Junkyard Find: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

While the Ford Taurus has been the most numerous vehicle in American self-service wrecking yards for at least 15 years, most of the time they are the background against which the more interesting cars stand out. Only the SHO version seems worthy of inclusion in this series, and until today we’ve seen just just this ’96 Taurus SHO with V8. These cars have been very affordable for quite some time, but there remains enough of an enthusiast base to keep most of the survivors on the road. Here’s one that I spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area back in August.

We see quite a few Taurus SHOs in 24 Hours of LeMons racing (in fact, Sajeev Mehta reviewed one for us a while back), and they’re both very quick and very fragile. Transmissions, engines, brakes, suspension— you name it, the Taurus SHO can break it in spectacular fashion.

The heart of the first- and second-gen Taurus SHO is the frantic Yamaha-designed V6 engine. This one was good for 220 horsepower, which sure doesn’t seem like much these days.

This one even has the manual transmission.

20 years from now, when the few remaining ’93 SHOs are worth big currency units, someone will find this post and marvel at the idea of a rust-free California car like this going to The Crusher. Reminds me of the very solid ’70 Buick GS I saw in the Oakland U-Pull, circa 1983.

Another reason why the Taurus is the best selling car in America, again.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • OZSHO OZSHO on Jan 16, 2015

    If looked after SHO's for Gen 1 & 2 will run for 30 yrs. I have 3 SHO's. 2 of them with over 250K miles. Other than minor things on the inside they need from wear, they're still very fast & will run with anything & with light mods you can run & beat some higher 300+HP cars easily! You get your tuneups every 60K on them you'll be fine. SHO Source in the Portland/WA state area have a lot of parts for all SHO generations.

  • Yamaha33410 Yamaha33410 on Apr 14, 2015

    Having owned both kinds of cars, my SHO's would blow the doors off a Mustang 5.0 stock for stock, no comparison to a 97 4.6... And if you have a 2004 GT with bad rear end gears, you are a goner too... My slightly modded SHO would ever so slightly pull on stock 2005 GT's from 60-110mph..... They are just terrible off the line, I've raced a guy who pulled a 13.9 with a VW GTI at the drag strip the same night on the way home and pulled him on the top end... Stock engine parts, light flywheel, y pipe and exhaust mods only... The SHO is everything the Mustang is not, and vise versa... They both are fun to drive and have their place.... Now if I could put a good SHO engine in my SN95 vert, I think I would like that more then the current 5.0 in there, the only thing I would miss is the down low torque at 0-20mph and the v8 sound... But the SHO engine would be faster with the high end power and redline no doubt...

  • Pig_Iron 💝
  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.