We love drag racing at Motor1.com, and we’ll freely admit to being big fans of the old Ford Taurus SHO. If this particular blue SHO looks familiar, it’s because we featured it back in February with an admittedly clickbaity headline stating it was more powerful than a Dodge Challenger Demon. Back then, it made just over 800 horsepower (597 kilowatts) to the wheels – the front wheels mind you – but things have changed since then. For starters, the pilot of this insane Taurus got married. Also, the engine now makes upwards of 1,000 hp (746 kW), and as a result, it’s faster than a stock Demon now, too. More on that in a bit, but first, the completely awesome story of how this epic nine-second Taurus came to be.
To refresh your memory, this is Zach and his 1995 Taurus SHO. It’s the same car he drove in high school many years ago, when it was considerably slower and didn’t need a parachute to slow down. The racing bug bit him, but instead of moving into a vehicle with an established aftermarket, he literally entered uncharted territory by turning this old front-wheel-drive sedan – affectionately nicknamed the Blue Turd – into a legit race car.
“It’s never been done before,” he told Motor1.com in a recent interview. “And I’m stubborn. If somebody tells me a Taurus will never be a nine-second car, then I’m going to make it go nine seconds.”
These days, a stock Taurus SHO V6 engine block and crankshaft are still under the hood, and the DOHC heads are SHO-specific as well, though they’re fully built. Everything else in the engine is race-spec, from the Wiseco pistons and aluminum connecting rods to the custom-fabricated intake. Sadly, this SHO had to give up its glorious twelve-runner intake manifold in the quest for 9s, but the payoff was an extra 200 hp so yeah, the sacrifice was worth it. Amazingly, the transmission is still the old MTV-IV that Ford supplied from the factory, though it’s been beefed up with a hardened gear set and Quaife differential. That also means Zach is a straight-up shifting madman behind the wheel, which garners even more respect from us.
Gallery: 9 Second Ford Taurus SHO
Photos Courtesy 1320Video
Here’s where the story goes from awesome to absolutely epic. Zach took the Blue Turd and its new engine to the Street Car Takeover in Denver back in July and almost made his first nine-second pass there. 1320Video was there, but unfortunately, an oiling issue turned the engine into an expensive paperweight. Zach pressed on, and in six days (yes, six freaking days) he built another SHO V6 and made it to the Street Car Takeover event at Indianapolis.
1320Video was on-site for that event as well, and things went considerably better. His first quarter-mile pass down the track without any testing returned a 9.94 at 158 mph, and he was pedaling like crazy. His team continued to tweak the SHO through the course of the event, ultimately delivering a 9.65 pass with 160 mph showing up as the speed.
“There’s no way I could’ve pulled this off without lots of help,” he told Motor1.com. Ebtec, Jaz Tuning, Vibrant Performance, TBM Brakes, SCE Gaskets, SHO Source, so many companies and people behind me to make this happen. When you’re outside the box like we are, you become the guinea pig and it takes five times the work to be just as fast as the other guys.”
As far as we know, this is the fastest Taurus SHO in the world and Zach plans to go faster. There's still more tuning to do, more boost to add, and that should get him to his target time of 9.20, the ET needed to make the Import vs. Domestic World Cup Finals in November. Based on what we’ve seen of the Blue Turd thus far, we suspect there will indeed be a Taurus on hand for the action.