Race driver Steve Saleen was the one who built the company. Just a year after the company was born, the first Saleen Mustang came out, with special aerodynamics, improved suspension and handling and an impressive cockpit. And to show off the performance of his cars, Steve Saleen entered the 24 Hours of Mosport in 1986 and won, a feat which will be repeated in 1988, when Saleen Mustangs cross the finish line first, second and third. That year, the Saleen Sporttruck is let loose on the streets.
At the beginning of the 90s, having had so much success on and off the track, Saleen launches its own parts supplier company, called Saleen Performance Parts. They sell everything from wheels, exhaust systems to brakes and suspension.
Officially, they are known as “Original Equipment Manufacturer” which basically means they modify some other producer's cars with the added bonus of having a few models of their own. Does the S7 ring a bell? The preferred car for modifying chose by Saleen is the Ford Mustang, of which they've done about 8000 so far.
The S7 supercar was launched in 2000 and right now acts as the company's flagship, but it's certainly the only car built by Saleen. They also produce the S281, the Sr and the N2O Focus (discontinued production in 2005). All that experience in tinkering with cars to make them suited for the race track earned Saleen a partnership with Ford in producing their much awaited Ford GT in 2003 at their plant in Troy, Michigan.
Future projects for Saleen include the Silver-Anniversary Editions, the Saleen Shakercharger, the Saleen S5S Raptor and the S331 Extreme.