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I have an unhealthy obsession with the Ford Taurus SHO, the Super High Output version of Ford's workhorse family sedan, the last example of which was built not even two days ago after being in production for over 20 years. It's an unhealthy obsession because, quite frankly, the Taurus is not a vehicle worthy of anyone's obsession. But obsess I do, mostly over the SHO's 3.0-liter V6 developed by Yamaha, but also because the SHO was a killer car back in the day, especially the first generation. In the late 80s, the SHO could stand grille to grille with a BMW M3 for about half the price.

I've been mocked plenty of times on account of my affection for the Taurus SHO, but today I learned that I'm not alone. None other than late night host Conan O'Brien considers himself a SHO lover like myself, and this YouTube clip proves it. Mr. O'Brien owns a second-generation 1992 Ford Taurus SHO in Emerald Green (that's even my favorite Taurus color!) and is rather proud of that fact as the video shows.

Pay particular attention to the Ferrari guy he gets to sit shotgun in the SHO. His revulsion is more apparent than the surface rust for which the Taurus is famous. Sigh... they'll never understand us, Conan.

[Source: YouTube via Jalopnik]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I like the Taurus. Mostly because they are reliable and dirt cheap...even the ones that are only a couple years old.

      But the SHO was sweet...even today. But 220hp from a 3 liter engine in a car that was half the price of sports cars 17 years ago was insane and even five years ago it was still respectable. I would love to get my hands on a 1995 Taurus SHO five speed.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thanks for the Taurus/SHO stuff over the past few days Jeff... I was never lucky enough to pick up a true SHO, but my first car was handed down from my old man... it was... wait for it... an '87 Taurus MT-5. When I received it at 110k miles it still had the original clutch. It was a great car that I still talk about and miss to this day. Good to see others out there remember it too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've always liked the "sleeper image". You can drive around inconspicuously and then kick a Mustang's sorry butt at the traffic lights.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #10...and I know someone with a 94 Taurus with 180k miles on it and a girl I went to hs with has a 2000 Taurus with 130k miles on it...both cars are flawless. Some people have bad luck...some people have good luck. Kind of like a friend who had the engine in his Civic replaced before 40k miles and another friend had the trans replaced in his 98 Maxima at 80k miles. Yet there are people out there who have no problems. The Taurus is known to be very reliable but there will always be problems here and there. It happens to every car out there.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ok all you young'ens! This car in its day was really a great car (not counting the goof ball comment with the Toyota V-6). I owned a '90. That sucker would handle and flat get down the road. I remember going 145mph with it - and still it was smooth. The transaxle was a thing of beauty, the Yamaha engine a masterpiece and the BOSE sound system WWWAAAYYY ahead of it's time. Sure wish I had it back in many ways. It was a normal man's 5 series with all you could want. Way to go Conan -- it's a killer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      To #7... regarding the reliability of the taurus: I owned a 1996 taurus GL for 3 years. During this time, the brakes died on me 3 times, the radiator failed once, and eventually, at 125k miles, the engine blew up in a fireball at a gas station. I did take care of the car and replaced parts preemptively if I noticed them worn. These cars are definitely pieces of crap.


      That said, for what I paid ($2000) with 75k miles, it did work for what I had at the time.

      • 8 Years Ago
      the SHO could stand grille to grille with a BMW M3- and in which particular fantasy world will that come true! Thankfully the M3, especially the original E30 M3, was designed for real driving with corners, crazy concept I know. But if you're someone who just appreciates going moderately quickly in a straight line then buy one of these gems, personally I'd take the M3
      • 8 Years Ago
      I never owned one but wish I had. To me it was the ultimate sleeper. Other than the embossed SHO in the rear bumper it looked like a stock Taurus sedan. I happen to think there is a reasonable market out there for "sleepers" but they are few and far between. Too much bling and to much "look at me" in the performance market. What other unadorned reasonable performance cars are on the market? Accord V6, BMW 330 ?
      • 8 Years Ago
      All you people can say what you want to say about that car, but that car was the number one selling car from 1992, 1997. At its peak it sold 412,000 car in 1992. when that car came out people said it was looking into the future of how cars should look.
      The post by whydrive is wrong, because the sho came with a 3.0 213hp engine. I think that is about 70 more hp then the toyota.
      say what you want to say about that car, but when it comes down to the facts that car changed who the game was played, and it won many awards.

      The Ford sho an american hero
      • 8 Years Ago
      Must go nice with his SHOgun.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The beauty of the SHO is not in the shell, but in the engine itself. If you have not driven one then you will not understand. 220 hp and 200 tq may not seem like alot, but the sho engine produces that 200 ft/lb of tq from 3k all the way to its 7.2k redline. This is the reason it was faster than alot of cars of its day, and of today. Sure there are faster cars out there, heck I bought a bi-turbo Audi to go quicker, but I still own my SHO for the fact that they engine makes me smile from ear to ear everytime I rev it up to redline. Oh and about reliability, my fathers sho has 190k on it never has any issues.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I loved this car, the 2nd gen was my favorite, it had a different front end as well, made it look wider.

      If this what the Taurus was at a more entry level trim, that car would have done even better!

      It sucks though, I loved the Taurus SHO but all my buddies would say that stood for S.tupid H.omosexual O.ptions.

      Being I was in the closet, I quickly started to "hate" the SHO as well :-)

      Great car though, I would still like a nice one to this day. And if it is great shape with low miles they still go for quite a bid, for sure more than a CAMRY or ACCORD from the same time frame.
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