• Dec 8th 2008 at 10:58AM
  • 52
Click above for image gallery of the SHO that got away

What'd you do this weekend? I spent Saturday and Sunday agonizing over an eBay Motors auction for this 1991 Ford Taurus SHO. You probably think I'm crazy, but the SHO remains one of my all time favorite cars, primarily because of its motor, a Yamaha 220-hp 3.0L V6 designed and built for Ford. Of all the SHOs built between 1989 and 1999, the '91 model is king. It was the last of the first generation, and therefore the lightest and fastest thanks to its lack of pesky safety features that added weight to later models.

I'm about ready to replace my infamous '99 Alero, and wasn't even thinking SHO until I found this auction on eBay Motors for a Burgundy '91 model – one owner with just 53,000 miles. Anyone who regularly monitors this country's stock of SHOs for sale knows that finding one with less than 100k miles is rare enough, let alone one with just 53k.

After going back and forth with the wife, I got permission to go after the SHO, which was owned by a gentleman in Oconomowoc, WI, a suburb of Milwaukee. I spent last week email with the seller, who turned out not to be the original owner, but had never retitled the car under his own name to preserve its single-owner status. The info I got out of him suggested it was a well running example, with a faded front bumper and paint bubble on the rear bumper being the only cosmetic trouble spots.

Unfortunately, Cleveland, OH is not also a suburb of Milwaukee, and I couldn't verify the condition of the SHO in person. The starting bid was $3,500 and there was a Buy It Now price of $5,500, but I wasn't about to pay full asking price sight-unseen for a 17-year-old domestic sedan that doesn't exactly have a sterling reputation for quality. After a week with just one low bid, I set up my auction snipe on Sunday with a maximum bid of $4,750. Too bad it was $225 too little, as that original low ball bidder came back in the last half hour to outbid the rest of us and beat the Reserve Price with a $4,975 bid.

So there it was, a whole week of planning an epic road trip to bring the car home, my plans for building the world's best concours quality SHO, and hours of bartering away personal freedoms for my wife's permission... out the window. eBay Motors, you are a cruel mistress.

But that won't stop me. I'm still searching for a suitable replacement for the Alero, and will be looking for more SHOs across the country. If you find a good one for sale or are selling one yourself, tip me at abresearch at gmail dot com. Maybe, just maybe, it will be the next car to score a permanent place in the Autoblog Garage.

[Source: eBay Motors]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      If only Ford had a decent Taurus the next generation (which was a disaster), they might still be a top 2 in the midsize segment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Go for it... i wanted my dad to buy one of those for so long...
      • 6 Years Ago
      thats so cool. i wish i could drive a car older than new.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Yes, I had my camshaft sprockets welded by Doug Lewis at Ford Performance Specialists in Atlanta, GA. Other than that the car has been a model of dependability and reliability. It has 85,000 miles on it and runs great.

      I use comments from my wife to gauge what impresses the non-enthusiast. She regularly comments about how wonderful the engine sounds. It is one of the most wonderful sounding engines I've heard. Go to YouTube and listen to some of them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Those intake runners on the Yahama are so purty.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As a SHO owner at one time, I feel you on these cars. But, I actually think the 2004 was best model (5 speed). The interior is waaaaay better and the matching door handles/mirrors made it look a little cleaner.

      I had a white 93 that I loved.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The car you're referring to does not exist...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always found the 2nd Generation to be more aesthetically appealing. The slimming of some of the features (such as the head and tail lights) added to the sportiness, and the ground effects didn't seem as bulky. White is my color of choice.

      I seem to remember there being one like that in the first Santa Clause movie driven by Tim Allen. It's been awhile since I've seen that movie, but for some reason that came to mind as I was typing this.

      Keep your eyes open; I'm sure another one will pop up somewhere.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I owned a loaded '91 SHO for four or five years, bought it second-hand in '92, apparently it was the ride of a Ford Factory Rep. It was best characterized as a great engine in search of a good car.

      Despite numerous electrical foibles, constantly warping rotors and assorted other problems I managed to pile nearly 100K on it in a few years. Surprisingly it was as good in snow as anything I've owned (including Audi Quattros and Saabs), I once drove from Providence to Southern NH in a snowstorm and it din't miss a beat..
      • 6 Years Ago

      So sorry to hear that you missed the opportunity... that sounds like it would've been a great catch!

      I owned a 1994 MTX in the ultra-rare dark green variety, and until the day I killed her she was the most exciting car I'd ever driven. SHOs hold rare company for the fact that there are so few cars out there with so much personality. I know I'm not telling you anything new, just wanted to drop you a line and wish you luck on your search!

      Also, I have an equal-length y-pipe that I never got to install on mine, plus a few more goodies... if you manage to get one, let me know if you want anything!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Finding one without massive rust holes riddling the body is even more rare. Seriously, those first-generation Tauruses (Tauri?) rust through in places where I've never seen any other car rust.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah the first gen. SHOs in this good of condition are hard to find. I still see a ton of second generation SHOs running around that are still in good shape (usually have a ding or two here or there).

        I almost picked one up when I was car shopping three years ago until I learned the owner was a high school student, was asking way too much (the car had something like 170k miles on it) and that the car was on it's third clutch (two were replaced while the kid owned it...God knows how badly he treated the thing). I still see the occasional dark green SHO for sale (my favorite color) but I haven't been able to find one that has a nice body, under 100k miles or hasn't been treated like crap.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always loved the first-gen SHO and the second-gen Maxima.

      Hell, it would be worth it just to pimp a manual tranny Taurus :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      BTW to jfreder421 - The SHO does not use the 3.8L engine, it has a unique 3.0L 24V DOHC engine.
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