12K Original Miles: 1995 Ford Taurus SHO

The Ford Taurus SHO is one of the most under-appreciated performance cars of the 1990s, likely due to the production volumes that made them a common sight at corner used car lots. The SHO was well-regarded as a respectable performer but never quite became a sensation, with other performance models of the day eeking it out in competition. This SHO is a survivor with just 12,825 original miles and seemingly in excellent condition. Find it here on eBay where bidding is at $7K with no reserve.

The SHO stood out with a factory aero kit, unique alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and unique front end treatment, among other tweaks. But perhaps that wasn’t enough for performance car shoppers, who wanted more separation from the standard family sedan offering. The SHO certainly had the goods under the hood with a Yamaha-designed six-cylinder that would get up and go when asked, along with being fairly reliable over the long term.

The SHO, however, looked just like a Taurus inside. You certainly can understand why Ford opted to keep the cockpit pretty standard across the range, as it would have added a layer of complexity to give the SHO its own cockpit treatment. But when shoppers go looking for a performance car, they often expect to see more than a few visual distinctions from more sedentary models like a base-spec Taurus GL sedan. Obviously, with such low miles, the SHO is in outstanding condition inside and out.

The intake runners of the SHO powerplant are among the most beautiful designs ever stuck inside a production model, running neck-and-neck with the Alfa Romeo 164. The engine bay is spotless, and despite the low miles, I would still look to get some of the must-do 60K mile service work done now for maximum peace of mind. While I’d love to find one with a stick, the SHO is one of those orphan cars that I’m not just sure I’d pick over potentially owning a 996-chassis Porsche or other more mainstream performance car.

Comments

  1. Euromoto Member

    Yawn.

    Like 9
  2. Howard A Member

    I can say without reservation, the Taurus/ Sable has the unmitigated distinction of being the car I lost all interest in what came out of Detroit. I had a friend had a car just like this, he thought was just the neatest thing. Oh, the motor spun like a sewing machine, he loved that sound with his foot to the floor. A 421, tri-power it wasn’t, sorry. Naturally, I was not impressed. The gee-gaws and wizardry were amazing, more Asian than American, unheard of at the time, a Japanese engine in a Ford? BLASPHEMY, us purists cried, but it was clear, this front drive, 92 valve, plastic jelly bean crap was here to stay, for a while, anyway. As much as I rip on modern trucks today, I was glad to see these rust away.

    Like 8
    • bone

      what he said ! Plus, naming a car after a bull ? Couldn’t they have found something better to call it ?

      Like 3
      • Euromoto Member

        I don’t know…works for Lamborghini

        Like 10
    • FireAxeGXP

      Howard! Love ya man. Great great commentary.

      Like 1
  3. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    I remember these well; they were at least better than the MT5 which preceded it. Unfortunate that the SHO was a combo of vanilla styling in a jelly bean shape; vanilla bean?

    It coulda been a contendah…

    Like 4
  4. RoughDiamond Member

    I really like these SHOs, but IMO this one needs a third pedal. There’s nothing like the sound of that Yamaha motor winding out. Good luck finding someone who knows how to work on it today though.

    Like 15
    • Rick Hunter

      I had the 2000, Pearl White with the 5 speed. It would jump to 130 MPH in a few breaths. It had the Recaro leather seats. One of my most favorite csrs I ever owned. If this had the 5 speed I’d buy it in a heartbeat but the idiots turned it into a family jelly bean. What a waste.

      Like 3
  5. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Jeff, good job describing the car. I had one, liked it. The engine was indeed great, and mine was a 5-speed so it had that going for it. The styling was a bit ho-hum but it did have some level of distinction. It wasn’t a 60’s style muscle car, but by the 1990’s such things were completely out of touch with then-current conditions. It fit me fine for what I needed at the time: four-door family car with some extra oomph and flair.

    Like 18
  6. nycbjr Member

    Always loved these, esp the 2nd gen, but the autotragic kills it for more.. agree with euro “yawn”

    Like 1
  7. TimS Member

    To me it’s cool because it survived this long. And I can’t drive standard shift anyway so the number of pedals is meaningless. A heart-stopper? No way. But more interesting than a lot of basket case $30k projects we see on here.

    Like 11
  8. GroveMan50

    If my lotto ticket for tonight’s Mega Millions hits, I’m in!

    Like 5
  9. bone

    what he said ! Plus, naming a car after a bull ? Couldn’t they have found something better to call it ?

    Like 1
    • Dcor

      Well it worked out pretty good for Lamborghini so..

  10. Rw

    They ran good ,sucked real bad to work on.

    Like 1
  11. Mike Hawke

    Lot of hate going on here for a helluva good product. Used to ride the Autobahns all day at 130mph in these. Had two of these in the 1990-1996 timeframe and will gladly buy another with the 5-speed. Loved spinning the motor up past 7K in each gear and blowing by German machinery. Had one problem with a fuel pump over 6 years. That’s it. Had a lot of fun with Ford products back in those days such as the Merkur XR4Ti, Probe GT, the Supercoupe, as well as the SHO.

    Like 16
  12. fran

    Darn, a 2 pedel car, need one more!

    Like 2
  13. charlie Member

    For the price you can not do better. But do change the timing belt and all the other belts and hoses before you lose the engine. These were sweet back then, and, for all practical purposes, like driving only a few MPH over the 75 mph or less, speed limit, they are great cars. Room for the kids and the luggage. And I liked, and still do like, the jelly bean shape, especailly the 2nd generation with all the ovals. And better named after a bull than a shrimp (Camaro) or a non-starter (Nova).

    Like 10
  14. charlie Member

    For the price you can not do better. But do change the timing belt and all the other belts and hoses before you lose the engine. These were sweet back then, and, for all practical purposes, like driving only a few MPH over the 75 mph or less, speed limit, they are great cars. Room for the kids and the luggage. And I liked, and still do like, the jelly bean shape, especailly the 2nd generation with all the ovals. And better named after a bull than a shrimp (Camaro) or a non-starter (Nova).

    Like 3
  15. Kurt Member

    Wonder if that SHO engine could fit in a Mustang of the same age? That could change yawns to get-it-ons.

    Like 2
  16. Rick Hunter

    I had the 1990, Pearl White with the 5 speed. It would jump to 130 MPH in a few breaths. It had the Recaro leather seats. One of my most favorite csrs I ever owned. If this had the 5 speed I’d buy it in a heartbeat but the idiots turned it into a family jelly bean. What a waste.

    Like 2
    • Dale S

      I would choose a jelly bean shape over a boring square box any day of the week. Even a ’75 Pacer, which I once owned. Best car ever!

      Like 3
  17. Rob

    I had the original 89 SHO. One of my favorite cars. A real sleeper for it’s time. The engine was bench tested to 8500 rpm but the rev limiter was set at 7400 for street operation. I put 155,00 miles on it in 4-1/2 years mostly highway and buried the needle once. Changed the oil every 3,000 miles and it ran flawlessly. I credit the Yamaha engine for it’s success. BYW I averaged 25 mpg cruising at 75.

    Like 7
  18. ChiTownJeff

    I had a ’94 SHO with the 5 speed. It was fun to drive but the engine was the best part. I needed a new clutch every 40,000 miles. I never had a car that needed clutches so often. They usually last me about 100,000 miles. I replaced the leather seats at one point because the driver’s seat wore out. I replaced the heater/ac controls with controls from a ’95 because the buttons on the ’94 were covered in a soft membrane that wore out. The ’95 had more durable buttons. I put real fog lights on the car because the factory ones were about as bright as marker lights. A friend of mine thought I should have kept it because he thought it would become a collectable, but I knew it wasn’t special enough to keep it.

    Like 3
  19. ChiTownJeff

    Fun fact: The headlights and hood on the SHO are from the Mercury Sable.

    Like 3
  20. Joe

    Guy has a $499.00 doc fee added to the selling price.

    Like 1
  21. Greg Millard

    Have owned an 89 and 92 and currently have another 92M- with posi, sway bars and Koni(s) – Fab cars – my other hobby ride is a 68 Z/28 – also grt but I say ‘vive la difference’

    Like 2
  22. Burt

    Reportedly this version had 220 HP and weighed 3300 lbs. Not terrible for a family sedan.

    Like 3
  23. Terry

    I was a service manager at a F-L-M dealer when these came out. My service rep came in and handed me the keys and said ” Go have fun” My lead tech and the parts manager went for a ride and once out of sight I stopped, wound it up and dumped the clutch. It didn’t move and I thought I blew the clutch until the smoke started boiling from the tires. Once it hooked it was a rocket, faster than my 5.0 stick shift Mustang LX demo was. I hit third at 125 mph and had to shut it down due to lack of roadway. We best on it for 40 or so minutes and the sales staff and owners beat it for another hour or so. Never missed a beat and no one was able to find out what the top end was as we had no freeways close. I’d love to have a nice stick car for a semi daily driver.

    Like 7
  24. freakinutz Member

    In 89 when these made their debut, they only came with a 3rd pedal. I owned two of them, Ebony and Ivory. Great cars if you treated them properly and serviced them as required. Slowly through the model years, automatics were put into play and by the time this model year came around, the 3rd pedal became extinct. The only issue I had with either car was the left side bolster on the leather drivers seat.

    Like 1
  25. Matt

    Bought the new V8 version of this as an exec-demo with about 4K miles on it back in early 2000. Super comfortable, every available option, silver/gray leather interior. Car was a blast to drive, just loved living in the upper rpm’s. 5 speed would’ve been great, but sadly no longer offered. There was one performance company that I remember who specialized in making these cars really boogie (forget their name). People recommend getting the cams “pinned” cause they might warp. Dunno, but it was definitely a fast and fun daily driver and handled pretty darn good to boot.

    Like 1
  26. Emel

    There’s a vid on Youtube…..T-Bird SC vs a Taurus SHO.
    The T-Bird SC blew it off the track !
    As I use to on I-485 around South Charlotte.

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