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SHO and Go: This Clean 1989 Ford Taurus SHO Is Radwood Ready

The SHO represented strange—and awesome—thinking, and this example has less than 50,000 miles.

Alex KiersteinWriterHemmingsPhotography

Coupes are dying, the manual transmission is an endangered species, buyers are shunning sedans for crossovers. If 1989 didn't already feel like a long time ago, consider that Ford couldn't build enough Taurus sedans to meet demand at the time. So it did what any sensible company at the time would have: built a high-performance, manual-only version of its mainstream sedan. Meet the antithesis of what today's consumers would actually buy: the 1989 Ford Taurus SHO, rocking a Yamaha-developed V-6 backed up exclusively with a Ford MTX five-speed manual.

It's a truly unimaginable car in today's world, for better or worse—and that's part of the SHO's enduring appeal. But it wasn't just a wild idea, it was a performer. The 3.0-liter V-6 produced a claimed 220 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque, revved to 7,000 rpm, and ran to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds in contemporary testing.

Credit Yamaha's long history of making other companies' engines even better. Just about every great engine for much of Toyota's history had a Yamaha-designed or -improved head. This mill, really the jewel of the SHO, is based on the regular (and not very special) Vulcan V-6 but adds key features like 24-valve aluminum DOHC heads. The famous intake manifold, with its iconic shape, has variable-length runners to help the engine breathe. The V-6 is an oversquare design, too, with an 89-mm bore and an 80-mm stroke to enable high revs.

This one, for sale at Hemmings, shows low claimed mileage—46,000—and presents cleanly with mostly factory paint. The interior shows very light wear, and the bucket seats look comfy with massive side bolsters and plenty of adjustments. Silver over gray isn't the most exciting color available in 1989, but there weren't many choices either: black, white, and red were the only others available that year. The auction has a reserve and ends in six days at the time of this writing, so if you want what looks to be a clean, honest version of Ford's fascinating hot-rod Taurus, head over and get to bidding.