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Old 07-26-2009
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Lets figure there were California Sports, GT Sports, V6 Sports and the previous Racecraft Edition produced over the past 25-years. The idea on an entry-level, Saleen-kissed Mustang is not a new one.

The current incarnation does hold a familiar naming convention note, the 435S, which will tie the 2008 ½ - 2009 Racecraft 420S into the family. It was a peculiar vehicle since it was marketed as the non-Saleen, built by Saleen Inc, with Saleen parts… but it's a "Racecraft Vehicle?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCIT View Post
But I don't think an educated Saleen type customer is going to get behind this car. They had better go after a market than is not all familiar with Saleen history or even a Mustang fan.
They're not. Much like the previous entry-level Specials. The Specials have most always appealed to a different buying segment. Each Special carved a niche for the given era trend. It appeared the 2008 ½ - 2009 Racecraft 420S sold at a moderate pace and found a accepting public.

Historically the Specials are a curiosity since they seem to have a relatively low survival rate. If we use this forum and automotive fairs as a gauge… I believe we have two Racecraft owners registered and I’ve seen one owner RC at a show, to date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiasmit View Post
Now, I'm wondering what the 18 inch wheels will look like and if they'll truly be the base model, or will the majority of these be produced with either the 19s or 20s.
Jess should know. I would guess the 18" would be the EuroMax used on the 2007 S281 Heritage and the 2008 ½ - 2009 Racecraft 420S.

If it were me, I would start the 435S model with a 19" standard. Since the 2010 GT has an 18" wheel as base; one up the factory offering. Then too... I don't know the amount of overstock MJA acquired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepngli View Post
I think its a good idea to make a "budget" performance vehicle such as the Racecraft (which I absolutely love). However, I think putting Saleen on it might be a bad idea. They should have kept the Racecraft as the budget Saleen.
The only slight history-recording hiccup created is how the 420S will be a Racecraft branded vehicle, but the 435S is a Saleen. The 420S is now peculiar.

In terms of marketing... SALEEN holds more perceived value than RACECRAFT. Saleen = 25-Years of performance vehicles. Racecraft = A generic trade name.

Why take additional effort to build a new brand, when it's going to be built with equipment that either states SALEEN or hold flying S logos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hot281 View Post
…body parts from CDC... threw some decals on and embroidered "Saleen" on the headrests...
Same basic strategy as the Racecraft 420S; that model worked well.

The aero kit on the 420S was a CDC/Ford Racing splitter and PJ/Heritage wing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeNotYou View Post
...stripped down version built for speed not looks...It will cost over $42-47k and nobody will buy it right now...
Kinda' tough to state, "nobody will buy it." The model wasn't officially released and no one here can say what will strike a sales nerve and what will not.

I think the standard Mustang buyer or speed freak will hold interest in the 435S Saleen. If you pick up a base GT for the estimated $28,000.00 or so… and opt for a 435S package at $10,000.00… after taxes and fees you’ll probably be in at 40K.

It should under-cut most of the tuner cars in terms of price and advertised equipment.

My only issue would be competition from FMC and Ford Racing Performance Parts. A buyer has the option, starting with the 2010 model, of a Track Pack suspension group. They can also request the selling dealer to equip their new steed with a FRPP Whipple before the sale and retain their 3/36,000 warranty. OR: A buyer can purchase the same $28K GT and have the dealer equip the vehicle with a FRPP suspension kit and Whipple before delivery and still retain the 3/36,000 from Ford.

If I were to offer an entry-level Saleen, I would have placed more into the styling and package. That's my only semi-complaint, flashbacks of another McCammon car.

I question how the PJ/Heritage wing looks mounted to the 2010 trunk since it was designed for the 2005-2009 lid. It would have been pretty novel to design a unique throwback whale-tail (as standard) to tie a key part of Saleen heritage into the car.

The hood decal is cool with the body color chevrons poking through, but then no need for a second pair of chevrons on the fenders. Overly stressing a Saleen connection. The 2008 ½ - 2009 Racecraft side striping was a feature that I liked on that model. Would have been neat to keep that idea... or once again… design a throwback decal kit and offer it in blue, gold, silver and black. The Racecraft Focus concept had a nice visual play with the wrap-around black side striping and color matched wheels.

Jeff had mentioned during Carlisle that the entry-level Saleen would feature center exit exhaust. I'm imagining that the 2005-2009 S-kit either protruded too far from a stock 2010 bumper... or had interference with the plate mount area. That would have been a cool item had it made the cut as a standard feature.

Basically, I would have liked to seen the 435S as more of a "package car," a trait Saleen (as a brand) was known for, and less of a "you finish yourself."

I understand the 435S and have no issue with it, but I can't say Saleen heritage will sell this model or that it will not get lost when inventoried on a sales lot. The car has a great chance to be a sales leader with a proven selection of parts for $10,000.00. The Saleen name is secondary for the 435S.

If I were to market the 435S... I would speak to the folks in the SCCA and NHRA to see how to competitively classify this vehicle for motorsports.

The Folks (Mike, Jeff, Jess) should be applauded for their efforts over the past six or so months. Parts supplying, owner's inquiries, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saleen777 View Post
I don't know... ...I'll save for the SMS.
I'd agree. If you compare the SMS 460 to the 435S in terms of statement projected. The vehicles from Steve Saleen are an achievable dream. A reason to work hard, to make a visual and performance declaration when achieved.

Dreams Vs. Realities