Rare Rides: A Sporty Saleen for Your "Domestic" Super Car Needs

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides a sporty saleen for your domestic super car needs

When you put pen to paper and start making a list of American super car models, it doesn’t take long to conclude that The Land of the Free is not a leading purveyor of the species. In fact, you can fit the list on a standard Post-It. Google reckons there are just four generally — Ford GT, Hennessey Venom GT (which are current), a couple of Mosler MTs, and the Saleen S7 (which are deceased).

So come and check out a rare example of what happens when [s]American[/s] British engineering meets super car specifications, and then it all gets screwed together in the U.S. of A.

Hemmings features the large and in charge vehicle you see above — a Saleen S7, from 2004. Saleen produced a few S7 examples each year between 2000 and 2006. Though it’s commonly thought of as an American creation, the S7 was designed and first built in the United Kingdom by Ray Mallock Ltd., for Saleen. However, the idea for the concept did come from Steve Saleen (an American). For the rest of the model’s run, Saleen built the S7 in Irvine, California.

Speeding away from The Golden State is handled with ease. Put your foot on the floor and enjoy a 0-60 time of 3.3 seconds. As you’d surmise from this figure, there’s some serious firepower somewhere within the subtle, [s]anonymous[/s] carbon fiber, axe-murderer flanks.

Behold, the bored and stroked 7.0-liter Ford Windsor V8, which in this particular car is naturally aspirated. In 2005, the S7 Twin Turbo became available, which upped the horsepower from 550 to 750. Top speed is over 200 mph, even in this scrawny naturally aspirated version.

The ad cites there were only eight S7 examples built in 2004. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the only S7 built to this particular specification of silver paint, Band-Aid colored sun lounger chairs, and other miscellaneous options. When your total production figures are in double digits though, it’s not that hard to create unique combinations. Be sure to check out the unique alignment of those hand-crafted door panels!

But then again, that’s the point of throwing down cash on something rare, isn’t it? I think my favorite angle is right up there. The car goes under the hammer for the 2017 Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction, which runs this week, with an estimated sale price between $390,000 and $450,000. That means this super car starts at just $709 per horsepower. A bargain! Better get hold of your broker.

[Images by Sotheby’s]

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5 of 23 comments
  • NotFast NotFast on Mar 10, 2017

    Pretty sure this was in the movie Bruce Almighty (I think he drives upside down in a tunnel) but I'm too lazy to look it up.

    • See 1 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Mar 10, 2017

      @USAFMech "like a rose-colored marsh near the Nile River." Well that was lovely.

  • Tjh8402 Tjh8402 on Mar 10, 2017

    left out of the article and helpful information for people commenting on the parts bin engineering and build quality is that this wasn't really a street car. This was essentially a racecar modified to be street legal, and was awfully close to a prototype of the time (GT manufacturers complained about the car). It had some of the highest downforce numbers of any production cars (If I remember right, it equaled its own weight at like 160 mph). The car also had a fantastic race record, including class wins and championships in various series and a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Along with the Maserati MC12, this car is probably the closest connection you'll find to one of the great eras of GT racing, when Ferrari, Saleen, Corvette, Maserati, Viper, and Aston Martin campaigned big bore 6-8 liter V8s, V10s, and V12s making 600+ hp and hitting over 210 mph at Le Mans was the norm.

    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Mar 10, 2017

      If you're selling it to customers who are going to put a plate on it, and asking a huge price - it's a street car.

  • SCE to AUX This is not a race worth winning.
  • JMII These would sell better if they came with a service to drop it off (with new tires and brakes) at which ever track you decided to visit per weekend. While its small it still doesn't fit on a private jet and there aren't many tracks close to where your yacht can be docked. 1st world problems here.
  • JMII Its an SUV so I am shocked they don't already offer it.
  • Analoggrotto As we Tesla owners receive our life energy from the greatest son of the gods of all time, Elon Musk; His cherubs and His nephilim may remove whatever they wish from us for unto him we owe all for our superiority above all the rest of humanity.
  • Kcflyer Nice to see California giving NY some competition to be the worst run state in the union.