Cross Country First Gen Adventure!

77pantera

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Hey guys, this is going to be a really long post, so bare with me...

Really long story really short, flew across the country, bought this car (https://shoforum.com/index.php?thre...ckage-mint-cond-survivor.140650/#post-1529936), drove it back across the country.

Really long story...

It all stared when my friend linked me something on BarnFinds (which I've never even been to before). I made the mistake of going into the classifieds, and seeing this really nice looking SHO for sale for what I thought (and I think was) a good price. After doing some sleuthing and seeing it listed on here, and linked on various mustang forums, and both my friend and I wanting to do a cross country road trip, why not? I already own way too many cars, why not get another 30 year old Ford?

I had actually owned a SHO already, a super solid, but badly T-boned '95 ATX. I paid $500 for that one, 250k miles, rocker and B pillar were stuffed in pretty good, and the interior was really rough, not worth saving. But it made a damn fun enduro car! Won some money with it, then chernobyled the engine in a boat trailer race.

Back to this car, after a few days, a few phone calls, and a few too many drinks, we had a somewhat solid plan in our heads. We'd drive it too our mutal friends house near Seattle, WA (only 6 hours away) and give the car a thorough going through. If I didn't feel it would make it across country, I'd leave it there, fly home and have it shipped. I had some basic parts; belts, alt, fuel pump, ect.. shipped to my buddies house, along with 4 new tires (I don't trust 10+ year old tires to make it across the country. Had 11 year old PrimeWell's on the back with cords popping through on the inside, and nicer seven year old 50% tread GoodYear Assurances up front)

Anyways, flying out there was simple enough, and the seller was kind enough to pick us up at the nearest airport (40mins away) and take us to check out the car. This was around 3pm Wednesday. It was what I expected, stupidly clean underneath, badly needing a buff, but started right up, no noises, no smoke, ect... The seller was then kind enough to drive us to the DMV, where in OR, apparently $33 gets you a temp tag on pretty much anything you want.

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And we were off! Stopped at the local WalMart for some basic trip supplies, and coolant, oil, the usual, Harbor Freight for some really basic tools, and In N Out, because we were on the west coast! In the HF parking lot I installed a nice single DIN Pioneer I had brought with me. The amp is dead in this car, and as much as I hate non-factory radio's, you just can't beat aftermarket for easy of, well everything. (Also, I'll never get over the fact that in Oregon, there are mint OBS 7.3's and 12 valves everywhere you look)

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After that, we stopped at Mock Ford. Supposedly that's where the PO worked as a tech for a long long time. The car seems to have spent it's whole life in Grant's Pass OR. (Yes, both corner lamps were out, but the sign isn't much better) It was getting pretty late at night by now.

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At this point, we were well on our way to Yelm, WA. The car was running flawless, we even played with a AW11 a bit.

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Then, literally 2 miles from our buddies hours in WA, disaster struck. I went to shift, and nobody's home. All I could get the car into was 1st. I don't know if the car gods were watching over us, or what, but thankfully this happened 2 miles from our destination. We were able to limp the car to my buddies house a bit after 1am, with nothing but 1st gear, time to call it a night.
 

SM105K

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I love stuff like this. Regardless of outcome you guys will have an awesome story and hopefully some fond memories.
 

77pantera

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After a good nights sleep, I got to work on the car. Jacking it up and crawling underneath it, no movement down below. Ok then, pulled the center console, and all my questions were answered. It's funny, I joked with my buddy countless times that one of the notorious awful 89-91 shift cables (yes I did some research) would fail on us, and sure as shit one did! Thankfully, it wasn't the cable itself, merely the bushing. Looks like the PO had trouble too, and rigged up some wired steel plate too sandwich what was left of the bushing back together. (Certainly doesn't look factory too me, correct me if I'm wrong) Thankfully, with a few adjustments, this made it easy to fix. Some trusty tip ties and we had all 5 gears back! We agreed no powershifting the rest of the trip!

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From here I went to basic maintenance mode. Front end was nice and tight, minus the annoyingly clunky sway bar links. Went to napa and replaced those, the rear struts were blown out, but they would have to ride it out. Changed the oil, filter, air filter, fuel filter, and most importantly of all, removed the air box silencer. Boy does that yammi sound good at 4k! I had my favorite enduro tires shipped to my buddies house, but they didn't show up until around 1pm (Thursday). Ohtsu FP7000, made by Falken, $53 a pop, I run them on all my enduro cars, they are a decent lasting sticky all season. Certainly not the Nitto 555's on my Marauder, but good enough for this application. After way too much driving around, Discount Tire mounted and balanced the for $43 total.

Also, somewhere in this time frame is hanging out with our friends, washing the car, checking out their cars (from an old non-turbo diesel benz; to a weeb special GTS-T), getting food, parts, and everything in between. Also stopped to pick up my buddy in Ohio a few cases of Olympia (I saved one of the good Goodyears just in case)

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We had planned on leaving early, around noon, by the time we actually left, it was getting dark, and this would be arguably the roughest part of the trip, 24hrs non stop, no sleep, just driving the old SHO...

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77pantera

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Eastbound and down! We headed out of Washington and flew through Idaho. It was already dark by this point, but Coeur d'Alene was beautiful! Not to mention all the twisty up and down mountain roads, we were having a blast in the old SHO! Short of stopping at a few rest stops, nothing exciting really here.

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Before we knew it, we had hit Montana, and seen the remnants of tons of snow!

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This was the first time either of us have driven through Montana, but it's a big, beautiful state! Did I mention big? Because we felt like we were stuck in Montana forever. Lots of beautiful views though! Mostly pretty pics this section. Also, love that 80mph limit out west, we cruised at 90-100mph all the way to IL!

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Finally, we hit South Dakota!
 

77pantera

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South Dakota didn't look too much different from Montana, but at least we knew we were making progress!

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By this point, we were both really tired. We had been driving for ~24 hours straight. We both wanted to see Mt Rushmore since were were in the area, and after that, it was time to get a hotel and get some rest.

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After some rest, we left Rapid City early Saturday morning headed to IL.

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Nothing too exciting here, we did stop at the worlds largest truck stop, Iowa 80!

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After that, we had arrived at a friends place in Peoria, IL, where after hanging out for a few hours, we called it a night.

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77pantera

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After another good sleep, we were back on the road early Sunday morning. Headed from Illinois, through Indiana, to Ohio!

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Now, up until now, the car had been REALLY, REALLY good. I mean, we averaged nearly 100mph half way across the country, and @ 26mpg! We had multiple runs up near the end of the speedo, and where driving this car like it was meant to be driven when it was new 30 years ago!
But somewhere in Indiana, the old Direct Drive starter gave up the ghost. We had stopped for gas in IL after leaving our buddies house, and the started gave us some sass, it eventually worked as it should, but somewhere in IN, it would do nothing but freewheel once we stopped for food.
Thankfully, being a superior 3 pedal car, a quick push was all it needed to fire up, and we were on the road again.

Again, nothing too exciting here. We drove from IN, to my buddies place outside of Cleveland, OH without any problems. We just left it running when we had to get fuel. Once there we got to check out his dad's mint Grand Prix, and my old '91 Country Squire (I had saved this wagon from a demo, ** swapped it, Wide Ratio AOD, 3.55's with a Trac-lok, bunch of other goodies, after DD'ing it a while, sold it to said friend)

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From there, it was a flawless ~3hr trip back to Buffalo, where we arrived around 7pm Sunday. My barn is full of other unfinished project cars, so the SHO got to go in the garage, which I'm currently insulating. 3,092 miles later, we were home (except for my buddy who still had to drive 4 hours home)

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77pantera

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I've got plenty of work to do, but this car is so stupid solid underneath, I can't help but love it. Can't even tell you the last time I saw a first or second gen Taurus on the roads around here, even gen 3's are rare, and gen 4's are usually pretty rough. Needs a detail for retail, and good buff (I love Oxford white because no clear coat peel). A few odds and ends, but I love it!

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Zpak

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Incredibly awesome story. That sounds like a blast. Ballsy AF driving a 30 year old car you know nothing about across the country but I’m sure that only lent to the excitement. I do love a good road trip. Thanks for sharing!
 

77pantera

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Thanks guys! I knew you'd like the adventure.
Basic maintenance for now, and fixing anything that's wrong, and a lot of detail work.
Don't want to sink a fortune into this car, that's what the Marauder is for. 120k top and side in the near future, we'll see where the world is at that point.
 

77pantera

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Also, some pics of the 95 ATX I raced. Still have all the specific SHO body parts (if anyone wants them, let me know) The wheels will end up on this car after I paint them body color. Wish I kept the knuckles and a bunch of other parts, but that's how it goes...

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bpd1151

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What a great story. Covered the gamut from beginning, to end, and all the necessary fluff between those bookends.

The addition of the pics, documenting each aspect of the journey were a fantastic bonus!

Thank you for sharing and continued success moving forward with the treasured barn find of a SHO.

A time capsule indeed.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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