2007 Saleen Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang Preview -- New York Auto Show: I drove with Parnelli Jones. It’s true, and while that means far more to me that it will ever mean to him, I can still say that I drove with Parnelli. Okay, he doesn’t know who I am and would swear on a stack of bibles that he’s never seen me before. But he did take me around the track at Willow Springs in California, a few times. Me, I did nothing but marvel at the surgical skill he displayed around turns, and the brute force he unleashed on the straight-aways. And there was that amazing, two day grin I got from the brief experience.
I can only imagine what it would have been like to ride with Jones in his prime, back when he was tearing up the Trans Am circuit with his Boss 302 Mustang. Now I can. Sure, I have to have 50 grand or so lying around, and yep, I better get in line, as only 500 Saleen-built Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang go on sale later this year – but hey – a fella can dream.
I wonder how much cash the kid has in her school fund? If there’s enough, I may get a chance at buying a modern interpretation of the Boss 302, right down the sticker on the side (static cling now) and an exact 302 cubic inch engine.
What's Under the Hood
The maestros at Saleen took photos provided by Jones and created a Mustang that is an exact replica inside and out, with a few liberties taken to accommodate the new Mustang design, of course. Under the hood, Saleen engineers put together a 302 cubic-inch V8 that makes 370 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and 370 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, and it redlines at 6,500 rpm. This new Saleen engine is equipped with a high compression, high revving valve train utilizing forged pistons, rods, and crankshaft and a lightweight, aluminum flywheel.
What It Looks Like
Also included in this Limited Edition are new Saleen 302 valve covers. Completing the work is a new exhaust system that provides a low-resonating sound. Underneath, the Limited Edition features the Saleen Race Craft suspension, rides on 19-inch wheels and stops with 14-inch brakes. The new Saleen / Parnelli Jones Limited Edition comes in one color, Grabber Orange. Period correct details include a black striped “shaker” hood, race-style hood pins, black trunk deck, and 302 side stripes. Completing the overall effect is a front fascia with racing-style air dam, side skirts, rear fascia, rear 1970 replica wing, trunk insert license plate panel with chrome trim, rear window quarter panels, and a racing-style billet gas cap.
by Brian Chee
Photo Credit: Ford