We hope you like your Mustangs with stripes, strakes, and stickers, because the front page of Bring a Trailer is about to be overrun with enough Saleen Mustangs to choke a regional Ford show. Actually, it looks like the Saleen storm’s already made landfall and potentially blown over; following last week’s stunning $231,000 sale of a one-owner, 11,000-mile Saleen Mustang drop-top, an unusually similar 11,000-mile soft-top Saleen Foxbody Mustang finished this week with a comparably unimpressive $68,250 winning bid.
Oof. That $162,750 deficit on the hood of the white ‘vert likely stings something fierce. We’ve noted the gradual rise of 1980s Saleens for a while now—going so far as to include the Foxbody Saleen on our 2019 Bull Market list—but we can’t help but think the $231,000 1993 Saleen from last week was just another outlier spike-sale overrun by a cash-drunk collector who absolutely, positively had to have that exact car, no matter what. This week’s follow-up sister sale of nearly the same car proves this, right?
Only, they’re not the same car. Not even close, actually. Equating the white 1989 Saleen Mustang Convertible to the black 1993 Saleen SC Convertible is akin to elevating a Scat Pack to a Hellcat Redeye, or a Carrera GTS to a GT3 RS—same shell, wildly different guts. In Saleen parlance, the SC (and preceding SSC) models are recognized as the specialty manufacturer’s nuclear option, the undisputed 450-hp apogee of the entire Foxbody family tree.
While there are a few hundred standard Foxbody Saleen Mustangs rumbling about, the legendary Ford tuner sold only five SC convertibles, cementing this body-kitted, drop-top Mustang one of the most sought-after and desirable American cars from the 1980s and 1990s. If you position these Saleen Foxbodies as the Shelby GT350s of the 1980s, the big money starts to make sense; both are hopped-up, hunkered-down, track-focused Mustangs designed, engineered, and built by a successful race car driver with serious brand equity and a devoted following.
We’re not kidding about that last bit. Unbeknownst to most enthusiasts, low-production Saleens are quietly swapped within the enthusiast community for figures that just don’t make sense—at least on the surface level—on a public platform. Naturally, the sight of a six-figure Foxbody triggered absolute bedlam in the comments. “Yep, I was right. BaT is laundering money,” said one observer. Others were happy to be part of the hubbub; “This defines the term ‘free market’. Something is worth what someone else will pay for it. I love it!” said another.
Unsurprisingly, this was a record price paid for both a Saleen Mustang and a Foxbody Mustang at public sale, but this all gets a bit murky when you try to pin down the “true” value of this 1993 SC. Hagerty Marketplace Editor Colin Comer chimed in when the BaT sale of the black SC car started to make its rounds through our staff. “This was a record sale, but the key is it is completely repeatable,” he explained. “Some of these rare air Saleens have been selling for six figure numbers privately for a long time. Buyers far outnumber sellers. In fact, finding an owner of one of the four known 1993 SCs (like this car) or one of the nine SA-10 cars who wants to sell is far more of a challenge than finding a buyer at $200k+.”
“I don’t recall ever seeing another factory SC sell publicly,” Comer mused. “I know my friend bought a factory supercharged hatchback a few months ago for high six-figures. It wasn’t an SC, just one with supercharger option and no factory internal engine modifications—a distinct difference—but he’s thrilled about it. If an SA-10 does comes to market, buckle up, because I’ll be ready to give us another result to write about!”
Shockingly, it seems the seller of the black ’93 claimed just what he probably expected, though minor aesthetic touch-ups might have sent this even higher. Some rock chips, keyhole scuffs, and tired-looking trim and fasteners under the hood lands this as Condition #2- (Excellent) in the Hagerty Price Guide, but there’s no replacement for its “original owner” status and low 11,000-mile odo readout. A rare case of both well-bought, and well-sold.
Oh, and we can’t forget about that white 1989 Saleen. At $68,250, this is well beyond the Price Guide’s listed $53,000 value for a Condition #1 (Concours) example, so it looks like the seminal SC sale just might have boosted things after all. In that case, watch out for the forthcoming Saleen stampede.
I thought most desirable saleen was 1997 s281 also most sought after
I thought the most sought after saleen was the 1997 s281. Most deirable
The “purist” are going to be screaming about these being worth that kind of money. But remember anything that is rare or unique draws a crowd. I remember these when I was In So Cal. Even went to Saleen in 85 with my brother to look at parts. We both had (I still have mine) 84 Mustangs, his a black GT, mine is a 20th Anniversary Model (my first “new” car). I still think the Fox Mustangs saved the marque, as they almost changed the Mustang to a Probe.
Isn’t it odd that Hagerty doesn’t publish in their price guides any Saleen sales numbers …. Why doesn’t that change ?