Exotic supercars might be the realm of European manufacturers, but it is far from their exclusive territory. Over the years, supercars have emerged from Japan, and America, with the latter having contributed quite a bit to this category.
America has given us stuff like the Ford GT, Dodge Viper ACR, and the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – but this is just from its mainstream manufacturers. America also has a specialist manufacturing industry, and they’ve given us cars like the Vector W8, Mosler Consulier, and the topic of today’s used car find – the Saleen S7.
Steve Saleen made a name for himself by modifying Ford Mustangs, and then go racing with them. Due to the success he achieved on the track, he was able to sell upgrade packages for Mustangs, and later started offering full, factory-built super Mustangs. The business took off, mainly because Ford itself was not producing crazy-fast version of the Mustang back in late 1980’s and 90’s – that has changed now.
The money Saleen made from selling these super-Mustangs, allowed Steve to pursue his life long dream, to build a proper American supercar.
At first, many pointed out that the S7 was trying to be a McLaren F1 – these two cars do look a lot alike – but the quality of the build and its performance was enough to impress most of those who were cynical of this car.
Upon its launch, the S7 was offered with a 7.0L V8 motor (a bored and stroked Ford 351 Windsor block, now displacing 427 cubic-inch) that was capable of producing 550 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque. Saleen claimed that the S7 was capable of sprinting from 0 to 96 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in just 3.3 seconds, and can top out at 354 km/h.
In 2005, the S7 got a big boost in performance, thanks to the addition of two-turbochargers. Power output was now 750 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque. Saleen now claimed that their car was capable of sprinting from 0 to 96 km/h in just 2.8 seconds, and can top out at 399 km/h. Some customers wanted even more, and by paying more, they got their cars tuned to produce 1,000 hp from the factory. While I am not sure how fast those are, I bet they are fast enough.
I once got a ride in a 2003 Saleen S7 – normally-aspirated motor – and thought the car was plenty quick. It was also probably the stiffest car I had ever been in, and certainly not at home on the city streets of Toronto.
OK, now to the used car in question. This is a 2005 Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo, and has covered just 358 miles (576 kms) from new. It’s on sale in Ohio at Marshall Goldman, who is asking $698,900 for this black on black example – that is what this car was worth new, but then, it is just like new.
This six-speed manual example (there was no option for an automatic actually) comes with a navigation system, a reversing camera, and a luggage set, and the driver’s side door is signed by Steve Saleen himself.
If you think this car is worth its asking price, and you actually end up buying it, can you please swing by my place and let me take it for a drive. Actually, tell me where I need to be, I’ll go anywhere to drive this, or any other, S7.