Well, we didn’t get that, which is a tad disappointing, but what we did get was an equally surprising announcement in the form of the Saleen Heritage Collection, a limited edition series of specially designed muscle cars that pays tribute to the top five drivers that raced in the Mission Bell race at Riverside International Raceway back in October 1970.
The first two vehicles of this Heritage collection were actually released a few years ago - the Saleen Parnelli Jones Ediiton and the Dan Gurney Edition - and now, the next three will be dropped in succeeding order beginning with the unveiling of the Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang, followed by the Mark Donohue Edition Camaro , and the Swede Savage Edition Barracuda.
The latter two will be unveiled at later dates so for now, the spotlight focuses on the George Follmer Edition Mustang, a car that Saleen introduced over the weekend at Laguna Seca.
If you’re not too familiar with the name George Follmer, a brief history lesson will tell you that the man is notable for having one of the most decorated racing careers back in the 60’s and 70’s. In addition to running the Indianapolis 500, Follmer also competed in Formula One with the Shadow team in 1973, while also racing in NASCAR’s Winston Cup and the Can-Am series where he took the championship in 1972.
Click past the jump to read more about the Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang
The exterior of the Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang doesn’t differentiate itself too much from a 2014 Mustang. That being said, there are numerous touches made by Saleen to ensure that it’s special designation as a George Follmer-inspired muscle car lives on in the body.
The red-black-and-white tri-color paint finish wasn’t something that Saleen cooked up by accident. Those three colors, as well as the layout by which it’s presented (the black hood, the red body, and the white roof and piping) is an ode to the No. 16 1969 Boss 302 Mustang racecar driven by the man whose name was used on the model.
Just like its outward appearance, the interior of this unique Saleen Mustang doesn’t stray too far away from what you see in its standard guise. Black leather graces the seats with matching red details on the back rests and the door inlays. There also appears to be unique badging spread throughout the cabin, although the singular interior shot doesn’t show the center console and the dashboard. On that note, we don’t think Saleen did anything there that warrants any jaw dropping so we’re confident that the treatment is consistent throughout the entire interior space.
Power for the Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang comes in the form of a naturally aspirated V-8 engine — a 5.0-liter, we presume — that produces an estimated 470 horsepower and mates to a six-speed manual gearbox. Torque numbers weren’t given but we believe it could be in the range of 380-400 pound-feet of torque to go with a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and an estimated top speed of about 150 mph.
The Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang is already available for order should you wish to snag one up. You won’t get the car until probably later this year, but the price — around $75,000 — should be reasonable enough given the special and possibly limited edition nature of this Saleen-developed Mustang.
Given its nature as a special edition Mustang that went through the hands of Saleen, this type of car isn’t what you’d consider a ’regular’. On that note, it deserves an equally well-dressed treatment for the Mustang’s direct competitor.
The Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Edition fits that bill. It’s equally unique in name and stature. It’s got some nice new digs added to the standard configuration. Plus, it will be produced in a limited, one-time run, making it a must-have Camaro for enthusiasts and aficionados alike.
The Camaro Hot Wheels is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, good enough to hit 60 mph in a little over 4 seconds with an estimated top speed of about 170 mph.
We understand the merits of a car that belongs in a special collection and designed by Saleen. The George Follmer Edition Mustang certainly fits that bill to a tee. But for its classification as a special edition and the buzz that came from its anticipated debut, the modifications made on the muscle car are a little underwhelming as far as we’re concerned.
The homage to the past is admirable; we just hoped that there would’ve been more distinguishable characteristics about this model than what was presented to us.
- Special Edition carries weight
- Tri-color pain works well together
- Impressive performance
- That’s it?
- The interior doesn’t stand out at all
- Pretty steep price
Saleen Automotive Inc (OTCBB: SLNN) has expanded its product lineup with the announcement of the Saleen Heritage Collection vehicles unveiled today at Laguna Seca Raceway. A Limited Edition series, Saleen has covered the entire front of the racing field from the most competitive time in SCCA Trans-Am racing history, and pushed them once again to the forefront of the American Pony Car class in a limited edition series.
"As a specialty manufacturer and [racecar] driver myself, it is the perfect alignment of passions that allowed us to complete an entire collection of vehicles during today’s event", said Steve Saleen, President & CEO of Saleen. "We may actually be the only company that can offer this type of Automotive Collection all under one brand name."
The trilogy of vehicles debuted at today’s event are a continuance of the coveted Heritage vehicles that Saleen produced [to much fanfare] in the late 2000’s; The Saleen | Parnelli Jones Edition and Saleen | Dan Gurney Edition. As a collection, each Saleen Heritage vehicle is representative of the top 5 drivers in the Mission Bell race that took place at Riverside International Raceway on October 4, 1970. This particular race was notable in that it was the final race of an extremely competitive season for the SCCA Trans- American Championship.
A compilation of notable special guests were in attendance during today’s debut and unveiling ceremony with nostalgic emotion surrounding the event. On display at the Saleen stage were also the original factory-sponsored 1969 #16 Boss 302 Mustang, 1969 #6 Chevrolet Camaro, and 1970 #42 Plymouth Barracuda. Ordaining each new Saleen vehicle in the trilogy was George Follmer for the Saleen | Follmer Edition, David Donohue on behalf of his father Mark Donohue for the Saleen | Donohue Edition, and Angela Savage and Sheryl Douglas (Savage) on behalf of Swede Savage for the Saleen | Savage Barracuda.
The Heritage Collection Lineup - Celebrating Man and Machine
George Follmer: The GF Edition Mustang remembers one of the most successful racing drivers of this era, George Follmer. Follmer has been described as the go-to wheelman when the pressure was on and races needed to be won. The Saleen | Follmer Edition Mustang is styled from the #16 1969 Boss 302 Mustang that George Follmer campaigned the same year. Coincidentally, 1969 also marks the first year Ford Motor Company debuted and campaigned the Boss 302 Mustang. Mechanically advanced Saleen technology can be found throughout this 2014 Saleen | Follmer edition including a naturally aspirated 470+HP (estimated) 302 high revving 4-Valve engine, track tuned suspension, and a 6-speed manual transmission.
Mark Donohue: The MD Edition Camaro commemorates the diverse and successful racing career of Mark Donohue. As a major competitor during the SCCA Trans-Am series of the late 1960’s, Donohue was known to strategize every aspect of his race vehicle from engineering setup to driving toward each victory. The Saleen | Donohue Edition Camaro is largely queued from the #6 1969 Camaro that sparked the flame of major competition for the racing series and claimed the season championship that same year.
Swede Savage: The SS Edition Barracuda memorializes the #42 1970 factory-sponsored racer that Savage drove during the same season. Savage had his series start the year prior and his ambition quickly established him amongst the ranks of the top drivers in the series. The Saleen | Savage Barracuda is a purposeful execution of the notable racer and brings the same automotive passion and ambition that Swede Savage conveyed throughout his career.
Authentic Styling, Advanced Engineering
All 3 new Saleen vehicles wearing the Heritage Collection banner reflect the same vintage racing attitude of their respective counterpart of yesteryear. Paint color schemes are offered only in the same color identity as the original, forming the backdrop for the Special Edition graphics that set each vehicle apart from the rest of the pack. Each interior is composed to give the driver the same excitement and feeling of running hot laps before a big race, but with modern comforts. Exterior aerodynamics are representative of the beloved cars that race fans still reminisce about today.
"All of our vehicles in the Saleen Heritage Collection were designed and engineered to retain the authentic lineage of the original factory-backed racecars", added Steve Saleen. "In driving and seeing the new Saleen versions of each car I am quickly taken back to the memories I personally have of these cars at Riverside International Raceway from the 60’s and 70’s."
Each of the Heritage Collection vehicles come complete with modern engineering features as standard equipment. Possessing the same authenticity of the race-spec motors of the 1960’s & 70’s, powertrain development includes naturally aspirated specifications for each Heritage Collection vehicle in the lineup for maximum power on-demand. Suspension is balanced for proper weight distribution, and Braking systems are specifically setup for each vehicle from a race-minded viewpoint. Each of these modern Saleen engineered solutions are carefully integrated to each Heritage Collection vehicle to create a well-balanced machine that could easily find itself enjoying a day turning laps at the track or taking a spin around the block.
Availability and Pricing
The first release of the Collection, is the Saleen | George Follmer Edition Mustang. Unveiled at Laguna Seca during today’s Saleen Heritage Collection debut. This special edition is now available for pre-orders and first deliveries are planned to begin late fall 2013. The second release of the Heritage Collection is the Saleen | Mark Donohue Edition Camaro. Expected to be unveiled in winter 2013, with production beginning early 2014. Pre-order reservations are currently being taken for this release.
The third release in the Saleen Heritage Collection is the Saleen | Savage Edition Barracuda. As the final edition to complete the Collection, production for this model is expected to begin spring 2014, with an unveiling scheduled for early 2014. Pre-order reservations are currently being taken for this release.
Orders for these and other Saleen vehicles can be placed at Saleen dealers nationwide, or by contacting Saleen directly for a personalized ordering process which concludes at the nearest Saleen Authorized Dealership. MSRP for each Saleen Heritage Collection model is estimated to be in the mid $70,000’s. For more information visit www.saleen.com