When are the SHOs (89-95) going to be collectible?

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SHOTimes mailing list debate

There has been some debate about this on the list.

The "pro" arguments go:

  • The SHO was the first domestic 4 door sports sedan with a 5 speed transmission.
  • It's got the "exotic" Yamaha engine.
  • Yearly production numbers were not high relative to other cars of it's type (especially for later year 5-speed transmissions).

While the "con" arguments are:

  • They've already depreciated SO much that ANY increase in resale value would make them collectibles!
  • The Taurus was a best seller for awhile - there are way too many Tauruses on the road to make any model a collectors car.
  • There were 84,898 of the '89-'95 SHOs produced. That's too many for it to become collectible.

Ford Marketplace article

Thanks to Tom Kay for the following:

Below is an article that appeared in the November 1997 "FORD MARKETPLACE" (actually, this is the final issue of that publication, as it is now merging with "Mustang Monthly" and "Super Ford"). In any event, on page 8 is the following article, it's kinda long but I'm listening to a very boring teleconference and have a bit of time - yeah, I know I owe several folks responses and I'm very tardy, but I only have to re-type this one, not think!! (;-)) I'll say up front there are some" inaccuracies" in the article, but overall it's not bad and it will certainly let some of our secret out of the bag. One thing not mentioned that still amazes me, in that with but 75K+ SHOs sold, there are 4.5K in the SHO Registry (and about 10% of that on SHOtimes!) - just compare that to the gazillions of Mustangs sold and the MCA is only at 9K membership wise!


The SHO Taurus, 1989-1995
The SHO Taurus is a hot four-door collector Ford spanning the 1989 to 1995 models. With either the 3.0 or the 3.2 liter V6, found in manual and automatic transmission Taurii, respectively, the Yamaha-headed, high-revving engine produces 220 horsepower and as much eyeball appeal as a Boss 429. Since 1996, the SHO has been equipped with a 3.4L V8, which may one day (TK note - seems we do already, right Tim/Bill? (;-)) ) be admitted into the SHO Taurus Registry, consisting today of 4,500 members.

SHO Sources
We talked with one of those members, reader Michael Callahan, who has started a part-time business called Cincinnati SHO (Dept. FM, PO Box 53115, Cincinnati, OH 45253, telephone 513/385-7642). Before I forget to mention it, Callahan has a couple exciting products for SHO owners. One is a fiberglass hood with cowl induction and a set of gauge panels for 1993-95 models. He's also dabbling with aftermarket parts for the car like chips and spark plug wires. (By the way, spark plug wires are very special on this special engine. Would you believe that six plug wires cost $130 to $200?)

While the SHO V6 was replaced by 3.4L, those who cherish this particular Ford series are passionate. Look for them next August (date not set yet) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for road racing, a show , and a drag race (nearby). Their address is The SHO Registry, Dept. FM, PO Box 159, Carrollton, GA 30117. I even have a phone number - (404)836-1474.

What's What With SHOs?
So, what's the deal with the SHO series? First, the 1989 through 1992 models are the early cars, while the 1993 through 1995s are the so-called "late-models". (TK note - hmmm, always thought it was 89-91 and 92-95...) Callahan told us that cars are for sale "all over the country," and you can get some good buys from the not-so-enthusiastic owners who don't appreciate what they have - a very special car. It is fairly easy to find them on used car lots or for sale in the local paper. As an example, Michael came across a '92 for five grand, which was a great price considering the car only had 98,000 miles.

Key Word : Durability
Word is, the engines are so good in them, they will last up to 350,000 miles, and it is common to go 250, no sweat. The stick shifts are 3.0 liters, and in 1993 when Ford came out with the automatic SHO, they bored the engine out to 3.2 liters. Horsepower remained the same, 220, for the 3.0 liter/manual and the 3.2 liter/automatic. The only difference is the automatics have a little bit more torque.

Best Buys : SHO Plus
The most valuable early model is the '91 SHO Plus, with a production run of 2,595. (See chart) What was the SHO Plus? It came with a rear deck spoiler and blacked out mirrors and side trim, not to mention the unique name. Some of the SHO Plus series had fiberglass hoods. (They were a combination fiberglass top and steel bottom.) Cars so equipped are extremely difficult to find because Ford had some trouble with the combination fiberglass and steel hoods coming apart. If you like these cars, be on the lookout for an SHO Plus, then look for that hard-to-find hood. You could be locating a real gem of a collector Taurus! We can't say what the market price is because we have no record of sale prices. We are so early in this phase of collecting that it's likely the owner of the SHO Plus may not realize he or she has a special hood. However, Michael Callahan speculates a $2,000 to $3,000 premium for the SHO Plus over the basic SHO of '91.

The late models are easier to find. You'll see them advertised on car lots for $10,000 to $15,000, depending on condition and mileage. Callahan, for example, knows where he can buy a '95 SHO with 25,000 miles, like new, for $15,000.

Where's The Market Heading?
We'd say these late models are still depreciating, while the "early" cars have pretty much bottomed out. That means four to five to six grand purchase of a 1989-92 would pretty much bank your investment, and if it were low mileage or specialty, like the SHO Plus, perhaps you could make an immediate profit on the buy or see some appreciation in the next few years. It's a fact that there are a lot of good buys out ther right now, but low mileage, early models are hard to find, They are really rare.

SHO prices range from a low of about $4,000 for a decent, higher mileage (say 100,000 to 150,000 miles) early model, to a high of about $15,000 for a low mileage (about 25,000 to 50,000 miles) very nice late model.

Stick shift cars command a premium in this pricing scheme. Callahan mentioned a '93 stick SHO for sale, white with white wheels, for ten grand on a car lot. Those highly-publicized transaxle problems were cured with a Ford recall that upped the clutch about a quarter inch. Today, the aftermarket makes strong clutches for the stick SHOs.

Any questions? Let's continue to discuss the SHO and I'd like to hear from owners. Does anybody have an SHO Plus with a factory fiberglass hood?

SHO Production Figures By Model Year

Year Total Notes
1989 15,519
1990 8,302
1991 8,916 Includes 2,595 SHO Plus
1992 7,801
1993 21,550 Includes 4,095 with manual transaxle
1994 13,280 Includes 2,497 with manual transaxle
1995 9,560 Includes 2,036 with manual transaxle

Source: SHO Registry