Never forget: people make all the difference. This often overlooked fact in the glamorous world of automotive styling rings true for the life of Mr. Uwe Bahnsen. I froze in my tracks when I heard of his passing on Car Design News. His work at Ford and with the Industrial Design community influenced me, and every American who loved cars in the 1980s.
In honor of Skyfall‘s opening tomorrow, we bring you one of the better Frankensteins we’ve seen in some time; a white Lotus Esprit, in the same hue as Roger Moore’s own ride in The Spy Who Loved Me, with a heart transplant from a Taurus SHO.
The Ford Taurus has been among the most numerous of junkyard inmates for nearly 20 years now, and a sprinkling of Yamaha-engined SHO versions show up among the bread-and-butter commuter Taurii. However, the third-gen Taurus SHO, with its 235-horse V8, is much rarer than the earlier V6 SHOs; in fact, this weirdly purple car I found in Denver is the first V8 SHO I’ve seen in the junkyard for at least a few years. (Read More…)
TTAC Commentator SupremeBrougham starts us off:
I found this jem at my local Ford dealer the other day and I thought I’d share it with you so you can share it with the others. It’s a real one of a kind!!! (Read More…)
The Junkyard Find series is all about the interesting and uncommon stuff I find during my travels to wrecking yards in Colorado and California, but what kind of cars form the backdrop to the Peugeots, Merkurs, and ancient Detroit iron? The demographics of this population tend to shift over the decades; 20 years ago, the GM B body reigned supreme in the high-turnover self-service yards I tend to frequent, but there’s no doubt about the 21st Century’s current Junkyard King. (Read More…)
Since there are multiple TTAC Hacks on assignment here at the 24 Hours of LeMons, you’re getting into the mix from multiple angles. And, here in the Piston Slap corner of the world, the Cars are the Stars! But some whips simply have too much going on: feats of engineering superiority, a collection of creative/rare parts and a dump truck full of historical irony. That’s right, historical irony…with a touch of revenge!
There are some fast LeMons cars that suffer from a single glaring weakness that knocks them out of the running after maintaining a lead for hour after hour. For example, the Acura Integra and Honda Prelude and their fragile head gaskets, or the Toyota MR2′s chronic engine-cooling/oiling woes. The Ford Taurus SHO, however, is constructed entirely from weaknesses; the transmissions explode, the engines throw rods (when they aren’t too busy spinning bearings and/or burning valves), the brakes overheat, and the suspensions crumble like pretzel sticks in a trash compacter. Wheel bearings, electrical components, you name it. But when a well-driven SHO doesn’t fall apart, very few LeMons-priced cars can catch it on a race course. (Read More…)
After a grueling all-day battle of thrown rods, car fires, and busted suspensions at MSR Houston, we never expected to see a Ford Taurus SHO with a Rat Patrol roof gunner on the same lap as a bar-sponsored ’84 Volkswagen Rabbit. That’s how things sorted out after the first race session of the fourth annual Yeehaw It’s Texas 24 Hours of LeMons. (Read More…)
You’re driving down the road at a spirited tempo when you see a big, black, tuned Taurus. No biggie, right?
Today’s Detroit News has an interesting item on Ford’s D3/D4 platform strategy, based on the thesis that
The remade Taurus has emerged as a flagship for the Dearborn automaker, restoring luster to a nameplate that had become synonymous with “rental car,” and helping to revive an automaker that had become dependent on trucks and sport utility vehicles.
As Jack Baruth’s Capsule Review of the Ford Five Hundred shows, the D3 platform offers good space and comfort, and the recent update and return to the Taurus nameplate has been rewarded with steadily-increasing sales. And though the Taurus has fought back to become a Ford-brand flagship (likely at the expense of Mercury), its platform-mates have been consistent underperformers on the showroom floor. Flex has sold in the low 3k monthly range, while MKS and MKT have been thoroughly beaten in YTD sales by the Cadillac DTS and Escalade, themselves hardly the most competitive alternatives to the big Lincolns.
As Arthur Dent once said, “I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle.” Unless something bizarre happens at the dealership where it is being Audi CPO Certified, my infamous Lime Green S5 is sold as of last week. This means that I am down to — ugh! — Porsches for transportation. My 944 is locked in a garage and requires heroic measures to start. My 993 has rear tires so bald the tread pattern isn’t even visible any more, and the new Goodyears seem long in arriving. My Boxster seats two.
Therefore, when I had the chance to squire a couple of female friends around an amusement park this past weekend, I found myself unable to offer them a ride in any of my whips, yo. “Not a problem,” the younger one said, “we can take my Ford. It has 116,000 miles but it runs great.” Beggars can’t be choosers, so I agreed. Imagine my surprise when she arrived in said high-mile Blue Oval… and it’s a four-year-old Five Hundred! With the oft-derided CVT! “You’re the race driver,” she said, “so you have to drive.” Off we go!
Reviving a legendary nameplate inevitably invites comparisons. As is often the case, those for the new 2010 Ford Taurus SHO have not been favorable. Judging from reviews, forum postings, and (I’ll predict) the comments below, the 2010 lacks whatever made the original legendary. Well, I drove the original SHO back in 1989. And now I’ve driven the 2010 for a week. For better or worse, the similarities outweigh the differences. So, what’s missing in the SHO’s revival?
Ford’s new Taurus-based Interceptor will be available with the 3.5 liter Duratec, or the twin-turbo Ecoboost engine. Front wheel drive is standard, and AWD will be an option. But then, if you got to use other people’s tax money to buy your work ride, would you really save the few bucks by not buying the 365 hp, AWD version? Of course not. You are the law! Libraries can always have bake sales. [via Jalopnik]
When Ford announced that it would be building an “all-new” Police Interceptor model, speculation was rampant. At the time, we noted:
GM went to Australia for their police-duty RWD platform, might Ford do the same with a Falcon-based interceptor? Or is this the prelude to Panther 2.0? Or, as common sense seems to dictate, is the Interceptor “all new” simply because there’s just never been an Interceptor based on this Taurus before? If Ford is really engineering a dedicated fleet vehicle for US production with no civilian counterpart, they’re as crazy as GM is.
Against all odds, common sense won out (damn you Alan Mulally!). The Detroit News reports that the new Interceptor will debut tomorrow, and that it will be based on the Taurus’ D3 platform. Which gives us less than 24 hours to speculate about which engines will be turning which wheels, and whether Ford and Chevy’s FWD-RWD cop car flip-flop will favor one automaker or the other. Oh yes, and mourn the eventual passing of the Panther platform, now that there’s no hope of a police duty-inspired update. Actually, some of us might need to take our time with that last one…
UPDATE: Bonus police-duty Taurus gallery!