2006 Saleen Mustang - Owned by Tom Rankin

I have always been a Mustang fan. For some reason, that car has always appealed to me. It doesn’t matter what year or model, I always appreciate the look and lines. The one thing I do require is a big engine because of my craving for acceleration. I’m not particularly a fast driver, over-the-speed-limit fast, but I like to get up to the limit pretty quickly.


I purchased my first Mustang, a 1986 GT, soon after college graduation. It sure beat driving around my mother’s Pontiac Grand Lemans (4-door) and my ’72 Vega (the engine eventually exploded as I was driving down Brookpark Road in Cleveland), which was a hand-me-down. It turned out that GT was the first of five mustangs I’ve owned. My problem was that I would never keep them. I am the “whipped cream” at the end of a car salesman’s day inasmuch as I am an impulse buyer when it comes to cars. Whenever I walk into a dealership, I walk out with a new car. Except for once, that car has always been a Ford.


After the ’86 GT, I purchased an ’89 5.0 LX then a ’95 GT and finally a 1999 Cobra convertible. The Cobra was my favorite by far. It certainly had the most horsepower and had a great look. This car, I thought, I would own forever. Something funny happened nine months after I bought the Cobra. I got married and instantly had two kids. One of the most sullen days of my life was the day I traded in the Cobra for a minivan. That was a very, very bad day.


Fourtunately for me and Gillingham Ford in Cleveland, I walked into their showroom in December 2006, and three days later, I was driving my 2006 Saleen Mustang back to Columbus. By far, the Saleen is the best Mustang I have ever owned. Every November, I winterize and store it. It has its own separate garage. Every April, I clean it up and take it out and it feels like I’m driving a brand-new car. But he does let it sit – all winter I think I’ll keep this one, at least until I walk into another Ford dealership.