Businessman, legendary former racing driver, and innovator Steve Saleen's name has appeared on more than 11,000 high-performance Ford Mustangs over 25 years.

To celebrate this milestone, he will be appearing for a special display and autograph sessions at 10-11am and 2-3pm on Friday, September 11 and Lowe's Motor Speedway, North Carolina, US.

His appearance will be part of the Food Lion AutoFair, September 10-13.

Saleen was a successful Formula Atlantic racer in the early-1980s when he realised that a few simple modifications could make Ford's popular Mustang car perform as well as expensive sports cars.

Borrowing his sister's white 1984 Mustang hatchback with a 5.0 litre V-8 engine and five-speed transmission, and effectively transformed it into a modern muscle car.

Saleen upgraded the hatchback with an aggressive front air dam, low side skirts, a large rear wing, stiffer suspension, shock absorbers and exotic alloy wheels.

The final touch was a banner of vinyl lettering across the top windshield, reading "Saleen Mustang".

Other cars were built from Saleen's prototype, and he raced them to victory in four Sports Car Club of America championships in '87, giving his company the first of many competition trophies.

Saleen continued to lend his innovations to Mustang models, including the renowned 1989 Saleen SSC, known as the "super Mustang", of which 161 were made - all white hatchbacks.

The Food Lion AutoFair will be commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Saleen Mustang.

The display will include a number of classic Mustangs from the collection of longtime Saleen collector Debbie Blaylock.

A special appearance will be made by a 2007 Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition model built to celebrate the company's 20th anniversary of its first SCCA championship.

Steve Saleen will be present Friday, September 11 to meet fans and sign autographs in the Showcase Garage from 10-11am and 2-3pm.

The Fall Food Lion AutoFair annually attracts more than 100,000 visitors. It features more than 50 car club displays and more than 7,000 vendor spaces offering car parts and memorabilia.

More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale.

Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8am to 6pm, Thursday through Saturday, and 8am to 4pm on Sunday.

Tickets are $10 for adults while children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

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