Junkyard Find: 1986 Ford Taurus L

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
I look for good examples of automotive history for this series, and today’s car certainly qualifies: one of the very first Ford Tauruses ever built, a car that came off the assembly line during the first month of Taurus production.I found this option-laden ’86 in a San Francisco Bay Area yard back in February.
Due to final-stretch delays at the Atlanta assembly plant, production of the radical new Taurus didn’t begin until the middle of October in 1985. The door sticker on this car shows it was built in that month, and the sequence-number portion of the VIN is in the low 100,000s (I’ve blanked out the final four digits). I’ve photographed two previous ’86 Tauruses in junkyards ( this MT-5 in Arizona and this LX in California), and their sequence numbers were in the 150,000s and 250,000s, respectively, with build dates of March 1986 and August 1986. If anyone knows the starting sequence number for the Taurus, please share that information with us.
Built in Georgia, shipped to Wyoming, where it must have been one of the first of the futuristic new Tauruses seen in the Mountain Time Zone.
These cars were shockingly modern-looking when they first hit the streets, with their flush, Audi-like glass, big interior space, and aerodynamic lines looking nothing like the boxy LTDs they replaced. Ford sold millions of first-generation Tauruses.
This one has the base-model L trim level, but that didn’t stop the original buyer from loading it up with plenty of options, including the 140-horse, 3.0-liter Vulcan V6.
Cruise control!
AM/FM radio with cassette deck and four speakers!
Mud flaps!
Yes, even the tilt wheel and split bench seat made it into this creampuff.
Ford was still using five-digit odometers (not to mention 85 mph speedometers) in 1986, but I think the condition of this car’s interior suggests that 109,321 miles might be the true reading.
An American car with the shape and feel we’ve never seen before.You’ll find links to more than 2,000 additional Junkyard Finds at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Apr 20, 2020

    October 1985. That was the month and year that Marty McFly traveled back in time to 1955 in Doc Brown's DeLorean. FYI.

  • Felipe Felipe on Dec 06, 2023

    Will it have the front bumper of the 1986 Ford Taurus?

  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.
  • Grant P Farrell If you floor it in the new model (the only way to experience the extra horsepower) your not getting anywhere near the best fuel economy. So you can get the same mpg as a 20 year old car, or drive fast but not both at the same time.
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