Hard Work Done: 1995 Ford Taurus SHO

We all have cars we wish we could own if money and space were no object. The Ford Taurus SHO has been on that list for years for me, despite the fact, there are plenty of them around and usually for relatively short money. Although I’d prefer a first generation model, clean second gens like this 1995 model listed here on craigslist are hard to resist as well, as they preserve the magic of that beautiful Yamaha-built six-cylinder mill. This one has had a boatload of important maintenance tackled and is listed with a reasonable $3,900 asking price.

What really bums me out about reliving my fantasies around owning a SHO is how little Ford cares about building performance sedans. Really, no manufacturer has mounted anything resembling a firm commitment to continuing to build hot-rod four-doors in the interest of creating yet another unnecessary SUV or CUV to satisfy the demands of the tasteless masses. Look at that stance: slicer wheels, true dual exhausts, subtle aero enhancements – this is what style looks like. Bonus points for being red when most SHOs are found in white, silver, or hunter green.

Of course, the engine is the star of the SHO (pun intended!) and those gorgeous intake runners are some of the best in the business (next to Alfa Romeo, of course). The problem with many SHOs is that owners stop loving them when they hit major mileage milestones at 60K and 100K, respectively, when some fairly big maintenance items come into focus. This is not one of those sellers, as he has tackled the big dollar fixes, including the spendy 100K service, which included addressing the valve lash, replacing the timing belt and idler, as well as the tension pullies. The list goes on; check out the ad for details.

There’s only one real drawback to this SHO, and that’s the automatic transmission. While the manual is slightly harder to find, it’s not impossible, and I have a feeling the slushbox will hold a few people back. That being said, owning an SHO for not a ton of cash with clearly thousands more than the asking price spent on maintenance is awfully appealing, especially considering some of those manual cars haven’t experienced the same level of care. I haven’t looked into transmission swaps, but it may be worth it in this case. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rocco B. for the find.

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Comments

  1. TCOPPS Member

    Jeff: “Really, no manufacturer has mounted anything resembling a firm commitment to continuing to build hot-rod four-doors in the interest of creating yet another unnecessary SUV or CUV to satsify [satisfy] the demands of the tasteless masses”

    What about FCA and the Dodge Charger, Daytona, Hellcat, SRT, etc? They have a good range of options for SUVs like the durango and jeeps too.

    I’ve never driven one of these but it’s on the bucket list for sure

    6
    • Kyngofpop

      Not the same thing. While those cars are formidable, they’re relatively low tech, low revving OHV designs. The Yamahammer in the S.H.O. sings all the way up to its 7300 rpm fuel shutoff and begs for more. Sure there are more exciting and powerful cars out there but none of them put down the power as effectively

      2
  2. Bob_in_TN Member

    “…. if money and space were no object.” The SHO is indeed on my mental list of cars I’d like to own. I had a 1992, and liked it. It was a blast to drive. I’d have to have a manual transmission.

    3
  3. nycbjr Member

    You had me until AT lol

    Purdy car tho for not too much money!

    5
  4. Tony Primo
  5. Doug B

    These are the epitome of putting lipstick on a pig. I’m surprised Ford never made a Pinto SHO. lol

    2
    • scottymac

      Ten horsepower less than a ’93 C1500 SS454 pickup. What’s that – lipstick on a hog, you say?

      2
  6. Jack M.
  7. Richard

    Didn t the automatic have a larger engine to help it run with the manual? If I recall, this should be a 3.2

    4
  8. TimM

    Total sleeper!! Looks like something grandma drives!! Never drove one they say there pretty fast!!

    1
    • PatrickM

      OMG!! I thought this was a family sedan, not a road monster.

  9. OhU8one2

    When my son was born, my wife and I decided we were going to need a 4 door car. Just makes getting baby car seat in and out of the car easier. So the wife and I went to Autonation Super store, back when they had like Carmax style dealers today. Looked over my shoulder at a 93 SHO. Approached the car, had 18,000 miles on it and selling price? Get this $11,500.00. Now this was in 1999. Well we bought it and owned it for years until it got to 63,000 miles. Transmission blew up. Glad I purchased extended warranty. Long story short, I had 5 rebuilt transmissions installed under warranty. One of them didn’t last a week. Frustrated, I sold it to one of our transport drivers. He took the SHO to Florida and gave it to his grandson. That is the last I’ve heard on the car. I do miss it alot.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Yeah, I had bad luck with mine too. I had a ’91 (5 speed only in those days) with really low miles that I bought used in ’92 or ’93.
      It was a blast to drive, but everything started to fail on it when it had less than 50K on it. I got tired of paying a monthly repair bill, so traded it for a Maxima that never had a single problem in the 3 years I owned it.

  10. irocrobb

    I had a dark green 1993 SHO back in around 2001. Had a ton of miles on it but still ran very strong. Mine was a 5 speed manual. Ran a Acura 3.2 TL and we were neck and neck all the way. I only kept it a few months. I could smell troublesome items coming.

  11. Midwest Jeff

    My dream (honestly) is to pull the “box o’ snakes” SHO manifold from a junker and hang it on a wall as artwork in my man cave …..but I am too lazy to search the local junkyards for the manifold. I should also mention that I am too lazy to build a man cave in my basement.

    3
  12. jimbosidecar

    I raced an SHO (in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle livery) back in 1990. With a few modifications they handled great and ran strong.

    1
  13. Tony Townsend

    The auto-box may actually be a plus here as parts for the manual box are pretty much un-obtainable.

  14. Bestguest

    This is a smoking deal on a really fun car !
    The powerband on the Yamaha motor is a blast in traffic

    2
  15. Paul

    I bought a new white SHO in the fall of 1991 — with the 5-speed, it would smoke the tires and was fun to drive. We went to the first SHO-Registry gathering in Peoria, and a couple of guys made a big deal out of mine having a special package. A little research revealed a limited number were built with a domed fiberglass hood, lower front air dam, etc. One guy offered me $3,000 on the spot to buy my hood. I still have the poster of the cutaway engine and one of the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles race team.

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