What Is the Mustang Saleen SC?

Released in limited numbers in 1990, 1991 and 1993, the Saleen SC Mustang shows just how far the potential of the Fox body pony car platform could be taken. Because of the small production run and the performance bona fides of the Saleen SC, the car is extremely rare today and continues to fetch high prices when surviving units go up for auction.

Saleen SC MustangSaleen SC Origins

The Saleen SC’s story begins a year earlier with the introduction of the Saleen SSC. Although the company had been around since 1983, the SSC was Saleen’s first attempt at releasing a car with extensive drivetrain and engine modifications. Working closely with the EPA, Saleen was able to produce a tuned version of Ford’s famous 5.0L engine that met federal regulations for public sale.

A total of 161 hatchback SSCs were produced that year, exceeding expectations despite a hefty $36,500 price tag. Although on the outside the cars could be mistaken for a regular Saleen Mustang, under the hood was a finely tuned 292 horsepower engine — marking the first time a small-volume company could legally sell a modded engine.

Enter the SC

In 1990, Saleen produced a total of 13 of the SCC’s follow-up, the SC. The SC was lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, producing 304 horsepower and sporting refined handling and a more aerodynamic body. Other enhancements included new wheels and tires and a tuned suspension.

1991 and Onward

The following year, production of the SC dropped to just ten units. None were produced in 1992. In 1993, despite the addition of a Vortech supercharger, only five SCs found their way into the hands of eager drivers — three of which were hatchbacks, as well as two convertibles. Unfortunately, the SC seems to be a classic case of the-right-car-at-the-wrong-time. Vehicle sales were dropping industry-wide, with the performance car segment being particularly hard hit.

Luckily, Saleen Automotive managed to weather the storm and, despite some internal shakeups, the company continues to produce modded Mustangs to this day. Although short lived, the SC played an important role, both in the history of the company and pony cars in general.