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Carl S's 01 Saleen Cobra S281

The info is about my 2001 Saleen Cobra S281 Speedster:

#1 of 6 Saleen Convertibles Produced

How do you get the first car of a production run? Here’s the step by step procedure I used that resulted in me having the honor of owning the first of 6 cars produced by Saleen in 2001.

1. Order Early

My first visit to the Dealership was on May 15, 1999. Not only did I need a Saleen dealer, I needed a Saleen/SVT dealer. That combination placed me at a dealership that was 260 miles from home. Not only do you need to consider dealerships, you have to trust your salesman. After spending more than several hours with the salesman talking options, accessories and Saleens, I left. After many phone calls I mailed a deposit and placed an order for a ‘99 Saleen Cobra Speedster.

2. Have Saleen Cancel Your Order

I was informed that Ford had sold all their ‘99 production and that the dealership would have to find a Cobra convertible in the color that I had ordered in to get my Saleen Convertible. When I approved of that, the search was under way. I received a phone call that the Cobra had been found in the color that I wanted. I was told that Saleen would be called to pick the car up at the dealership that had the car. A week later another phone call from my dealer. I was informed that Saleen had stooped production of the ‘99’s in order to re-tool for the 2000’s. It appears that this was a necessary in order to correct some fitting and quality issues. At the same time Ford had some horse power issues that needed to be resolved. I decided to wait until the spring of 2000 to get my new Saleen Cobra convertible.

3. Have Ford Cancel Your Order

My salesman placed an order for my 2000 Cobra convertible. Now it was only a matter of time. Wrong! Ford needed more time to correct the horse power issue of having 320 hp in the ‘99 4.6 Cobra engine. My 2000 Cobra was canceled.

4. Get Ford to Issue You an "Order Appreciation Certificate" that moves you to the top of the production schedule.

As a public relations gesture and to keep mustang enthusiasts from abandoning the Blue Oval, Ford issued an "Order Appreciation Certificate". This gave me $1300 off of the 2001 Mfg. Suggested Retail Price of the 2001 Cobra. Not only did this give you price protection, it gave you priority in the production of the 2001 Cobra. All carry over orders would be delivered before any new orders.

5. Buy 2 More New Vehicles From Ford

All this time the miles were mounting up on my ‘92 Ford Explorer. I decided to buy a 2001 Sport Trac in May of 1999. In February of 2000 the Sport Trac meet its doom. It Hit a Guard rail, on ice, going over an over-pass. I bought another 2001 Sport Trac and paid the difference after the Insurance Company nearly totaled it. 2 Sport Tracs & 1 Saleen Cobra = $102,000.

6. Have Documentation With You To Prove That You Have Actually Ordered The Car.

NEVER go anywhere without proper documentation. After 2 years of saying that you’ve order a new Saleen Cobra & they don’t see you driving it after 2 months, they think you’re the biggest lire in the State. People don’t realize what "limited Production" means. Be prepared to show them that it has actually been ordered. Even your salesman may doubt your staying power.

7. Visit Your Dealer Often.
I stopped in see my salesman 3 times between ordering it and taking delivery. The majority of my contact between the dealership and myself was by phone because of the mileage and time involved. But local dealers kept me informed and enthused. Without them I’d given up a long time ago.

Thanks to :
Steve Brackeen, Bob Site Ford
Scott Hill, Diers Ford
Brian Scott, Atchley Ford

Keep the faith. Saleen VIN # 01-526



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