(VERY LATE) Monday Mileage Champion: 2002 Ford Taurus
Tauruses are the kudzu of cars here in the South.
You find them everywhere to the point that you never ever notice em’. At the Waffle House. At the Coke Museum. At Braves games, and most definitely at the heavily suburbanized neighborhoods of metro-Atlanta.
To be perfectly frank about it, Atlanta has always seemed to be a Taurus-tee type of place. Popular, affordable, a little bland, and just plain functional. Tough to hate. Tough to love. Such is the case of the Taurus.
We even had a Ford plant that built Tauruses by the hundreds of thousands year, after year, after seemingly endless year. 22 long years in all with many quality awards rightly given to the hometown team. This particular one you see above had well over 263,000 miles before the owner finally decided to use it as trade-in fodder.
Ford made the last generation of mid-sized Tauruses for eight long, fleet ridden model years. In much of the United States you would see Impalas and Crown Vics of varying bare equipment levels take up the brunt of modern day government mules. But here in Georgia during the 2000’s it sometimes seemed like Taurus-land.
The auctions that liquidated these vehicles would offer three things with every Taurus that was liquidated by the local, city and state governments. White paint. Black antenna masts. V6 3.0 Engine. Ford offered the hammer of a 24 valve DOHC engine with 200 horsepower engine, or an over-head valve model whose origins dated all the way back to the era of Sony Walkmans and MS-DOS. 1986 to be exact.
The question(s) for today are the usual. Which engine is it? What price did it sell for at auction? Oh, I’ll even throw in third. What are your experiences with Tauruses… or Atlanta for that matter? If you were just passing through don’t worry about it. A lot of people do thanks to our super-sized airport.
Corntrollio on Nov 01, 2012
I had a first gen Taurus. It was a company car originally, but all miles were driven by my family, and we bought it out for at most $4K including TTL. It went 180K on the first transmission despite the abuse thrown at it. At some point beyond that I gave it to my sister (even worse abuse), so it probably went over 200K before it got traded for something else as a 16-year old car. The engine was fine -- pulling 28-30 mpg hwy without issue. Major repairs were probably air conditioning -- maybe twice, because the replacement unit blew out. The original unit stopped running at some point, and I ran without A/C for a while, but then the pulley seized and ripped the belt, so it had to be replaced. I probably put 6 remanufactured alternators in it within 18 months, and the last one held for the life of the car (all replaced under warranty). Other than that, pretty routine stuff -- a tierod or CV joint here or there because it wears out after a while. Except for the A/C unit, I probably spent at most $500-800/year on that car for maintenance, and it just kept running. Cheap to operate, cheap to maintain, cheap insurance.
FJ60LandCruiser on Nov 02, 2012
I drove one of these turds working for the city in Lower Alabama. Slap some generic municipal sticker on the door, an official-looking license plate, and prepare to be ignored. There was an engine, transmission, AC, and an interior that sent me back into an 80s timewarp of slippery blue cloth and Ford Escorts. If you could ever try to homogenize a car, by committee, this would probably be it. I could see drones in a dystopian future driving these things turned grey by industrial pollution to their 14 hour shifts at the Satanic mills. I'd pay 500 bucks, take it to a shooting range, and pump it full of 50 caliber holes.
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