Two Owner Five-Speed: 1994 Ford Taurus SHO

This 1994 Ford Taurus SHO is a desirable five-speed manual example of the company’s sleeper sedan, and listed by just its second owner. These cars should have all the trappings of a collector vehicle, as the seller argues, and I don’t disagree with him; however, they still remain quite attainable at the moment. This car presents very well despite residing in Yorkton, Canada, and has clearly been loved by its small assortment of owners. The body and paint present quite well, and mileage is reported as being just 58,000. Find it here on eBay with bidding just under $4K at the moment.

The red over gray combo is a sharp one, and obviously the rare manual transmission is the combination you want to find in one of these. The leather presents well with some signs of age but nothing visually off-putting, and the same goes for the rental car-grade gray plastics that were used extensively in this generation of the Taurus. Carpers appear clean as well, and the seller notes only some minor blemishes inside. The clutch is said to operate as intended and the air conditioning still blows cold.

The Yamaha-designed V6 is the most attractive part of an SHO, both for its visual appeal and the high-revving performance on tap. However, I am curious about why this SHO is for sale at the mileage listed: SHOs are due for a major service at 60,000 miles, and it’s often the reason these cars end up becoming basketcase projects because consecutive owners don’t want to swallow the costs of what amounts to one pricey service. Seeing this one listed at just below that mileage threshold makes me wonder if it’s another case of avoiding that hefty service bill.

The seller notes the only tweak from stock condition is an aftermarket exhaust, and that’s perfectly fine with me considering how good this engine sounds when it’s opened up. Yamaha transformed the Taurus from stodgy family sedan into rip-snorting performance car, and to this day it offers impressive performance right out of the box. The cosmetics on this SHO appear excellent, and even if the 60K service awaits, you’re starting off on the right foot by at least buying one that’s been loved and is claimed to be a rust-free example. Which generation SHO is your favorite?


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  1. Todd Zuercher

    Someday I hope to own one of these – I think I’d like to have a collection of late ’80s/early ’90s Fords as they built so many wonderful cars in those years. For now, I’ll make do with the upper intake from these cars that I pulled from the junkyard years ago for wall art. It hasn’t made it to the wall yet but it will…..

    Like 7
  2. Steven Kubik

    The car is from Canada, so is it 58,000 miles or kilometers? If it’s kilometers then that’s only about 36,000 miles.

    Like 1
    • Bob Aubertin

      If the car was ordered from a Canadian Ford store it would be kilometers by default. By the way Yorkton is a city in the province Saskatchewan.I figured that the writer of the article on the SHO needed a geography lesson.Eh!!!

      • Miguel

        You can see in one of the pictures the speedometer goes up to 220, which is in kilometres.

  3. Bmac777 Member

    My friend had one of these, Silver w/ Black int and a 5 spd.
    It had a stage 2 chip and pulleys or something like that.
    Fast F^*^% Car!
    I heard the blah blah ,but then I drove it, Tires smokin, Insanely high revving, and awesome handling on the road.
    Racing it up and down Storrow Drive in Boston was an example of that high speed handling
    One night I cranked it to 143 mph coming out of Gloucester Ma, wow what a ride

    Like 15
  4. Dale

    I own a 1989 SHO that I bought new. It as my daily driver until 97. It has a few issues, mostly a rear main seal leak. I plan on replacing the cable shifter with a later model rod shifter when the clutch needs replacing. I’ve kept up with the rust; it has the usual Taurus spots. The rear door sill to the wheel well have been repaired in both sides. It’s a great car to drive.

    Like 7
  5. doug edwards

    Usually few engine problems. Hard on clutches & auto trans.

    Like 1
  6. Rory mccomb

    After getting rid of my 71 el camino ss because I had 2 kids I bought a 93 5 speed white with black interior and dark tinted windows super fast car great handling and good cruiser but developed a bearing knock changed the engine at 90,000 with a low mileage used motor which developed a mid fire after 30 minutes of driving and could not get ford or anyone to diagnose the issue so sold it

  7. irocrobb

    I had dark green one with a 5 speed in the late 1990s. Very quick and fun car. Raced a 3.2 TL Acura one afternoon on a deserted road and we ran neck and neck. I only kept the car 6 months or so as I felt it was a little bit much for a daily driver,

    Like 1
  8. Dave

    People take the 60k service as gospel! Truth is that the car will succumb to tinworm invasions long before the engine expires.
    That said…Since Yamaha built the engine it is based on the Japanese motorcycle paradigm, run like crazy but expensive as all get out when maintenance is due. I hear that Subarus are the same way. I’ve ridden numerous Japanese bikes well beyond the valve adjustment interval with no ill effects. I drove a 1982 gas Rabbit for 13years and well over 100k miles without adjusting the valves or changing the timing belt. I got 75,000 miles out of the drive belt on my Sportster.
    Buy it, drive it, maintain as needed. Applies to everything on 2 or 4 wheels.

    Like 1
  9. Mark

    60K service probably involves a belt for the 24V OHC interference system. Not a good idea to postpone that.

    Like 5
    • Jim in Alabama

      the ’89 to ’95 SHO V6 motors are non interference in stock form. If you change the camshafts to ANY aftermarket camshafts, they become interference engines.
      The V8 SHO motors were interference from the factory.

  10. Pete Phillips

    Saw one of these at a Dallas charity auction sale a few years ago. While idling in line to get up to the auction floor, I watched it blow a head gasket–water and steam started belching out of the exhausts–driver’s response was to rev it up and idle it faster. It shut down right in that line, probably for good. Once I saw the complexity of that engine, any hope of working on it myself ended right there. They are unusual and rare cars, but run the other way if you need to find parts or a mechanic to work on it!

  11. tje

    Had one exactly like this – it was fun.

    Like 1
  12. BruceB

    I had a 1991 that I bought new for $15,999. That was basically the price they were getting for a regular Taurus with a few options. It was a great car until CT Emissions basically killed it. The tech put it on the dyno for about half an hour then told me that it failed because he couldn’t hold it at the speed the test required. Ends up thathe was shifting from first to fourth and lugging the heck out of it. I had his supervisor retake the test and it passed immediately. The tech had lugged it for so long in the high heat that it developed a slight knock and the oil pressure light would come on at idol. After 15 years of TLC, I sold it. It was a great car. I would buy another, but parts are extremely hard to find, and pricy.

  13. Tom Haslett

    I had a new 1989 SHO after my Turbo T-Bird got burned to the ground. Only problem was the clutch. . It was replaced and then perfect. I put 125,000 miles on it in 4 years. No problems. Very fast and easy to drive. Went 137 mph in Prim Valley going to Vegas more than once.

    Like 2
  14. Charles L Mather

    I had an 89 SHO that was an animal. The rev limiter didn’t interfere until 8,000 rpm and the engine pulled strongly to it’s limit. Four thousand rpm is where the fun switch turned on. The cable shifter was garbage! I traded the 89 for a 92 with a linkage shifter. A much more civilized car and nearly as entertaining. Both of these cars were my wife’s daily drivers and carried our 2 kids everywhere they went. The 89 was over 100,000 miles when I traded it with the clutch being the only major repair. I’m a professional auto technician so I repaired it myself. The key was to drop the cradle with the engine and transmission, perform the needed repairs, and reinstall it as a unit. It sounds scary, but was no worse than removing the engine on many other FWD cars. I still have a fondness for those SHO’s but I only have room for one toy car and the spot is taken.

    Like 1
  15. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I had a 1992 5-speed, black with a gray cloth interior. Bought it new and had it until 52k miles. It did show its pedestrian Taurus roots, but as others have noted it was sure fun to drive, specifically when you ran it hard in the high rpm range.

  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I had a ’91 I bought used with 12,000 miles on it in ’92, loaded. Forget what I paid, but it was a good deal.
    No engine-related issues, but that thing cost me $300 a month in repairs after owning it for a little over a year. Everything was “heavy duty”, so cost 3 times as much as a regular Ford part.
    So, engine sturdy, the rest of the car: typical Taurus.

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It’s funny t think that after they started offering an automatic in these, that the manual became rare.

    These things were a blast to row through the gears.

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