By on October 17, 2014

13 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinWhile 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.
LTXS10-NickShots-336We 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.
09 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinThe 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.
04 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee MartinThis one even has the manual transmission.
18 - 1993 Ford Taurus SHO Down On the Junkyard - Picture By Murilee Martin20 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.

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84 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO...”


  • avatar

    220 horsepower was a lot, back in the day when the Mustang GT only made five more ponies and the Corvette barely topped out at 250.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The Mustang GT was worlds apart. Not just the 300 lbs/ft and rwd. The SHO was nice, only if you were limited to a fwd midsize sedan. I was very disappointed by the transaxle than couldn’t keep up with the engine that wanted to be driven hard.

      • 0 avatar
        MoDo

        Had a Gold 5-speed 91 SHO in the family for a decade starting in the mid 90’s. Sure felt quick when we first got it but it was a pooch compared to my turbo Eagle Talon I picked up in the early 00’s. Car started out as a summer only gem, then got handed to my mom who drove it year round, then it was handed off to my sister and she sent it to some car scrapping program after a couple years of abuse.

        My brother had a 5.0L Mustang and yes, it was worlds apart. It actually made torque, the SHO had to be revved to the moon in order to be pushed back into your seat.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The Stang was much quicker off the line but the SHO would catch up thanks to that wide powerband. I was still young and irresponsible when I owned mine and I may or may not have beaten a few Mustang GTs in 60-100 pulls.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          You probably didn’t. There wasn’t much that could catch a Mustang GT back then, once it got away. I was irresponsible too at the time, and the only thing that could catch mine were Buick GNXs, given a long enough stretch.

          • 0 avatar
            korvetkeith

            A stick sho would hang with a 5.0 fox. It would probably beat an sn95 5.0 and it would stomp a 4.6 SN95.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @korvetkeith – As the saying used to go, “You Just Can’t Catch a 5.0!”. Should it have included “…Or A Taurus SHO!”???

            And are you sure you were “racing”?

            I’d just my accelerate my Fox 5.0 fast from every stop, say 3/4 throttle and 2,000 rpm upshift points. Every time. With clear traffic. It’d still partly pull me into the seat.

            I’d look over to see a CRX or something accelerating right by my side, with its front end rising and dropping dramatically. I guess they thought we were racing?

            My windows were tinted ‘double limo’ so they couldn’t see me, and because I played the stereo loud, I wouldn’t hear their engine roaring.

            I’d let up and watch them pull away, pumping their fists in ‘victory!’. Comical! Would make my day.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I don’t know where you guys found all the slow Fox 5.0s, but as the saying used to go, “You just can’t catch a 5.0.” There was no mention of the SHO though.

            Unless you’re talking convertible, automatic and standard 2.73 gear. But they were still faster than most of what was out there. You had to know about the optional 3.08s and 3.45s. Most dealers and consumers didn’t know.

            The only guys in my area with faster cars had Buick GNXs. They wouldn’t race me from a dead stop though. They knew better.

            The truly fast cars were highly modded and set up to drag race. But they only brought them out late Friday and Saturday nights for cash street racing. No stoplight to stoplight stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            tungsten

            Car and Driver 1989 Road Test Taurus SHO
            0-60: 6.7
            0-100: 16.9

            Road and Track 1992 Road Test Mustang GT (5-speed)
            0-60: 7.1
            0-100: 18.8

            I’ll give you one out, the ’92 Mustang had the 2.73 rear end. But swapping in a 3.73 isn’t going to make it walk away. The Mustang and the Taurus were equals in straight line acceleration, and Ford had Yamaha detune the V6 so that would be the case.

            Low-end torque is only good on the low end. The Mustang probably feels like a faster car around town. But once you get to speeds where aero matters, you need horsepower to move your brick of a car through the air, and the Mustang doesn’t have it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            $crew R&T! Car&Driver got to 60 in 6.2 secs. This was the ’86 notch, and it was slower than the ’86 IROC they ran it against. The ’87 notch was sub 6.

            It was no illusion. I drove the SHO, and it wasn’t just that it was slower. I would’ve toasted the clutch and shattered gears if I hammered it like I did the Mustang.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Here’s the link

            caranddriver.com/comparisons/the-racetrack-and-bottom-line-page-3

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          I would stay fender to fender with a cousin’s 88 GT with my Dad’s Spirit R/T, and then start pulling (slowyly) on him after about 90. The SHO on the other hand wasn’t quite as fast as either of those two.

        • 0 avatar
          OZSHO

          Not much quicker off the line at all. I usually always beat stock or even lightly modded Stang GT’s off the line in either my ATX SHO or my MTX SHO.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      220hp certainly was a lot. The Mustang GT back then was a really great car (excellent bang for the buck) but let’s remember that the 5.0L V8 didn’t really make five more ponies (and at 302cid it was actually 4.9L). Remember that when the jelly bean body style replaced the boxy 1980s body style, Ford advertized the 5.0L at 215hp and candidly admitted that the 225hp figure, from previous model years, was based on a handful of hand-picked engines and that 215 was probably more realistic.

      Either way, the GT was a great car in its day and the envy of many, many high school boys. We speculated that the LX, being lighter, was probably faster (and the SSPs bought by the CHP lent a lot of credibility to that theory).

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The notch 5.0s were 13 sec cars, straight off the showroom. I drove one and just went through the gears briskly. I put it in 3rd and expected 80 mph. 100 mph!

        But there was no way to leave them stock though. They responded to well to simple mods.

        The 4.9 was torque heavy and light on hp. It was a ’70s concept to make lots of torque quickly, shift early and keep the rpm down. This was supposed to save fuel.

        Remember, the dyno only gives a torque reading. HP is actually a calculation of how much torque and where it peaks on the rev band. Peak torque, low on the rev band, gives deceptively low hp figures. That’s why a diesel with 500 lbs/ft of torque can have as low as 180 hp.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I remember when these were the cream of the crop and way high on the cool factor. SHO Gun! Pow Pow Pow!!

    This is a 5-speed model too. They offered the auto starting ’93 so many of the Gen II cars have that. 220 hp ain’t a lot today but these only weighed 3,300 lbs or so. A MK 6 GTI has 200 horses and doesn’t weigh that much less.

  • avatar
    sportsuburbangt

    This takes me back, in 1995 I was in Michigan on route 23 by Adrian, and a SHO jsut like this one came up on me. We were rolling at about 70. We went for it and at about 100 my station wagon was taking him. I backed down at 120 and he was a couple car lengths behind me. I had a 71 Chrysler Town and Country. It had a 72 400, Edelbrock 4 barrel carb, 906 heads, dual exhaust, and 2.76 rear end. The SHOs were peppy cars, but the 383/400 4bbl and 727 torqueflite in a Cbody Chrysler was gold! My favorite all around combo. My wagon had a nice top end, and would cruise at 70-80mph all day long. I used to make regular trips from Michigan to Long Island in that wagon, 700+ miles each way. It would cruise at 70-80mph and not miss a beat. Good times!
    But it was not nearly as rust free as this SHO.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Stock, the SHO was good for an honest 140 mph. I kinda doubt your Chrysler had that kind of legs.

      • 0 avatar
        sportsuburbangt

        Of course it could not do a 140. It topped out at about 125. If it had the 440 it might have had a chance. The point was from 70 up to 100 it was faster than the SHO. The SHO in the early 90s was quite a car, but the big block Mopars from the early 70s had some juice.

    • 0 avatar
      OZSHO

      Lets get real here. 1 instance & you think you can take a SHO! My ’94 SHO will eat your T&C with your 383 alive. I have minor mods pushing 260HP right now & there’s no way you could stay with my MTX SHO. I can top 140mph in it as well. SHO’s top speed in stock form is 143mph so the guy you raced just didn’t want to go that fast apparently. I can go above 143mph as I have done 2 or 3 times. Also, in 3rd gear in my SHO would destroy your car in a matter of a 2 or 3 seconds & in 1st gear my SHO pulls hard off the line & would leave your wagon behind! People underestimate the Gen 1 & 2 SHO’s ALL the time & I can tell you a lot of instances where I not only beat cars with the same or more HP but I leave them in the dust & I can see them trying to keep up!

      • 0 avatar
        robertar

        you have made more sense than anyone else here. i have a 93atx and 166k miles, it will not quit. i am not a ford fanboy, i am however a gen 1-2 fanatic. i run 225/55-16 tires on stock wheels and it leaves the line so strong it freaks my son who has a srt charger. his car is faster and nicer but his car didnt cost 500 dollars with every option ford could throw at it. one day this car will break, that day i will fix it.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I’m stumped on this one. No personal evidence left behind other than the steering wheel cover and sliced headliner. That’s a shame. Being a guru on these things, there are a number of ways I could have killed off this one.

    -CCRM failure, no radiator fan, leading to overheat.
    -Clutch came apart. Too much work to replace.
    -The mileage puts it right there at the failure point of the tiny rod bearings.
    -Undiagnosable no-start caused by dead cam or crank sensor.
    -Put wrong fluid in the MTXIV. All synchros trashed.
    -MTXIV shot out a diff pin.
    -Wheel bearing, balljoints, or tie-rod failure. Too much money to be worth it.

    Characteristics of one that looks like this…
    -Rear brakes don’t work at all.
    -Has only had 1 tuneup in it’s life, consisting of just the front 3 spark plugs changed. Disintegrating plug wires not changed because $100 for a decent set.
    -Massive oil leaks from valve cover gaskets, and cam seals.
    -Burns oil at startup from old valve seals.
    -Plug wells full of oil.
    -Growling belt idler.
    -Belts are about to peace out.
    -Power steering pump makes an aerating noise like “ERRRRRRRRR”.
    -Rockers are rusted out under that cladding.
    -Temp and fuel gauges inop.
    -Oil level light flickers even when full.
    -HVAC panel buttons destroyed by fingernail.
    -CD player kills CD’s.
    -Sunroof switch dead. Map light housing broken and duct-taped up after getting access to close it permanently.
    -This one probably smells like pee and old soda.
    -But…..

    ..STILL SOUNDS RAD WHEN THE SECONDARIES OPEN.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I see a car which was relatively well cared for until either financial problems beset the first/second owner and it was traded/donated or the final owner picked it up cheap and quickly destroyed it.

      • 0 avatar
        Crabspirits

        It’s the latter for sure my friend. Note the plethora of scuzz inside, on the armrest, the shift knob. Pop spilled all over the door pocket and not cleaned. What kind of animal would drive this thing all day, gripping that ripped up piece of crap on the steering wheel?
        Note the oil residue on the valve cover. By SHO standards, that is a lot. No service performed here in years.

        Could be a construction guy or day-laborer who picked it up for under $2000. Somebody who is constantly dirty, and doesn’t wash hands. Could be an unappreciative high school kid.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      “Power steering pump makes an aerating noise like “ERRRRRRRRR”.”

      I thought all Fords of this era made that sound from new….

      “Oil level light flickers even when full.”

      True dis, when in gear at warm idle; even changing the sensor did not help. 2-3 guarts of Lucas Oil Stabilizer will finally keep it off.

      “This one probably smells like pee and old soda.”

      I just scrubbed mine out a couple of weeks ago; so hopefully it just smells like an old Taurus.

      I also believe like 28 Cars that the original owner maintained it well until they passed on or could no longer drive, and the final owner quickly sent it to it’s grave. Such a shame.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      Pee, old soda and a slight mildew odor. The smell of the Ford Taurus after about 3 years. And that’s if you weren’t a smoker.

    • 0 avatar
      Exfordtech

      Little trick on Fords to diagnose a failed crank sensor. When the key is turned to on (the run position), the check engine light illuminates to demonstrate bulb prove out. It stays on while cranking until the PCM detects the crank sensor signal. If the check engine light stays on while cranking it means the PCM isn’t seeing a crank signal. The wiring pigtail of the crank sensor on these SHOs was routed in a manner that required removal of various belts and pulleys and covers. It ran behind the inside of the timing belt cover if I remember correctly. Book labor time was around 6 hours if I recall as it was essentially the same as changing the timing belt. It could be done in less than half an hour by unplugging the old connector where it mated to the engine harness, cutting off the hardshell, and taping some mechanics wire to the sensor wires. Unbolt the sensor from below and pull it out gently to feed the mechanics wire down. Then remove the hardshell from the new sensor, tape to the mechanics wire and snake it back up. Pure gravy.
      The CCRMs were usually taken out by a short in the fuel pump or pump wiring harness. Just replacing the CCRM without finding the root cause was a comeback waiting to happen.
      As complicated as those intake runners look, they weren’t that hard to remove to access plugs, wires and valve covers.
      140 MPH stock was conservative and pretty stable on the highway. Don’t ask me how I know, but it involved a buddy at the time standing on one foot demonstrating his mastery of the alphabet in reverse on the side of the I95 on ramp to Rte 128 south in the wee hours of the morning after a late night somewhere in Providence. That would have been one expensive ticket without connections.
      These were a blast to drive back in the day. Properly maintained I saw several go 200k, but manual tranny only. The AX4S was not a robust unit.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I know you weren’t planning on it, but I think you helped explain why my T-Bird won’t start…does a crank sensor problem prevent spark from being sent to the spark plugs?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The crank sensor took the place of the distributor gear/rotor/timing, so yeah, no sensor, no spark. And no injectors firing.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Great.

            It’s gonna be a real b*tch because Ford put it behind the AC compressor on the 4.6 and that means a trip to the garage…

        • 0 avatar
          Exfordtech

          Without a crank signal the PCM doesn’t know the engine is turning over and thus no fuel injection or spark. Check engine light stays on because PCM is in bulb prove out to show that the bulb is working. There is no independent signal to the PCM regarding the ignition switch position. Lose the crank signal and the fuel pump, injectors, and ignition are shut down even though the PCM will still have power from the EEC relay. This is fairly universal to all Fords although later vehicles with PATS will complicate the diagnostic strategy somewhat.

        • 0 avatar
          Exfordtech

          By the way a loss of the cam sensor signal will not cause a no start. The fuel injection will default to bank firing of the injectors rather than sequential, but it will trigger a check engine light. In fact on start-up the engine can be in bank firing because it takes a few revolutions to synchronize the cam and crank signals. The ignition system will still function because it is a waste spark design and the PCM will fire the plugs for both the power and exhaust strokes but the timing will adjusted accordingly.

          • 0 avatar
            Crabspirits

            Our Lemons car (Geo Metro w/ MR SHO swap) would prove you wrong on that. We’ve gone through several cam and crank sensors. Usually when the cam sensor fails, you will be lucky to even get it started, then it will buck like crazy and die. This past race, we had one fail while brimming with enthusiasm prior to the race and watching it idle. The engine suddenly died to our panic and would not restart after throwing in a new crank sensor.

            Perhaps you are right on the check engine light though. We’ll be sure to remember that. I know when one (can’t remember which) dies, you lose the tach.

            I would attribute these failures not to the sensor itself, but on metal shavings (perhaps from the brakes?) that I’ve noticed stuck to the sensor magnet, which probably interferes with it’s ability to generate a usable signal. We’ve never tested this theory by risking putting a “dead” sensor back in though.

    • 0 avatar
      robertar

      you killed me with that one. i replaced all motor tranny mounts and both inner tierods, standard fare. found a like new hvac headunit in a boneyard only replaced it cause of the buttons. replaced the battery and alternator, not sure who killed who first but they were both dead. headliner dissolved, plug wells are full of oil, front main seal leaks onto exhaust. it will go 140 mph from a stop in less than 3000 ft. proven.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My favorite SHO is still the C&D Boss Wagon.

    http://media.caranddriver.com/files/return-of-the-boss-wagon-mazdaspeed-5c-d-boss-wagon-history.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      Me too. Would never do this to Mom and Dad’s old wagon; but there was a red Taurus wagon sitting up for quite some time in my town that I thought it would be fun to re-do like that; though with 20 year old parts, it would not have held up for very long.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      The AIV would be another strong contender:

      http://www.autoblog.com/2010/04/26/ultra-rare-sho-powered-aluminum-bodied-mercury-sable-aiv-spotted/

  • avatar
    Motornik

    Is that almost 1.5 million miles on this thing? Wow! I thought odometers didn’t go that high on the nineties cars

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      Look again. The 146003 is white-on-black, and the 7 is black-on-white. This means the last digit is 1/10 miles, so the car has 146,003.7 miles, not such a big deal.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      A Ford lasting that long!?

      Much less a SHO?

      I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona that I’d be willing to sell you…

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Where is this oceanfront property located? I daily drove the 1995 Taurus wagon in my avatar 120 miles a day until I was able to work from home most days recently. It has 193,000 miles on it.

        Yes, it has had work on it over the years; though much of it was my own doing. And yes, I just had the wheel bearings replaced, and yes, the suspension and rear springs need to be rebuilt/replaced. But it is still going.

        Driving it home last night, it was so quiet, and my seat is like that old recliner you hate to get rid of because it is so comfortable. It reminded me of one of the reasons why I keep it on the road. It does have slight mildew smell (having been missed by a few feet by a tornado in the middle of Hurricane Rita did not help the water intrusion), but no pee and old soda smell.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The extra power (and likely more aggressive driving) experienced by the SHO was very unhelpful in terms of reliability.

          Before I had my SHO I had a plain ’87 Taurus GL. That car wasn’t the best in history but it did OK, particularly given that it was my first car and experienced all the abuse a high-school kid can muster during my first couple years of ownership. It had chronic motor mount problems and an alternator died on me but otherwise it was reliable for 80,000 miles. My SHO was a completely different story as outlined in my comment below.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          Northern Arizona.

          I have a 1995 LeSabre with 216k miles on it. I know the whole “couch” thing- it’s a big reason that I still have the car.

          200k miles in a car isn’t much though. My father owned a 2000 Impala and abused it. The oil changes were done maybe every 40k miles (Not a typo). It mad 214k before blowing a head gasket.

          When your Taurus has another 1.3 million miles added, I’ll call a Realtor. ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          ^This. I daily drive a 95 sedan with the 3L and AX4N. 190K+, runs/drives great. I had a 93 3L AXOD and I finally sold it with aprox 300,000 on it. The engine had a burnt valve and the steering rack was leaking horribly, but when I ran into the guy I sold it to several years later, he had repaired those two issues and his brother drove it 130 miles a day until it was hit and totalled.

          The 3.0 has plenty of power for the car, and gets decent mileage. For those of you who swear by Toyotas and their fuel mileage, compare an early-mid 90s Camry 4cyl to a 3.0 Taurus. They are tied on city and the Taurus is slightly better on the highway. Thats with a larger engine that doesnt sound like an angry hornets nest when you rev it.

          I recently drove a V-6 Camry, think it was a 94 or 95. Anyway, the interior felt cramped (the top of my head was firmly pressed to the headliner unless I did the gangsta lean thing), the engine made the most unplesent noises and not a lot of power. The ride felt harsh and was noisy, which is acceptable if the car handles well. It doesnt. The owner starts bragging about how many miles its good for…except both the engine and trans had been rebuilt. Well, sure, you can probably nurse that ill-handling crap box to 500k if you keep dumping money into it.

          There’s one thing about owning an older, high mileage American car: parts and labor are pennies on the dollar compared to Japanese cars (not to mention Europeans). If not a Taurus, Id probably drive a 4 cyl Accord. I had a 95 LX with about the same mileage as my current Taurus. It handled well, much better than the soggy Camry, but the non-Vtec 4 pot was very underpowered in the mountains, and the ride and comfort wasnt as good as my Taurus.

          The second gen Taurus gets a lot of things right. Its easy to thumb your nose and talk crap because 20 years later, most are cheap, therfor beat up and illmaintained, but theyre damn good cars. My neighbor has a 3rd gen with 258k on it. I recently changed the coil pack and gave it a tune up (plugs, wires, oil/filter) for her, the thing runs great.

      • 0 avatar
        mister_p

        Whaaaaaat? I have an ’89 SHO with 465,000 kms, that’s about 300,000 miles! It starts up right away and runs great.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    As you know, SHOs were manual-only until 1993. The automatic version had a slight displacement increase (for a fatter torque curve, presumably) but same rated HP.

    The manual trannies were o.k., but the clutch, cribbed from a light Mazda pickup, was fragile.

    The car could be set up to handle quite well, with a bigger rear stabilizer bar that would counteract any understeer.

    The car was definitely under braked. Larger front discs could be accommodated by replacing the front spindles with those from the 3rd generation SHO.

    The engine loved to rev, and pulled hard to its 7000 rpm redline. You either like that characteristic or you like the big fat torque curves of large-displacement V-8’s or aggressively turbocharged engines. An easy 20 additional hp was available by changing the crossover pipe, replacing the exhaust system, going to a slightly larger diameter throttle body and using a smaller diameter crankshaft pulley. So equipped, this was a 6 second to 60 car, quite fast for its time, barely faster than a V-6 Camry now.

    I owned mine for 11 years and loved it. I had a mechanic who specialized in this car; and when he closed his doors it didn’t make sense to keep it. The usual age-related failures started creeping up, especially in the suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Ford raided Mazda’s parts bins like crazy back then.

      They pulled the transmission for the 5-speed Thunderbird SC from a Mazda pickup in part because it was the only box they could get quickly that could handle the torque, and partly because it was the only 5-speed that was long enough to put the shifter in the right spot in the console.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I loved these cars when I was younger as there wasn’t a whole lot to love when it came to affordable performance in the 90’s. Now they’re just an interesting footnote, I can’t find a good reason to own one now. They’re all seemingly used up.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I had an ’89 that I bought used in 1997 with 68,000 miles. Took it up to about 160,000 before trading it in for my 2004 Acura TSX. Fun car, but an unmitigated piece of junk except for the engine. Still the worst-built and least reliable car I’ve ever owned.

    I think everything else on the car (including the transmission) failed at some point during my ownership, many components twice. Beyond the fairly intense regular maintenance, I remember replacing two power steering pumps, two A/C compressors, a radiator, God knows how many alternators, various suspension components, a few power window switches, and a catalytic converter. I did succeed in making one clutch that was mostly gone when I bought the car hold up for all of those miles, though.

    Would not buy again. Not worth it, even though the engine may be the best-sounding V6 ever.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      So you bought a used car and drove it for almost 100k and how many years because you hated it?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I liked it… when it was working. It just often didn’t work.

        During the later part of my ownership I was in a period (having just graduated college) where I had almost zero money. I knew I wanted to buy a new car, but it took me a few years to get into a financial situation where that made sense. But the SHO was so unreliable that I took on an abused project-condition ’88 Accord from a family member, did some basic catch-up maintenance on it, and drove it as a backup car during the frequent SHO outages.

  • avatar
    Carilloskis

    My Dad bought a 93 SHO manual brand new and still owns it. It was his primary car from 93-01 and my moms primary car 01-04 (My dad had an 02 e46 M3 for a few years then sold it) Dads primary again from 04-11 when he bought 5.0 mustang manual with brembo brakes pkg. It became my yonger sisters daily driver untill she bought a 2012 cruze and my little brothers daily driver till he started at the Air Force Academy this summer. My Mom is currently using the SHO since my youngest sister totaled her Passat TDI. I honestly cannot tell all the money my parents have put into the car, but for a few years it did not have working ABS unitl my dad finaly found a working ABS control modual in a junk yard. Before I even stated driving the clutch was up graded. There are some cracks in the plastic trim from spending alot of time out in the Arizona sun, but it is probably one of the only SHOs of that era with its original owner. I honestly don’t think my parent will ever get rid of the car at this point.

  • avatar
    skor

    There is a Youtube vid of a guy who found a SHO engine of this type in the bone-yard and stuffed it into a 1st gen Ford Probe. The swap was practically a bolt-in, the most difficult part was hacking together the wiring harness.

  • avatar
    Ridgerunner

    I would like that engine to make a coffee table for the basement. Would look very cool with the intake runners under glass.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    My friend Johnny’s dad (who really got me into loving cars) had two of these, a maroon ’89 he used as a daily driver and a silver one as a parts car/backup car.

    Man, that thing was so cool to my six year old brain. He also had a Trans Am and a Rickman-tuned Honda motorcycle.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I certainly remember that commercial. And the SHO’s starring role in The Santa Claus, which caused me to want one at 10 years old. Silver over black leather, and with a car phone!? Super cool. Especially compared to his ex-wife’s Volvo 850GL in forest green over camel.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I’m waiting for the follow-up to this, a similar vintage Dodge Spirit R/T. Something else was in a sports sedan comparo in C&D back then (’93). Maxima?

    The first gen car and even this 2nd gen were impressive for the time. Ford hadn’t had anything this exciting in a four door wrapper in a long time and 220 hp was pretty good for the time in the US. Standard 3.0 V6 was 140-ish, 3.8 was the same power but more torque if I recall.

    The parents looked at a 92 Sable, a 92 Lesabre and a 92 Camry XLE V6. The Camry won. And continues to do so mostly. I still see many more of the rolling testament to Toyota “overbuild it and they will come” quality than I ever thought I would 22 years later. And no Taurus/Sable or Lesabre of that time.

    But I digress, the SHO was something special then, even if the old beancounter Taurus pieces made it a PITA to own. A shame they will all be hooned into this condition, until one shows up at an auction with 2 miles on.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      An elderly lady in my church has a second generation Taurus sedan; dark green with tan interior. It is the perfect “driven by a little old lady every Sunday” example of a car, and it looks great. I can only wonder what will happen to it when she passes on.

      Another member has a Ford Tempo; but in much worst shape, with both front and back bumpers missing. Curse Ford for putting bumpers made of PVC plastic on the Taurus/Sable, Tempo/Topaz, and Aerostar of that day.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      My Parents had a 91 Spirit R/T and then traded that in on a 94 SHO.

      This was during my High School/early driving years….oh the stories those two cars created. The things done with them are still talked about when I get together with old friends from High School.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        My parents had a Spirit R/T too. I wonder how many are left? Can’t be many. A semi turned left from the right lane of an intersection and turned the front of my parent’s R/T into a steel pancake.

        Was your Spirit R/T red or white?

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          there can’t be many. That turbo IV was pretty fragile in the head area. I know in the 58K miles my parents had theirs it went back to the dealer on a tow truck at least a dozen times. The thing ate a timing belt every 10K miles. I thought it was odd that it was so unreliable since the mechanic at the dealership also owned one so he was supposed to be THE guy to work on it in the area. I know he would replace the timing belt every time it was in for anything regardless of mileage between changes (under warranty) because Chrysler supposedly would pay on that service no matter what.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I think there were only like 1500 or so ever built. Exclusivity doesn’t equal collectibility though.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Looks like Conan O’Brien’s SHO to me…

    • 0 avatar
      blppt

      His skit involving his SHO on his Tonight Show premiere was hilarious. Cruising the streets of Burbank playing Billy Ocean, pointing at hot chicks and instantly impregnating them.

  • avatar
    PolestarBlueCobalt

    Last time I went to the junkyard about a month ago, there were two side-by-side and another two scattered around the Ford section. I was in a hurry to get a door for my Mustang, so I didnt look inside them, but part of me died on the inside walking by knowing they were going to die :\'(.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    I owned a 92 SHO, white on black (with white wheels that were impossible to keep clean) and drove it for three years before switching to an SVT Contour. I pretty much disliked everything about that car. The clutch was heavy, the shifting was like moving a axe handle through a vat of peanut butter, the brakes were undersized, the numbers on the radio wore off, the sunroof leaked, the oil pressure sensor leaked, and the leather interior smelled like a car that was three times its age.

    The only positives were a really nice engine growl, comfortable seats, and the JBL audio system. To me the car always felt like a chainsaw when a scalpel was preferred.

    • 0 avatar
      OZSHO

      U need to work out more if the clutch in your SHO was too heavy. I have no issues in mine & it shifts as fast as any Stang or SVT Contour. My sunroofs never leaked in mine either. The SHO requires maintenance just like your Contour but a little more due to its complexity. If you have a little money though SHO’s will run for yrs like mine do!

  • avatar
    Spartan

    I have a silver ’94 MTX that I recently gave to my uncle. I drove it as my daily driver in the winter for a while and loved the car. My wife has a 2010 SHO w/ the performance package and while I love the newer SHO’s TTV6, that Yamaha V6 sings when it’s revved to redline. That engine’s soundtrack was unbelievable coming out of a Ford Taurus. The current SHO’s sound like vacuum cleaners, but they pull like a freight train.

    I clocked the 94 in the low 6s to 60 and easily would hit mid 14’s in the 1/4 mile. All it needed was some decent rubber and a hard launch and off it went. Stock Fox body Mustangs were easy kills. 3rd gear in the SHO had some serious midrange pull.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    I can hear the chat about “What are we going to do with dad’s old car? It’s just a Taurus, why did he keep it so long?” Yeas, this Taurus is old enough to have been an ‘estate car’.

    It maybe got passed on to a kid who trashed it, thinking it’s ‘just a Ford Taurus’. Or sold cheap on flea-bay, to gear head looking for a ‘stick car to have fun with’. But, then with CA Emissions laws, a CEL puts the car in junk yard.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Maxima SPEC V’d would have gobbled sales here.. Especially when I recall the lengthy warranties Nissan offered then.

  • avatar
    OZSHO

    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.

  • avatar
    yamaha33410

    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…

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