It makes nearly 800 horsepower at the front wheels and sounds absolutely evil.
Ford Taurus. Few names conjure up images of X-brand rental cars like those two words, but that all changes when the letters SHO are added in. So when we happened upon this old-school second-generation 1995 Taurus SHO affectionately called The Blue Turd, we were intrigued. However, when we watched a video of this monster making 769 freaking horsepower, we were positively gobsmacked. And according to its owner Zach Wright, the old SHO is capable of more.
“The car actually made 780 hp and 690 pound-feet of torque on another run, but my videographer wasn’t there,” said Wright in a phone interview with Motor1.com. Yes, we were so enamored by this insane build that we tracked down the Georgia resident to get the full story, and before we go further, we did confirm those power figures are rated at the wheels. Some quick calculations for driveline loss reveal this overachieving Yamaha V6 is making somewhere over 900 hp at the crankshaft.
It gets better, because Wright tells us the crankshaft and block are still factory-stock items. The gnarley SHO intake manifold is still bolted to the top of the engine as well, force-fed by a massive turbo. A previous incarnation of this engine also used stock connecting rods and stock head gaskets with 31 pounds of boost. Did you know a Taurus engine was capable of such greatness? This gives us a whole new level of respect for the Yamahammer.
Wright actually bought the car nine years ago for a whopping $950 in Florida. Back then it was just an old, stock Taurus that he drove through school, but things obviously went a bit crazy after that. Eventually, he exhausted the small aftermarket support that existed for the old V6 SHOs, so he relied upon his own skill and the help of several companies to custom build the upgraded parts he needed. He cites Vibrant Performance, Jaz Tuning, SCE Gaskets, Belak Industries, and EBTEC Corporation as having a major role in the SHO’s development. He specifically mentioned the fully custom brake kit from TBM Brakes that shaved 60 pounds off the Taurus just by switching the heavy stock units for lightweight items. In fact, the whole car now weighs 2,660 pounds, with over 70 percent sitting on the front wheels.
In this case, that’s good because unlike the current-generation all-wheel-drive model, this old SHO turns just the front wheels. The transmission runs a custom-made hardened gear set with a limited-slip differential, but it’s still an honest-to-goodness five-speed manual that Wright shifts like crazy at the drag strip. And race it he does – the car was featured a few months back in a YouTube clip from 1320 Video (featured at the top) where he made a quarter-mile pass in 10.12 seconds at 143 mph. In a freaking Taurus.
As the dyno pull shows, he’s made some changes since then and still has more to go. The class he races in features cars running into the eight-second range, and he fully intends to get there. We will bring you the video when it happens.
Yes, it’s not street legal. And yes, any car can be made to go fast with enough work. Being fans of the old SHO, this Blue Turd has every bit of our admiration.