Back in 1989 Ford decided to create a high performance sedan out of the Taurus. They threw a Mazda manual transmission and a Yamaha DOHC V6 and called it the SHO (Super High Output). My Dad has always been into cars, and he scoped this one out for several years. In 1992, a second generation SHO joined the family. It somehow fit 3 teenage boys in the backseat, and could also get up to 100mph in 6 seconds. I had to wait several years before I was allowed to drive it, but throwing it into 3rd and hammering down felt so fun.
Eventually after college my brother adopted the SHO for several years, and when he was done with it my Dad took it down to South Carolina. He took the time to keep the maintenence up and on visits he’d invite me to take it out.
I’ve since driven faster cars and fancier cars, but it was always fun to remember those first times by getting back behind the wheel and pressing in the clutch.
Fast-forward to this past summer when he mentioned it might be time to get rid of the SHO. My dad has since grown his fleet of cars and the SHO wasn’t being driven enough. I quietly said “Well I’d take it.” He heard me and a couple of weeks later he made plans to brirng the SHO up to Michigan.
I’ve had several ideas about what our third vehicle would be some day – a sports car, lifted jeep, convertible. But I didn’t think our third car would be one of my first cars.
I knew what my SHO experience was like, but I didn’t appreciate how much of a cult following this car has. People who have had one or have driven one know exactly what your talking about when you bring it up. I even found that Conan O’Brian still has his and has incorporated it several times on his show.
The SHO still runs great. It’s 30 years old now, and the some things show their age, but getting out on the open road it still show it has plenty of juice. If I have to run around town, it’s fun to get it out of the garage and take it for a spin. It’s newer than an antique, slower than today’s sports cars, lacks the electronics of today, but it makes up for all of that with nostalgia. And who knows, maybe it can last long enough to teach Charlie what driving a manual is like.