Congratulations go to Bob & Ronda Vervaecke (FEP Username: 1986Saleen
) as the winners of October’s Ride of the Month. This month’s car is a 1986 Saleen Mustang, #145. In October of 2012 Bob traded his 1991 Saleen #039 straight up with a fellow Saleen owner for this month’s winner. Saleen 86-145 was purchased a few months prior by the previous owner, who wanted to turn it into a track day car. Luckily a group of Saleen owners convinced him not to destroy an all original car, so he offered it for sale or trade. Bob’s Saleen 91-039 had been a track toy before he purchased it and returned it to street duty, so the trade was a perfect fit for both of them.
When the Vervaeckes took possession of the Saleen it only had 40,900 original miles. The new owners have kept the wheels rolling on this Saleen turning the odometer over to the tune of 46,XXX miles today. This original survivor still wears its date coded hoses and spark plug wires. The car also has all the original and correct Saleen items such as the Escort Radar detector and Kenwood Stereo. There have been a few modifications over the years including a set of Flowmaster mufflers which were recently replaced with a Dynomax Cat Back system with stainless steel tips. This is as close to original as possible until Bob finds the ever elusive OEM cat back system hiding in someone’s attic. The original battery is also long gone, but thanks to the help of FEP and its members, Bob was able to build a replica white cased Motorcraft battery using templates and directions found here on FEP.
Thanks to the previous owners and current owner’s care, the Saleen has been shown and placed well in several shows including the MCA Concours Driven Gold Awards. This is even more impressive when you consider the car is driven to every show and event, never trailered. Recent trips include Houston TX (1400 miles roundtrip), Springfield IL (70 miles roundtrip) and Lincoln NE (250 miles roundtrip).
National Show Lincoln NE Aug 2014 - 695 out of 700 Points
National Show Springfield IL May 2014 - 699 out of 700 Points
Saleen Nationals Houston TX Aug 2013 – 3rd Place – Foxbody All Years
Numerous local show awards too.
The Saleen has also graced the pages of several publications too including Mustang Times (pictured in Lincoln National Show Coverage centerfold – Oct 2014), the FourEyedPride Calendar April 2014, and Powerrr Magazine (Saleen Club) – July 2013.
When asked what has been a particular challenge with the Saleen, Bob replied “This car has actually been a HUGE challenge for me, as I’ve mainly built modified & restored cars in the past. The challenge here is to preserve and clean what’s already there back to the condition it was 29 years ago when the car was built. For instance, the paint was chalky orange – I had to research how to SAVE what was there without causing more damage to the thin factory single stage paint. In the past, it would have been a strip and repaint to show-car condition. Now I have to work with what’s there to make it the best it can be and learn to fix, hide, or live with the imperfections!” Bob reasons for keeping the car as it is today “They are only original once, it’s my duty as a caretaker to continue preserving and improving what’s there. It seems like every time I take the car out, it garners a little more attention. Maybe someday these old Fox Bodies will get the respect they deserve . . .”
The history of the Saleen is an interesting one that begins in April of 1986. Courtesy Ford of Littleton, CO placed a special order through the Denver Sales District for a Red Mustang LX 5.0 Hatchback. Domestic Special Order #0113 specified Saleen required equipment – “PA” which included GT interior, GT Dash, footrest, and stripe delete. The car was built by Ford in June of 1986 and shipped directly to Saleen. If there is such a thing as a “typical” 1986 Saleen, this car is it! Nothing special, one of 49 Bright Red cars, built with Grey accents and the optional Kenwood stereo, which the majority of 1986 Saleens received. The car was assigned serial #145 by Saleen, built, and then shipped to Colorado on September 5, 1986.
The first owners were Michael & Sandra Porter of Fort Leonard Wood, MO, who purchased the car November 1986 and owned it until 1989. Tom Nelson of St. Louis, MO became the second owner in August 1989 purchasing the car with 12,847 miles on it then. Tom enjoyed the car occasionally, but wisely preserved and maintained the car’s originality. Tom racked up 28,000 miles in 23 years of ownership, and is the one to thank for the superb condition and originality of the car today.
There were only a total of 345 four-eyed Saleens built from 1984 through 1986. Even if you include the aero cars of 1987-1993, the total production is just over 2700 Fox chassis Saleen Mustangs. When compared to the early Shelby Mustang production of 13,769 built, one can only assume that thanks to the uniqueness, the quality, and the low production numbers these Saleens can only increase in value as time marches on. Thankfully cars like this FEP Ride of the Month are being preserved and cared for by owners such as Bob and Ronda Vervaecke for all of us to enjoy and appreciate today and in the years to come! Congratulations October’s Ride of the Month!