—had a great time.

Just to let you know, some of us are still trying to drive the wheels off them.

Ernst Schulz
Via email

Thanks for reading, Ernst. Surely your sons will appreciate that you are enjoying their inheritance in that new Shelby. Who could blame you? Seriously, I'm glad you dig your new car, but as someone that keeps a garage over his Mustang thanks to people modifying their cars, I hope you haven't sworn off modding completely. It's fine to keep one stock or close to stock. (Surely your GT500 could use a throatier set of mufflers? Just sayin'.) However, you might want to spend some more of your kids' cash to buy a project car to go along with that Shelby.

Rip Van shoestring

As a graybeard subscriber (since 1983—yes, 1983), I can truly say, you guys have finally lost it.

I just got my April '13 edition and the article “Trick Play” moved me to write this. Yeah, if you have cubic dollars I guess the gains are worth it. Have you ever tried to do more with less? Really? Trick Flow HCI? I guess you just wanted to run a number. Next time why don't you make it a little harder on yourselves?

Try this ... grab some Explorer heads/intake, some T-bird SC injectors, and a nice B303 cam. Mix in some Cobra roller rockers, and lets see how that works out for you. I bet you could get all that for what you paid for that fancy intake and valve covers.

How about a low-budget project? Project Shoestring, or how to run 12s for $1,200. How about that? Any takers? It would be a hoot. Aanyone can build it and have some good fun in the process.

Awaiting your answer. Gauntlet thrown down.

Via email

First off, Len, we appreciate you sticking with us since the Super Ford days, a good 10 years before 5.0 Mustang was even born. However, I think you might have slept on a couple of issues. If you pay close attention when looking over our last several issues, you will see coverage of KJ Jones' Cheaper Sleeper project. Sure it's not quite on a shoestring, but it does put emphasis on building up a Fox on a budget using a mix of new and used gear.


Your friends here at 5.0&SF are hosting a dyno challenge, sponsored by Pro Dyno, during Mustang Week on Thursday, July 18... Optima Batteries (www.optimabatteries.com) is now the title sponsor of the 2013 Chump Car series (www.chumpcar.com)... Nitto Tire (www.nittotire.com) is the new sponsor of Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. (www.vaughngittin.com)...