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SHO_down

New Member
Joined
May 16, 2024
Messages
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Location
N.E. Ohio
My story is convoluted, a little bleak but real. I've been a gear head my entire life and I've come to the realization that I will never accomplish what my mind and imagination can conceive. To that end, I am liquidating my accumulation of projects that I cannot finish. I'm not good at short story's so I'll finish this essay soon (time is of the essence!).
Meanwhile, Thanks. Glad to be here!

Updated 5/17/2024
The saga continues...

...I am liquidating my accumulation of
projects that I cannot finish.
Please bear with me, I want to be detailed
and it's complicated.

The projects include;

1996 SHO (silver), 1997 SHO (black) and a
1999 SHO (red).

My ADHD makes it hard to stay focused and
I tend to get off track, I'll try to
complete my story as concisely as possible.

I found the 96 on eBay in 2015, was in a
position to buy it and my glorious young
son was getting old enough to drive it.

What a great first car I thought!

The car was in pretty good shape but while
the scum bag eBay seller (big surprise,
right?) assured the cam issue was addressed
they couldn't produce any documentation that
could prove it. Time to confirm if the
work had been done.

Came back to SHO forums and to my great
relief discovered Rickety Enterprises was
right around the corner from me in
Canfield, OH. and Rickety had a lot of positive
feedback on the SHO forums.
When I contacted the owner
Rick, he helped me out with great information.
It was obvious Rick knew what he was
talking about! We made a plan to assess
the cam gear situation and I scheduled an
appointment to drop the car with him.
Low and behold no welded cam gears!
Thankfully none of the ill effects of the
defective camshaft drive gear scheme had
taken a toll on this SHO engine(!), the engine
internals looked great(!) and in no time
Rick worked his magic and this SHO was back
on the straight and narrow road to longevity :)

eBay assurances are WORTHLESS! I couldn't
get any reimbursement for the repairs the
SCUMBAG eBay seller said was done and eBay, again
was WORTHLESS! Another lesson learned...

Otherwise, this SHO was great. Solid suspension
and solid drive-line, nice interior, paint looked great
(for a driver) and young son (remember him?) was
a happy camper. :)

Not too long after my great experience with Rickety
Enterprises my beautiful, gifted young son turned
his nice SHO into a parts car :(
Inattention while in traffic and a car that stopped
short to turn at a place that they shouldn't turn
and pow! Young son's first rear end collision.
I was young once too, some lessons come harder
than others.

OK I thought, let's turn this into a positive learning
experience and transplant the known great engine into a less
fortunate SHO that experienced catastrophic engine failure
due to Fords incredibly ignorant engineering experiment.
(plenty of those around, right?)

But first, a brief history of my automotive roots....
I started my gear head existence by working on my
parents cars. Points, spark plugs, tires, brakes etc.
which progressed to buying my first car at the early age
of 13.
That was a 1965 Ford Falcon station wagon.
Paid $25 dollars which was a lot of newspaper route and
bottle deposit money to a 13 year old! This was the
beginning.
After replacing the rotted floorboards (sheet metal and
pop rivets, no re-pop sheet metal in those days!) Basic tune up
and my $25 dollar investment turned
into a $350 dollar payoff that I immediately rolled into a
1966 Ford Fairlane project with no engine/transmission.
Cool! I had a 2dr hardtop!
My father was a "lifer" at Chevrolet Parma and he had
had a lot of friends. One of them was the owner of
a local towing company. They had a wrecked 1966 Fairlane GT with a
big block 390 FE engine, C6 Tranny and 9" rear axle. Another $25 investment
and I had the donor vehicle for my Fairlane!
J.R. headers and Thrush header mufflers completed my first hot rod!

This was the template I hoped my son would follow. We acquired
Ford factory Taurus service manuals (with SHO supplements) and
began the search for a SHO engine donor recipient. I first found
the red '99 SHO for parts (it ran, badly) just presumed it was
another cam gear failure. It was just a SHO that was driven as
an everyday auto that suffered from Ohio winter rot and would
never be anything more than a parts car. The search continued then
another SHO which was found close by in Indiana (!?). It was a cam
failure that had been garaged since 2009. Looked real nice!
Made the drive and brought it home for the next chapter.
Sadly that didn't happen. After the accident I wanted my son to get his SHO running
enough to move around the yard, although the radiator was
destroyed in the accident you could bypass the radiator to
start and move the car in short spurts but that didn't happen. Young
son was preoccupied with school activities (imagine, the nerve!)
His wrecked SHO didn't get patched together enough to start
and move. The airbags blew out the windshield in the collision which left
the nice SHO interior exposed to the elements. (SMH!) :-/
To my son's credit, prior to the collision he did exert a great
effort to wire brush and paint the entire chassis of the car to
mitigate the accumulated surface rust.

Here we are almost ten years later and I can't stand to see these
cars sitting around deteriorating before my eyes. I'm not able
to make anything out of them. It's time they go. In the flurry of
life the original Rickety invoice has been lost but then while preparing
to sell these SHOs I discovered a Rickety Enterprises invoice in the
glove box of the red'99 SHO! It didn't suffer a cam failure and
probably just had other tune related issues I wasn't interested in
pursuing.

I knew Rickety wasn't performing SHO services anymore but with a
little research (including this forum) I was able to make contact
in the hopes of getting a copy of the work order they did for me.
Again, sadly I discovered that Rick had past away between then
and now.
I had an absolutely delightful conversation with Rick's wife where I
learned some of his history and what a great person Rick was. He
was a life time racer. He held a patent for a stock car wheel
design that was in heavy demand in stock car circles.
(I hope I got that right.)
Rick was heavily involved in stock car racing. I learned we lost a great
enthusiast with his passing. I also learned his daughter was employed at a
local Ford dealership. I made the effort to stop in to tell her
about the great conversation I had with her mother, how much I appreciated
my business dealing with her late father and the loss I felt in his passing.
I'm struck with the quality of knowledge and character of this
great family and truly admire the people they are.

That's where I am today. These SHO's will be auctioned off by a local
company with which I've had positive business dealings. My only agenda in
sharing this story is the hopes these cars might help a fellow SHO enthusiast
keep their car on the road rather than these SHOs just being scrapped
as just another Ford piece of junk.
99.9% of the average population have no idea what a Taurus SHO is or what makes
them special if they are even aware of what a Ford Taurus is at all. A forum like
shoforum knows the answer to those questions and can get the word out to
the community at large.

If you've hung in there and made it this far you have my since thanks and appreciation!
I'll post this and see if it generates any interest. Thanks for your patience- SHO_down
 
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