1996 Ford Mustang 'Saleen Enhanced' Convertible (RHD)
The Ford Mustang is an enduring legend, one that passes from generation to generation with no sign of its popularity waning. Four decades after the original model was launched in 1964, Ford unveiled a new model based on a revised version of the Fox platform with smooth styling taking many of its cues from earlier Mustangs. The latest Ponycar sat on a longer wheelbase and had wider track to give more surefooted handling and a better ride while safety equipment was also enhanced through the use of twin airbags and the option of disc brakes on all four wheels, along with ABS. The base level engine was a 3.8-litre V6 with the 5-litre V8 available for those seeking more performance but for 1996, this was replaced by a new modular V8. Displacing 4.6-litres and with a single-overhead camshaft, this new unit developed 215 bhp at 4400 rpm and could be had with either a Borg-Warner T45 five-speed gearbox or four-speed automatic transmission. Cosmetic changes to the 1996 models were limited to new tail lights with triple vertical bars and revised trim. If the stock Mustang wasn’t enough Saleen offered a series of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades for the 1996 model, including the S281 (a development of the 4.6-litre engine) along with a higher output DOHC Cobra derivative and the ultra rare S351 and 500 horsepower supercharged SR models. Body enhancements included front and rear spoilers, side skirts and unique graphics and Saleen also offered a range of upgrades like a new air cleaner and Borla exhaust system, revised suspension and stronger brakes, plus unique 18-inch alloy wheels. Options included Recaro seats, a carbon fibre bonnet, 3.55 axle and even a ‘Speedster’ package for the convertible using a hard tonneau cover and roll bar. Modern Mustangs have retained the popularity of their forebears, both in America and here in Australia, affording all the style and driving pleasure of the original with modern reliability, safety and luxury. The Mustang is a car that can be enjoyed on a daily basis and - with the top down - becomes the perfect weekend cruiser.