In 2008, Saleen Automotive paid tribute to legendary racecar driver, designer, and builder Dan Gurney by producing the Dan Gurney Signature Edition Mustang. Saleen partnered with Gurney to create a special-edition Mustang that offered a tip of the cap to Gurney’s 1969 Shelby Trans-Am Mustang Boss 302. Only available in Vista Blue, Torch Red, and Performance White and highlighted by Dan Gurney’s signature on the dashboard, this Mustang featured a limited production run of 100 vehicles in each of the three colors.
The Shelby Boss 302
Though both are associated with performance, the Shelby and Boss nameplates didn’t cross paths often.
In 1969, Shelby-American was still handling a fair amount of Ford’s racing, which is how they came into possession of three Boss 302 prototypes for the Trans-Am race season. Though the other two Boss 302 prototypes didn’t survive the season, the one left behind is a gorgeous one-of-a-kind.
This Mustang is absolutely a Boss 302, complete with the C-shaped side-stripes and Boss 302 badging, but it was definitely Shelby-fied prior to racing.
By the time Ford, Kar Kraft, and Shelby-American were finished with it, the 1969 Shelby Boss 302 could produce 525 horsepower at 9,000 RPM and came equipped with a four-speed transmission that had a Hurst shifter.
As if a Boss 302/Shelby mashup didn’t spell “power” quite well enough, it was driven by Dan Gurney, one of the most noteworthy drivers in history.
Dan Gurney’s car infatuation started when he was nineteen. His family moved to California, and he fell in love with the hotrod scene. Soon, he was battling it out with some of the best drivers of the time, including Carroll Shelby before the latter’s heart troubles forced him to leave racing.
Gurney went on to become a member of Shelby-American’s Le Mans team, where he created the tradition of spraying champagne following a successful race after his win with A.J. Foyt in 1967.
Gurney had considerable success in his racing pursuits, which included Formula One, Indy Car, Nascar, and Trans-Am racing. Additionally, he had success in his less-than-legal racing endeavors, partnering with Brock Yates to win the notorious Cannonball race.
Plenty of Power Under the Hood
The Dan Gurney Mustang was not intended for the faint of heart! This robust special-edition Mustang was equipped with a supercharged 281-cubic-inch engine with an impressive power capacity of 465 hp. Other key performance features included a 3.73 rear axle, short throw shifter, road-hugging Pirelli Corsa tires, and a finely honed Racecraft suspension.
Extraordinary Power Complemented by Superior Design
The Gurney Mustang wasn’t just a mean driving machine — it also offered buyers with numerous interior and exterior design features that made this one-of-a-kind vehicle as stylish as it was powerful. The futuristic exterior paid homage to Gurney’s 1969 Mustang, with its stinger-style hood, duckbill rear spoiler, and retro-inspired Gurney Edition body kit. Gurney’s #2 was painted on the driver and passenger doors to provide a most appropriate finishing touch. The interior was fitted with two-tone seats and a choice of red or blue Alcantara inserts. The distinctive Gurney Eagle logo could be found throughout the interior, including on the steering wheel.
Image Credit: MotorTrend, Hemmings