Decades from now, the Saleen Dan Gurney H281SC Signature Edition (whew!) could be a hotly sought-after collectible, limited as it is to 300 copies. Right now, though, it strikes me as perhaps the most ostentatious car in a seemingly endless string of pricey Ford Mustang iterations.
That's not to say that the Gurney isn't any good. That 465-hp, 281-cubic-inch (4.6-liter) V-8 can certainly take you for a good ride, particularly with more than 7 psi of boost registering on the dashtop gauge pod. Apply more than a kiss of throttle in first gear and you're goin' sideways; short shift into second and jump on the gas--sideways again. (Like my colleagues, though, I prefer working the throwback shifter in some of Roush's hotter Mustang variants.)
Rounding corners can be huge fun, too, although (as Joe noted) you've got to pay attention if you want to avoid mangling or scratching all the Gurney-specific garnish against a nearby fence. Those stripes, eagles, hood pins, banners, and stickers all help to make this car stand out from more prosaic 'Stangs, but honestly, I prefer the purer look of Ford's base Mustang GT, sans spoiler.
Surely the $57,000 base price includes earplugs! Cruising at 55 mph or so in fifth gear is ear-splitting, thanks to the boomy powertrain resonations inside the cabin. I regularly selected a lower, less economical gear so that the sounds didn't make my head spin. The interior sights can also be a bit much, what with the host of eagles and logos and Detroit Lions-esque Alcantara seat covers. Our car, serial number 57, did have a real Gurney autograph on the dashboard, though: VERY cool.
Still, I can see how a hard-core Mustang lover could save a prominent spot for a Gurney in his or her dream garage.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor