We’ve been planning to get a second car for a while. For a long time, we’ve had just the one car (a 2002 Subaru WRX wagon that I love), but since we no longer live near the MAX light rail line, most of the time Rachel would have to take me to work in the AM. With Emma in preschool, and Rachel having more and more places to be, it was a no brainer.
There was a sweet BMW 5 series I was going to buy from a friend in Utah, but that didn’t end up working out. So, I was back to digging around on Craigslist and Autotrader, looking for something I like in our price range (we saved up some cash).
I’ve always loved the second generation Ford Taurus SHO (93-95). I’m not surprised if you’ve never heard of it, or know what makes it special. Besides some unique body elements and a sport suspension (from the police interceptor version of the Taurus), it has a unique 3.0 liter (manual transmission) or 3.2 liter (auto transmission) Yamaha V-6 engine. It’s the only car I know of with a Yamaha engine. It was originally designed for a mid-engined sports car that Ford was planning but scrapped, so they put it into a Taurus sedan, and made a cult classic.
The one I got is a 94 with only 125K miles (and apparently, it had a completely new engine installed at 90K miles). It’s very quick – almost as fast as my WRX. And it’s loaded up with all the luxo options like leather, moonroof, etc. The color is Opal Frost, a kind of bluish-silver, which I found out was only available in 1994, and only 1306 were made in that color. No wonder I’ve never seen one this color. I see green, blue, red, and white ones all over. Very occasionally, black (which looks NICE on this car!). But I think this is the first Opal Frost. I’m just going to call it silver.
Yeah, it’s a 10+ year old Ford Taurus. It’s nothing fancy or exotic, but it is rare, and it is unique, and it is fast and fun to drive. And it was pretty cheap. I’ve been in love with the SHO since it came out, and wanted one desperately. I feel lucky to have found one in good shape in my price range, so today, we went out to the Ford dealer in St Helens, Oregon, and picked it up.
One thing I love about the SHO is the fanatical community that surrounds it. There are owners clubs all over the country, and there have been very active mailing lists and web communities dedicated to the SHO from the very beginning (see www.wikisho.com and www.shoforums.com as examples). So there’s lots of help from “my people” if I ever run into problems with it.
It makes my geeky parts feel all tingly when I think about the fact that the size and level of activity of a vehicle’s online community was a major factor in my purchasing decision. I’m such a geek!
Now Rachel won’t have to get up and get the kids ready extra early in the morning to take me to work. So everyone’s happy!