New York 2008: Gurney still battling Parnelli
We just reported on the Gurney Signature Edition Saleen Mustang, but now we've seen it in person and wanted to share some pics. Presented by company President Paul Wilbur and the man himself, the special 'Stang was rolled out in a deep blue that mimics Gurney's 1970 Trans-Am ride. Dan pointed out how his is faster and better handling, at a similar price to the Parnelli Jones Edition. Wilbur noted that they better get on with things so as not to reignite the flames of that old rivalry any further. Wilbur also noted that Saleen will sell just 300 of these special rides: 100 in red, 100 in white, and 100 in the roll-out blue. As we pointed out yesterday, this latest Mustang is powered by a Saleen-supercharged 4.6-liter V8 producing 465 horsepower, and handles curves better thanks to Saleen's Racecraft suspension and Pirelli Corsa tires. The interior features custom two-tone seats and Gurney's signature on the dash. No word on pricing yet, but whatever they ask they'll probably get. It just oozes retro muscle attitude when you are standing near it. Maybe we were just so pleased to be in Dan's presence. The legend even took the time to sign a stack of commemorative posters for anyone who wanted them. That ended up being everyone around.
Follow the jump for the press release from Saleen and check out more high-res pics in the gallery below.
Saleen Automotive, America's premiere automotive enthusiast brand for over a quarter of a century, announced today at the New York Auto Show that it has entered into a partnership with American automotive legend Dan Gurney for creation of a special Gurney Signature Edition Mustang. "It is amazing that just two years ago Saleen was standing on stage here at the Javitz Center with Parnelli Jones and today we are with his long time rival and friend, and truthfully one of America's racing heroes, Mr. Dan Gurney," said Saleen President and CEO Paul Wilbur.
All 300 of the Gurney Signature Edition vehicles will feature Saleen's 465 Hp supercharged 281 cubic inch engine, short throw shifter, and 3.73 Max Grip rear axle. In addition, the vehicles will have custom two-tone seats that feature either blue or red AlcantaraTM inserts designed to keep your rear end planted firmly behind the wheel. The legendary Gurney Eagle© logo is featured on the steering wheel and several other places around the car.
The exterior reflects the look of Dan's 1969 Trans Am series Mustang, masterfully recreated in a fashion that honors history but looks aggressively towards the future. The heritage styled Gurney Edition body kit, 'duck bill' rear spoiler and 'stinger' style hood all come together in harmony with the carefully placed graphics and die cut Gurney Eagle insignia.
"I am pleased that they could make a car that is so beautiful but still so true to my old race car. At the end of the day, all I really want is a car that is faster than Parnelli's" said racing great, Dan Gurney.
Saleen executives were not prepared to make that statement, but what they did say is: "this is likely the best all around 281 supercharged car that Saleen has ever built," commented Saleen General Manager, Marques McCammon.
"Dan Gurney has always been about business on the track. His cars were light, fast and handled like they were on rails," said Saleen Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, Chris Theodore. "I'll admit we added a little weight when we added the blower to this car, but you will be shocked at how this car cuts through a corner."
The Gurney Signature Edition gets its dynamic ability from the specially tuned Racecraft suspension, Generation-II Watts-Link Rear End, and super sticky Pirelli Corsa tires. This is a suspension combination that has never before been featured on a Saleen vehicle, and one that received the personal stamp from Dan Gurney himself.
"It is like a dream come true to spend time on the tarmac with the Gurney's. Together, we will create a package that I am sure that market will love," said Chassis and Dynamics Lead Derk Hartland.
The Gurney Signature Edition Mustang is slated to begin production this April and should start appearing in dealers later that month. With production being limited to only 300 cars, the Gurney Edition is sure to be a must have amongst collectors. In honor of Mr. Gurney's 'All American racer persona the cars will be offered in only three colors: Torch Red, Performance White, and the feature color Vista Blue. One hundred of each color will be made with contrasting color graphics and interiors, and a set of "#2" roundels to truly relive the Gurney experience.
The most important piece of the car to me is Dan Gurney's signature on the center of the dash," commented Wilbur. "I view it as the stamp of approval by one of America's greatest drivers."
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