Merv’s Mustang: 1988 Ford Mustang LX Saleen Convertible

Opinions vary on whether the relative value of a vehicle can be impacted by its ownership history, particularly if a previous owner has achieved celebrity status. The ultimate value of a car can also be greatly influenced by what modifications have been performed, and more importantly, by whom. Barn Finder Roger spotted this particular Mustang for us, so thank you for that Roger. It is a car that scores a hit on both of these fronts. It is a Mustang that has been given the best treatment that Saleen Autosport could provide, and was purchased new by Merv Griffin. It is now owned by his son and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. Located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, the asking price for the Mustang has been set at $60,000.

The overall presentation of the Mustang is pretty hard to fault. The car has recently undergone a repaint and has also been fitted with a new soft-top. The headlights were also replaced, along with new OEM tail-lights. I wish there were some photos of the underside of the car because I would suspect that it is probably pretty impressive. It hasn’t been painted underneath but has been powder-coated. Since the car underwent its refurbishment, it has only covered a mere 2,000 miles.

The interior of the Mustang is also spotless, but the color combination won’t be to everyone’s taste. To me, the black dash looks out of place against the predominantly red and white interior. Under the new red carpet is a healthy layer of Dynamat, while the leather seats and door trims are also new. The refurbishment work that has been performed would not be considered a faithful restoration to when the late Mr. Griffin owned the car, as the Alpine stereo that is fitted to the car is a very modern unit. There are some nice detail touches, such as the polished door handles, and polished buttons for the power windows and power locks. On the comfort front, as well as those power features, the Mustang sports a new Momo steering wheel, and freshly rebuilt air conditioning.

It’s under the hood of the Mustang where things start to get pretty serious. The 302ci V8 originally received the Saleen treatment, but it has recently undergone a full rebuild by another reputable builder. The list of new parts is quite comprehensive, but the result is an engine that pumps out 565hp. This is fed to a Tremec manual transmission, and then to the rear end via a Ford Motorsport aluminum driveshaft. The brakes have also been upgraded from original, while the wheels are 17×8 SVT cobra rims, fitted with new BF Goodrich tires. Once again, details abound under the hood, with polished aluminum and chrome as far as the eye can see.

The history of this Mustang LX Saleen cannot be questioned, as the owner holds a letter of authenticity from Steve Saleen which verifies that the vehicle’s original owner was Merv Griffin. Just how much this affects the value of the car is hard to say. Likewise, it appears that the refurbishment of the car has resulted in it being far removed from how it would have been when it rolled out of the Saleen workshop. So, bearing this in mind, do you think that the asking price is fair, and would this be a car that you would consider owning?


  1. Steve R

    With all of that white, I initially assumed the celebrity owner had been Liberace.

    I don’t think the connection to Merv Griffin ads to the value.

    Steve R

    Like 14
  2. U.K. Paul 🇬🇧

    Who is Meev?
    The terms and Black dash came out of the factory like that? Bizarre

    Like 1
  3. CapNemo


    Like 1
  4. michael h streuly

    I am not a mustang fan but it is a nice car not 60k nice maybe 20k at best. I do not think that the car being owned by merv Griffin enhances the value.

    Like 8
    • Gnrdude

      Yeah I said the Same thing, the Kid is Just trying to Cash In On his Fathers Celeb. Status. The Realistic Value of Of this Car I believe to be around 22-26k$ Granted it is a nice car & would go up in value over time but it’s just not NEAR where this guy is asking for it.

      Like 1
  5. Dcowan

    Agreed. Merv isn’t a high profile car guy. Not a McQueen or Shelby owned car. However being a number matching Saleen it’s a nice car. If I wanted to buy that car I’d say 30k is as high as I’d go.

    Like 1
  6. OhU8one2

    First of all I do not believe that since Merv owned the car its going to have extra value. Since it is listed as an original Saleen, where are all the original Saleen parts? Sure I love it when an old 60’s Shelby Mustang is missing it’s original wheels, owner put Keystone Classic’s on it instead. Had the car repainted but left off the Shelby graphics. Pretty soon there isn’t much left of the ol’ Shelby Mustang. The same thing goes with this Saleen. And I could care less who previous owner was, especially since they ruined an original Saleen. Put the car back to bone stock, then the value will increase.

    Like 2
  7. Ted

    Bahahahahahahahahahahahohohohohoheeheeehee…………..60K…..stop, you’re killing me……………

    Like 3
  8. SteVen

    Crack pipe.

    Like 1
  9. thecarappraiser

    Was Griffin a comedian? because his son certainly is, the car has been repainted and 73k miles ! $60k !!!

  10. Ike Onick

    Merv and Liberace probably drove this very car to a Siegfried and Roy show. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

    Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Speaking of which, long ago, summer 1978, I was at a gas station off the 101 in El Lay with my canary yellow ’64 Tempest convertible. Into the pump area pulls a blindingly white RR or Bentley. And out steps a thin bleached teeth blonde fey young man in tennis togs. He was followed by a much older man with silver hair in tennis togs, the aforementioned Merv Griffin. I once assumed father and son were out for a day of tennis. You know what assuming does don’t you? ;)

      Like 3
  11. Steve tropelo

    Funny thing is the car sold at Barrett Jackson for 98 grand and all the broke internet trolls that can’t afford it will throw digs as usual. Haters will always hate

    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      Wow, crazy .. is there a link?

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