The 1986 Ford Taurus, Car Of The Damn Year!

We've had 25 years to get accustomed to the look of the first-generation Ford Taurus, especially since so many others emulated its "melted bar of soap" look soon after, but we all did double-takes the first time we saw one.

I think of the '86 Taurus the way I think of the writing of Jack London (the good stuff, that is, not the throwaway hack work he cranked out when he needed fast money). You read The Sea-Wolf or The Road (no, not the Cormac McCarthy book- I mean London's 1907 memoir by the same name) and it's tough to imagine how radical his style seemed during his time, because damn near every American writer that came after took so much influence from his work. So let's all try to imagine that it's late '85 and we're seeing this machine- which, remember, was to take the place of the extremely-long-of-tooth, 50s-technology LTD- for the first time.

Then, when you're done thinking serious thoughts, go check out Mercury's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" ad for its badge-engineered Taurus sibling.