The Real Star of 'The Santa Clause' is a Ford Taurus SHO

The fun-to-drive, sleeper sedan owned by Tim Allen's Santa Claus character, made Jolly Old St. Nick a legit car guy.

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Image for article titled The Real Star of 'The Santa Clause' is a Ford Taurus SHO
Photo: IMDb

The Santa Clause is a bonafide Christmas classic, with everything a Christmas movie could ask for: Tim Allen, questionable logic, kidnapping and an Italian elf. However, there’s one thing just about everyone overlooks—the silver first-generation Ford Taurus SHO that is constantly on screen in the first few scenes of the movie.

Image for article titled The Real Star of 'The Santa Clause' is a Ford Taurus SHO
Photo: IMDb

At first you might think it’s just the everyday, basic Taurus. They were ubiquitous in the mid-’90s when this movie took place, but upon further examination you’ll see it’s not just any Taurus.

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We never specifically see the SHO badging, but there are enough clues to reveal this isn’t a run-of-the-mill Taurus. Notice the lower side skirts, five spoke rims and front air dam. That’s a SHO. In some scenes we can even see exhaust coming from dual pipes as Scott Calvin (Allen’s character before he’s Santa) drives around on a snowy Christmas Eve in what I think is supposed to be Chicago. What a joy!

Forget Santa’s sleigh. This is the real vehicular star of the movie. With 220 horsepower on tap from a 3.2-liter Yamaha V6, it’ll surely make more power than any (or specifically eight) reindeer. Unfortunately, while the SHO may be quick for a sedan in 1994, it’s not quick enough to bend the laws of space and time. But, we can forgive that. Ford engineers tried their best with this car and some things just cannot be matched.

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Image for article titled The Real Star of 'The Santa Clause' is a Ford Taurus SHO
Photo: IMDb

There is one little downfall on this SHO beast, which is an automatic transmission. We never explicitly see the shifter, but we definitely see Allen’s character motion as if he was putting the car in park.

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What I really want to know is how this car came to be Scott Calvin’s. Allen’s character seems to be a reasonably high-powered executive at a toy company. The production team (and maybe Allen himself since he’s a Detroit native and a gearhead in his own right) decided to forgo obvious European sedan choices in favor of something a lot more American and a lot stranger.

Fuck off, Neil!
Fuck off, Neil!
Photo: IMCDB
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Even Neil (played by Judge Reinhold), Scott’s ex-wife’s new husband, and an absolute jerk off of a human, drives a boring Volvo sedan. Boo Neil! You stink, buddy! Nobody likes your sweaters or the fact that you are a psychiatrist!

After the first act of the movie, the car doesn’t really show up again, so you can probably turn it off after that. Nothing else really happens other than a custody dispute, low metabolism issues, an abduction and a jailbreak. You know what, upon further review this is a very dark Christmas movie. Happy Holidays!