Ex-24 Hr Le Mans Mustangs


davek

Member
Feb 5, 2010
5
With the history of Ford at Le Mans having somewhat of a renaissance, I thought there might be some interest here in the history of Mustangs at Le Mans.

There were only (3) Mustangs that actually raced in the 24 Hr.

The first, a 1966 Shelby GT350R (chassis SFM5R539) run by Claude Dubois in 1967, has a bit of a convoluted history as the parts were reportedly transferred to another chassis. From a quick google search, there seems to be some conflicting accounts of the post Le Mans lineage or current state.

Mustangs returned 30 years later in 1997 w/the Saleen-Allen team running two "Saleen Mustang SRs". The ACO assigned these cars #66 and #67 in recognition of the earlier Claude Dubois Mustang entry. Saleen's campaign was extensively covered in media including an hour long program on the (former) Speed Channel.

A few years ago I tested the Saleen SR that had previously won the 1999 Spanish GT running in the top class, GTA, against the Lister, Vipers, Marco LM600, Porsche GT2 turbo, etc.

This pic shows a few of my friends prepp'ing the car for that test-drive in Spain. The 24 Hr Le Mans inspection stickers still on the airbox are just one clue this is a special Mustang! That was a fun day!

Regards,
Dave

 

Specracer

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Very cool, any idea where the later SN-95 cars are now?
 

steved57

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Very cool history and pic
 

texas mongrel

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Love that generation of Mustang. We raced a 98 for several years, was a tail-happy barrel of laughs
 

33Bravo

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Love that generation of Mustang. We raced a 98 for several years, was a tail-happy barrel of laughs
"A tail-happy barrel of laughs" Well said!
 

davek

Member
Feb 5, 2010
5
Very cool, any idea where the later SN-95 cars are now?
Specracer, there were (3) Saleen SRs that went to Europe (Silverstone for their first round in the FIA GT ... then onto Le Mans for the 24Hr) in 1997.

They are all now in private collections and all pretty much in their same config as last raced. Fuel cells and other expendables are being replaced.

There were also a separate group of SN-95 Saleens that ran in World Challenge. Similar liveries, but totally different under the (carbon fiber) skin than the Le Mans cars.
 

davek

Member
Feb 5, 2010
5
One of the (3) Saleen SR Mustangs should be making it's return after more than 20 years!

Entered in the Le Mans Classic this year as part of the Endurance Racing Legends series.
 
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Specracer

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Thats cool. I recently acquired the Steeda SN 95 Cobra R, that won a couple IMSA races in 96. Far cry from running LeMans, but still a cool car with some great history. It too, is in race condition from 1997, unmolested time capsule.

Thats fantastic that one of the SR's will turn a wheel again!
 
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BIGFOOT

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Jan 18, 2012
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Northeast
There is a 67-350 which was raced in the 1968 24 hours of Daytona and the 1968 12 hours of Sebring and still exists as a low mileage vehicle in nice condition.
 

davek

Member
Feb 5, 2010
5
Thats cool. I recently acquired the Steeda SN 95 Cobra R, that won a couple IMSA races in 96. Far cry from running LeMans, but still a cool car with some great history. It too, is in race condition from 1997, unmolested time capsule.

Thats fantastic that one of the SR's will turn a wheel again!
I also recall the Steeda Mustangs being quite successful in Grand Am. Congrats on keeping a piece of Mustang history alive and running! Hopefully you get it on track at some historic events?

The 97 Le Mans Saleens were unique ... and needed to be to compete against the Callaway Corvettes, Vipers, GT2 Porsches etc. There were other "homologation special" GT cars of that time, but even in the case, for example, of the GT1 Porsche, the Porsche factory built 21 "road" cars. In the case of the 97 GT2 Saleen SRs? ... just *one* homologation "road" car!

The race cars had a full carbon body (except the steel roof), X-Trac sequential, pushrod actuated suspension, etc. ... and the same Magneti Marelli logging and telemetry system as used by for Ferrari F1 team that same year!

After returning and qualifying again at Le Mans in 1998 (but pulled from the race), this Saleen SR continued on in the Spanish GT series competing in the top class against the Vipers, Lister, Marcos LM600, V8 Lotus Esprits .... and even a Ferrari F40.