<!-- Deleted image removed: -->Stephen Mark Saleen
(born April 2, 1949) is an American
businessman and former racing driver. He is best known for being the founder and former vice chairman of Saleen, Inc.
, originally named Saleen Autosport, which until 2009 was an OEM
manufacturer of specialty vehicles including the Saleen S7
and highly modified Ford Mustangs
Born in Inglewood, California
, Saleen (pronounced suh-lean) worked at his father's manufacturing business before attending the University of Southern California
and graduating with a degree in business.
With an interest in fast cars sparked by his father's purchase of a Porsche
, Steve joined the Porsche Owners Club and worked his way up through the ranks of club racing, which led to a career in professional racing. He entered the Formula Atlantic
series where, in 1980
, he finished third in the final standings behind eventual champion Jacques Villeneuve
. He progressed on to the SCCA Trans-Am Series
, driving a Ford Mustang. From here, a passion for one of Ford's most famous automobiles begin to manifest itself.
Saleen formed Saleen Autosport in 1983
and set to building the first Saleen Mustang, equipped with special aerodynamic, suspension and handling packages and a completely redesigned interior. The car was completed in 1984
and was immediately tested against the world’s top sports cars with great success, finishing first in its class at the Mosport
24-hour race that year.
In 1995,... Read More