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Featured: Mickey Knauss’ “Barricade” Saleen Mustang

By - April 23, 2008 – 1:26 amOne Comment | 14,396 views

Mickey Knauss has been obsessed with cars since he can remember. He’s always been especially fond of American muscle cars, and thought he’d died and gone to heaven when he first saw his first S197 Saleen Mustang. “It was a black Extreme with the carbon fiber diffusers and had the sleekest, sexiest bodykit I had ever seen in my life,” Mickey remembers. “From that day on, I told all my friends and family I would buy one soon enough and of course they laughed.” Despite being only 18 years old at the time, Mickey surprised everyone by getting the money for a down payment and took the plunge on a used Saleen 3V. Black, of course, like the first one he had seen.

So how did his stock 3V Saleen Mustang make the transformation into Barricade from the Transformers movie? “To be honest, when I saw the Transformers movie, the thought never clicked initially to turn my car into the Barricade.” Instead, the inspiration came from his boss Ernie Sigala, owner of Hardcore Mustangs in Santee, CA. “I was leaving to go out of town over the Christmas holidays and explained that I would be leaving my car in his custody,” Mickey recalls. “He said I will have a surprise waiting for me upon my return.” That surprise included a complete Barricade graphics package including white vinyl with Saleen lettering for the doors, “To punish and enslave” lettering on the rear fender, and a Saleen and Transformers crest. The “911” badge on the rear fender has been changed to “Get the 411, Saleen.com”. Black wheels complete the Barricade look.

With his Saleen 3V now looking like Barricade, you can imagine the looks Mickey gets driving around. “Most of the people recognize the car from the movie Transformers and like to stare and point. The other people are more fun to mess with,” Mickey said. “The car definitely stops a lot of those speeders on the highway – that’s for sure.” As you might expect, his Saleen Mustang also catches the attention of local police. He’s received mix reactions, from police officers wanting to take photos with his car to receiving a $1,300 ticket. Despite having a few negative experiences, Mickey still thinks it’s worth it. “A lot of them like it and humor me asking how much for them to upgrade while others give off that dirty stare as I drive by,” he said.

In addition to the standard Saleen 3V equipment and Barricade graphics, Mickey has also fitted his Mustang with Mac Performance long tube headers and Mac offroad Pro Chamber. It’s undoubtedly one of the meanest Saleen Mustangs we’ve ever heard. Additional mods include a McLeod Stage III clutch with aluminum flywheel, Hurst short throw shifter, C&L cold air intake system, and carbon fiber “Extreme” quarter window panels.

While Mickey’s Saleen Mustang has the looks he wants, he still has many more modifications he wants to do. “If only money grew on trees,” he jokes. “I have so many plans for this car it would take two to three pages for me to list the mods.” For starters he wants to install Saleen’s Series VI Supercharger along with a built and stroked 298ci shortblock. Other mods on the wish list include Saleen’s carbon fiber front and rear diffusers, BBR Stage II cams, and Livernois Stage III heads. As you can see, he is planning on making some serious power.

Like with any car, Mickey’s Saleen 3V couldn’t be where it’s at without help. He wanted to thank his parents for helping him get approved for financing, as well as Ernie Sigala, Lizeth Gonzales, and Hector Conde at Hardcore Mustangs. Finally, thanks go out to his siblings and friends for all of their support. “It has been an unbelievable 14 months of ownership.”




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