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BF Success Story: 1991 Ford Taurus SHO Roadtrips to IL

Image courtesy of Zach Gilbert

Here’s an uplifting story in a sea of bad news: a reader has purchased the recent Barn Finds Exclusive listing for a super clean 1991 Ford Taurus SHO. Zach Gilbert posted an epic roadtrip story on the Facebook group page Underappreciated Survivors detailing how he snagged the SHO after reading a post on this site about a supremely rusty Toyota pickup. Once done with the article, he moseyed on over to the Barn Finds classifieds listings and began working out the details with another reader that had the SHO up for sale. The rest, as they say, is history.

Image courtesy of Zach Gilbert

Zach notes he convinced a buddy to make the trip with him after negotiating a deal over the phone for the SHO. He bought the car sight unseen and booked air travel from Illinois to Washington State, where the SHO resided. Obviously, doing this sort of thing can be nerve-wracking, but feeling out the seller over the phone can help either absolve or confirm your feelings about the owner’s trustworthiness. Fortunately for Zach, all went well over the phone and the SHO was as-described upon laying eyes on it for the first time.

Image courtesy of Zach Gilbert

Obviously, based on the photos, Zach found plenty of interesting roadside attractions to take in, but there was plenty of monotonous highway travel, too. The SHO performed almost flawlessly, and Zach noted he “….averaged 90-100mph @ 26mpg from Washington to Illinois, where the roads get rougher and the speed limit slows down, and of course, the tolls. Cruised at 75-85 the rest of the way.” Obviously, the SHO of any generation makes for an excellent highway cruiser, and in this instance, Zach got a very affordable Q-ship with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Image courtesy of Zach Gilbert

Issues were few, with the starter failing somewhere in Indiana (he bump-started it the rest of the way home) and the shifter cables disintegrating two miles from his destination once back in Illinois. Overall, the SHO performed flawlessly, an impressive feat for an old-school enthusiast’s car purchased without even so much as a PPI. Zach seems to love the SHO, and indicates it will remain in his personal collection for some time to come. Congrats to buyer and seller!

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!


  1. KSwheatfarmer

    Good job Zach,now I want to see that truck museum.

    Like 4
  2. Brian Ach

    26mpg at 100mph LOL

    Like 6
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Congratulations to Zach for his purchase and for doing a story about his adventure. It takes some guts to do this; it wasn’t like he was driving a recent acquisition across town. Who knows what might happen to a 30 year old car.

    A nitpick: I don’t doubt he drove some at 90-100 mph (the picture shows it), but I’m quite sure he didn’t “average” 90-100 mph. I had an SHO, and 26 mpg is about the best one could do, on a good day, at much lower speeds.


    Like 4
  4. lc

    Well, that reminds me of when I sold (on Ebay) my 81 Mercury Zephyr Z7 in 2018 to a man out of Prescott, AZ. He did the same thing by having me call him probably to get a feel for me. He then rented a car, and drove from Prescott all the way to Colorado Springs, CO where I picked him up at the airport. I drove him down to where I had the Zephyr parked at. He was amazed at the condition of the car, and I think he immediately fell in love with it. He drove it all the way back to Prescott. As far as I know, he had no issues.

    Like 1
  5. angliagt angliagt

    MOCK’S FORD,in Grants Pass,Oregon –
    Not sure how that ties in with this story,but that’s
    where I bought a 1979 Fiesta Sport new.
    Also bought a Datsun 1200,in great shape,
    for $500,off their “AS IS” lot.

    Like 1
  6. 77pantera

    Few corrections to this shorty. First off, we drove the car from Grants Pass, OR, to Buffalo NY, not IL, that was merely one of our pit stops. 3,092 miles total. Second off, yes, we did do 90-100mph the whole way from WA to IL, running a trusty V1. In Montana, on 212, we tested out the limits of the speedo more than once… The old Taurus has no problem burying the factory 140mph speedo. And yes, we averaged 24-26 mpg. Our worst was is in Iowa, were running against heavy wind @ 80 netted us 23mpg. I was honestly really surprised at the mpg the old SHO returned. I’m used to my supercharged 03 Marauder with 4.10’s, that at best usually brings in 18’s on long trips.

    Like 0

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