Model: Other Pickups
Saleen may be making headlines these days for working on the Tesla Model S, but its history and bread-and-butter is all about the Ford Mustang. The rear-wheel-drive Dearborn pony cars singlehandedly put the company on the map in the '80s. Founder Steve Saleen was already a talented American racing driver when he started the venture, and like many auto industry businesses before him, Saleen went to the track to prove his vehicles' worth. Now, there's a chance to buy one of those early racers on eBay Motors.
Saleen Mustangs raced in the Sports Car Club of America Escort Endurance Championship - a series of multi-hour races meant to challenge man and machine. Ostensibly a showroom stock class, the cars had larger wheels, tuned suspensions and other upgrades that stretched the concept slightly. Saleen found major success though, taking the championship for its class in 1987 and winning the 24 Hours of Mosport consecutively from 1986 through 1988.
According to the seller, Saleen only built eight of these cars, and this one carries the #21R serial number. They all started life as new Mustangs from Ford dealers but were immediately stripped and prepped to go racing. Beyond obvious mods like a roll cage, they featured eight-inch wide wheels in front, an inch of additional track width, stiffer suspension bushings and much more.
It's happened. General Motors' biggest vehicle market - at least in terms of new model sales - is China. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, GM and its various Chinese joint venture operations enjoyed a 10.6-percent sales increase in the first half of 2013, selling almost 1.6 million units in the market. That puts GM China about 200,000 units ahead of its US sales totals over the same period - this, despite indicators that the communist nation's economy is losing momentum.
TDB notes that like GM, rival Ford has also enjoyed a robust 2013 in China thus far, with its sales up a whopping 47 percent to 407,721 units sold - 75,254 of them in June alone. Between the two US automakers, passenger car sales for the first half of 2013 are up around 14 percent, well ahead of the rest of the industry's 10-percent growth estimates for the market. Some of the sales growth may come as a result of an overall anti-Japan sentiment in China, though the American brands have long outsold their Japanese counterparts in the country.
By The General's own predictions, China will only continue to grow in sales importance. The company has designs on selling over five million cars a year in the market before the end of the decade, a total that figures to dramatically widen the gap versus its US totals - even if America's auto market makes a full recovery to the the salad days of over 17-million units a year.
Ford is following up on a report we posted a few weeks back that the Blue Oval would be adding stop-start technology to its entire model range. Now, the Dearborn-based automaker has announced that the fuel-saving feature would be available on 70 percent of the company's range by 2017.
Ford claims the technology will improve fuel economy by around 3.5 percent, although its actual effect will vary based on how the owner drives - apparently up to a 10-percent improvement is possible for those who sit in heavy traffic (Los Angelenos, this means you). The latest recipient of the technology is the updated 2014 Ford Fiesta with the company's three-cylinder EcoBoost powerplant.
Part of the reasoning for the new addition has to do with cost. Ford claims the tech is affordable and easy to implement. "Simply put, Auto Start-Stop helps customers use less fuel, which is an important component of Ford's Blueprint for Sustainability," Ford's global powertrain vice president, Bob Fascetti, said.