Mustang S281 Extreme
1 of 1 Saleen S281 Extreme Convertible 4.6L/425 6 Speed
- 4.6 liter overhead cam V8 that, thanks to many Saleen components, produces 425 horsepower
- Close ratio T56 6-speed manual transmission that's sandwiched between an 11 inch aluminum clutch and a Saleen driveshaft
- Saleen Maxgrip rear end
- Many Saleen Racecraft suspension components
- Saleen 13 inch four wheel disc brake system
- Saleen exhaust system that's complete with an x-pipe crossover and dual stainless tips
- Chrome 18 inch Saleen wheels that are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport radials
- Laser Red exterior that's accented by a full array of Saleen visual enhancements
- Dark Charcoal interior that includes many Ford options and many Saleen visual enhancements
- The only car, of the 32 S281 Extreme convertibles produced for the 2002 model year, finished in Laser Red Clearcoat
The Mustang has always been one of those cars that does a great job of representing all things to all people. From six cylinder 'secretary specials' to fire-breathing Shelby Cobras, enthusiasts have always been able to build pretty much any platform they wanted through either a factory order form or an aftermarket phone number. That said, the most impressive Mustangs are typically those prepared by firms that have an OEM level of expertise but aren't hamstrung by OEM regulations. And for a little over 25 years, Steve Saleen and his team of octane-fueled engineers turned out some of the hottest cars the late model market had ever seen. Saleen was quick to point out that they were a full-blown manufacturer, as opposed to a mere tuner, and as a result their cars possessed a level of polish most aftermarket entities couldn't achieve. And that hard work resulted in cars like this low-mileage S281 Extreme convertible, one of only 32 Extreme convertibles built for the 2002 model year and the only 2002 Extreme convertible painted in Laser Red Clearcoat, which hold their value amazingly well and enjoy a special place at the top of the Mustang hierarchy.
Just how special is this pristine Saleen Extreme? Make no mistake, seeing a top dog pony car selling in this condition is uncommon to begin with; but to find a 1 of 1 survivor that's been virtually untouched for the entire decade it's been bolted together is twilight zone crazy. With only 1,927 original miles, every piece of this killer Mustang retains its factory glow. It's stacked with almost every option available from Saleen for the 2002 model year. And if that's not enough, it's also a spotless gem that's seen absolutely no work, aside from routine maintenance, since it rumbled off the showroom floor. Here's how this Ford's original window sticker, which is included with the sale, breaks down.
FEATURES INCLUDED AT NO EXTRA CHARGE
Ford Base Components:
* Air conditioning
* Mustang Power Group
* Anti-lock braking system
* Power windows
* Power door locks
* Power decklid
* Remote keyless entry
* Illuminated entry
* Mach 460 AM/FM stereo that's complete with an in-dash 6-disc CD changer
* Leather sport seats
Saleen Base Components:
* Saleen S281E 4.6 liter V8 which utilizes 2 valves per cylinder to produce 425 horsepower
* Saleen Series V screw-type intercooled supercharger
* Saleen forged aluminum pistons
* Saleen forged steel crankshaft
* Saleen forged steel connecting rods
* Aluminum heads that are equipped with Saleen camshafts and Saleen valve springs
* 90mm mass-air sensor
* 42 lb./hr. sequential fuel injectors
* Saleen “PowerFlash” calibration that's complete with a 6,500 RPM redline
* Saleen special inlet tube and intake
* 11 inch aluminum flywheel that's equipped with an 11 inch full asbestos clutch disc
* Saleen premium 13 inch brake system
* Saleen twin gauge pod which includes both a boost gauge and an intercooler temperature gauge
* Saleen quick ratio 6-speed manual transmission
* Saleen 8.8 inch Maxgrip differential
* Saleen short throw shifter
* Saleen water-to-air intercooler that's complete with a heat exchanger
* Saleen cold air induction system that's complete with a performance air filter
* Saleen high-flow performance fuel pump
* Saleen custom balanced driveshaft
* Saleen 2.5 inch stainless steel four way high flow exhaust system that's complete with an x-pipe crossover
* Saleen urethane front fascia
* Saleen urethane rear fascia
* Saleen urethane side skirts
* Saleen louvered side scoops
* Saleen competition design S281E rear wing
* Saleen lightweight hood
* Saleen Racecraft progressive rate front and rear springs
* Saleen Racecraft N2 (nitrogen) gas shocks and struts
* Saleen Racecraft sway bars which measure 1.38 inches up front and .94 inches in the rear
* Saleen rear axle lower control arms
* Saleen 18x9 five spoke alloy front wheels
* Saleen 18x10 five spoke alloy rear wheels
* 265/35ZR18 front and 295/35ZR18 rear Pirelli PZero radials
* High performance chassis tune and wheel alignment
* Saleen white faced 200 MPH speedometer
* Saleen tachometer and gauge cluster
* Saleen leather sport seating
* Color-matched door panels
* Saleen performance driving pedals
* Saleen windshield graphic, badges and champ wreaths
* Saleen graphics and accent stripes
* Saleen serialized engine bay and console plaques
* Saleen serialized bumper number
* Saleen shift knob
* Saleen floor mats
* Saleen speedster package ($2,979)
* Chrome alloy wheels ($1,119)
SALEEN SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $65,164
ENCLOSED TRANSPORT: $1,375
SALEEN MANUFACTURER'S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $70,637
Bathed in vivid Laser Red Clearcoat, S281 Extreme number 20 has every trick Saleen knew built right into its sleek New Edge body. Originally delivered to Laramie Peak Motors in Laramie, Wyoming, this awesome blue oval bombshell has been pampered and loved since the day it was new and, based on appearance, has probably seen only a month of accumulated road time. The car's fit and finish is exceptional, thanks to the largely hand-built nature of Saleen's custom add-ons. Its paint is simply amazing thanks to major improvements in Ford's factory spraying process. And naturally, that paint covers a solid body which has never been subjected to any work of any kind. With its low miles and pristine factory condition, this stunning piece of Saleen history has to be one of the nicest ponies on the planet. And with its status as the only Laser Red Extreme convertible built for the 2002 model year, it's probably one of the rarest as well.
More than just a half-hearted paint-and-decal polish, and certainly more than a simple resto-mod style engine up fit, the S281E package includes a number of appearance and functional upgrades. And, as you would expect, Saleen's aggressive panels and subtle upgrades fit the car extremely well both visually and aesthetically. At the front of the body, a familiar chrome horse and showroom-fresh headlights hang over a custom, sequentially numbered Saleen fascia. Above that fascia, a square-jawed Saleen hood fronts spotless factory glass that's branded with Saleen decals, flanked by black Ford mirrors and capped by a black canvas top. Below that top, Ford's famous New Edge side panels hang small “S281 SALEEN” emblems and textured Saleen louvers above traditional Saleen decals and seamless Saleen side skirts. And behind those side skirts, a flat Saleen wing rides above a small blue oval emblem, a small “S281 SUPERCHARGED” badge, a custom, “Saleen” branded fascia and large stainless exhaust tips. If ever there were a muscle car that had a scowl to match its evil demeanor, this is it!
Did I hear someone say “power”? Oh there's power… LOTS of power! Rated at 425 horses, the 4.6-liter 'mod motor' rumbling beneath this Mustang's lightweight hood is augmented with a Saleen-designed supercharger, Saleen massaged heads, a Saleen forged crank, Saleen forged connecting rods and Saleen forged pistons. And thanks to a high volume fuel pump, high pressure fuel injectors, a Saleen cold air intake and a Saleen PowerFlash tune, the rev-happy mill delivers the goods immediately and has a wide torque curve that thrives throughout the engine's entire RPM range. Like all modern Ford V8s, this overhead cam champ ramps up in a smooth rush; and when you let it wind out, you'll appreciate how Saleen's "Power in the hands of few" motto translates to triple digit speeds and nowhere near slowing down. Additionally, it features a virtually perfect OEM appearance that looks as classic as it is technical. The autographed engine bay is exceptionally clean, with nothing out of place, and honestly, no dirt or other signs of wear. And from a quality standpoint, there's that familiar combination of first-rate workmanship, OEM-level reliability and raucous idling that Saleen builds have made famous.
It no secret that this is one aftermarket firm which staked its reputation on getting Mustangs around tracks at high rates of speed. So it should come as no surprise that the bottom of this awesome S281E is fitted with some of the best 'faster Ford' components in the world. Saleen's suspension upgrades began with Saleen Racecraft sway bars that straighten the curves, progressed to Saleen Racecraft springs, struts and shocks that fine tune the ride, and ended with Saleen chassis geometry and wheel alignment that keeps the power to the ground. Behind Ford's smooth engine, a quick ratio T56 6-speed transfers torque from an 11 inch aluminum flywheel to a custom balanced Saleen driveshaft that's connected to a rugged Saleen Maxgrip rear end. At the corners of floor, stops are provided by a 13 inch Saleen four wheel disc brake system that makes good use of Ford's factory ABS. Turns come courtesy of performance-tuned power steering and a standard stability control system. Exhaust flows through a 2.5 inch Saleen exhaust system that's complete with an x-pipe crossover and bright stainless tips. And all this first class speed and agility rides on a set of familiar 18 inch Saleen wheels which spin sticky 265/35 front and 295/35 rear Michelin Pilot Sport radials around an optional chrome finish.
Drop inside this low-slung Ford and you'll immediately notice that the car's bolstered sport seats, which feature “Saleen” branded hides, fit like a glove. In front of you a familiar Mustang instrument panel hangs Saleen's traditional white-face telemetry above Saleen foot pedals. At the side of that instrument panel a Dark Charcoal dash props a duo of Saleen gauges, which monitor the big engine's boost and intercooler temperature, above familiar Mach 460 6-disc CD changer. Beneath that CD player a slick gray console anchors a small Saleen badge in front of a short throw shifter for the T56 transmission. At the sides of that console, “Saleen” branded floor mats flow toward spruced up door panels which hang body-matched switch plates above “S281” branded kick trim. And naturally, all the luxuries you'd expect in a modern muscle car are ready and waiting including: cruise control, intermittent wipers, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, a power driver's seat and a tilt steering wheel. It's always hard to describe a car that is essentially new in every way. So I'll just sum this S281 up by saying that everything from its ice cold air conditioning to its power convertible top and remote keyless entry is pristine and in excellent working order.
The sale of this super clean Mustang drop-top includes the original Saleen window sticker outlined above, the car's original Ford owner's manual, the car's original Saleen owner's manual, the car's original Ford and Saleen warranty and maintenance paperwork, a few random marketing materials from both Ford and Saleen, a small plaque, a solid windscreen, and a cover for the car's optional speedster tonneau.
This low mileage S281 Extreme has mind-boggling power, has been immaculately preserved and is probably one of the most collectible modern Mustangs your money can buy. It's essentially a new car with a roster of well-engineered components that add both performance and prestige. And best of all, you can buy it for less than two thirds of what the sticker said just 1,900 miles ago! Don't miss your chance to own one of the coolest Mustangs ever built.
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