Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Ford misspells its name as TOURUS in his ad. That’s either sloppy or, as a mash up of touring and Taurus, is the greatest portmanteau ever. Let’s see if he at least got the price right.

A lot of people think that we don’t get French cars here in the U.S. Hell, a lot of people just plain don’t get French cars at all. It’s true that the Gallic nation’s major manufacturers—Renault, Peugeot, Citroën—are currently unrepresented here. We still do get French cars though, and amazingly two of the most notable ones fall at the extreme ends of the affordability and capability scales. Those would be the Smart Car, the factory for which is located in Hambach, France, and the Bugatti Chiron, built in a clean room disguised as a factory in Molsheim.

It used to be that you needn’t seek high and low (see what I did there?) to get your French fix, as both the country’s major players—Renault and Peugeot—did in fact play here. The proof was in last Friday’s 1988 Renault Medallion wagon, a $1,500 offering that came with a sedan parts car as well. That’s great seeing as parts in general aren’t going to mean a simple trip down to Pep Garçons. That factor, the overall condition, and the seller’s seeming affection (affliction?) for Renaults all proved a perfect storm in bestowing upon the Medallion a 77 percent Nice Price win.

You know, as long as we’re talking about not selling cars here in the U.S., we gotta bring up Ford. I mean, aside from the Mustang, the company has basically given up on them entirely for crossovers, SUVs and trucks. I don’t want to be the one to point out the obvious, but hey Ford, that was the strategy Isuzu took here, and see where that got them.

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Ford doesn’t just have a long and storied history of building cars, the company practically invented the form factor for the masses with the Model T. They’ve built plenty of historic car models since then too—the Model A, Ford V8, Crown Victoria, LTD and more recently, the Taurus.

All those are fading into history. Ah, but to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, we needn’t go gently into that good night. Not at least, when there are Ford sedans like this 1999 Ford Taurus SHO still hanging on.

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When Ford released its first major redesign of Taurus, they replaced the previous generation’s overt aerodynamics with a design that embraced… ovals. Yep, ovals. Now, as we all know, Ford’s logo is the ‘Blue Oval,’ and that’s obviously where these ovoid shenanigans saw their genesis.

I can imagine a group of designers and marketers sitting around a table at Ford’s HQ, smoke tendrils rising from cigarettes in overburdened ashtrays all surrounded by a sea of empty pizza boxes as discussion of the next generation Taurus enters its 28th hour. Tensions are strained, armpits are stained and progress is practically nil. Suddenly the doors at the end of the room burst open as an intern rushes in. He stops to catch his breath, and while pushing his hair back off his mottled brow he raises a crumpled printout and shouts, “I’ve got it! It’s ovals!” A roar rises from the assembled. Palms are smacked against foreheads, and the sense of relief becomes palpable in the room.

I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how it happened. The result was a car that… well, it looked like a carp. That didn’t make it a bad car mind you, but not everyone could get on board with the whole round-a-bout design scheme.

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If you happen to like the design, then you likely know that the oval-age Taurus to get is the SHO, and this 21,000-mile example is probably the best one you will ever find outside of jacking the one in the Henry Ford Museum.

What makes a SHO a SHO? Well, the big ticket item here is the 235 horsepower all-aluminum V8. That mill was engineered by Cosworth and, like its nest of snakes V6 predecessor, featured heads from the house of Yamaha. Unlike the prior SHO however, the only transmission offered here was Ford’s AX4N 4-speed automatic. Oh well, at least it’s not a truck, right?

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Other SHO updates included sport seats, model-unique alloy wheels, dual exhausts, and a little wing on the windshield wiper to keep it planted on the glass at speed. The boot lid also received one of the dumbest-looking spoilers ever applied to a car. And yes, it was oval.

The SHO V8 suffered a rep for giving up its cam shaft sprockets at about twice this cars mileage. That’s well known and can be rectified before catastrophe occurs. There’s nothing catastrophic about this black on grey leather SHO however. In fact, with its orginal window sticker in place it seemingly could pass for dealer stock.

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The engine bay looks pristine as does the bodywork around it. We don’t get to see much of the interior, although the description describes it as ‘perfect.’ It’s also optioned up the wazoo with a six-disk CD changer, moonroof, and the aforementioned leather. The car looks to have originally been sold in California, but has made its way to the East Coast where it is offered now with a clear title.

The asking price is $15,800, or about half the amount on its original Monroney sticker. What’s your take on that? Does that seem a fair price to snap up a cool old SHO and stick it to the anti-sedan crowd at Ford? Or, does that price not have you SHO’ing the money?

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You decide!

South Coast, MA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Matt77 for the hookup!

BTW, I neglected to mention that last Friday’s Renault was suggested by g. smitty and wanted to correct that oversight.

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