Have you heard of AutoTempest? This nifty search aggregator combs through every regional craigslist and a couple of other websites to find whatever car you’re looking for. It’s an excellent resource for Curbivores for obvious reasons. Although I cannot justify the purchase of a first generation Taurus or Sable at this point in my life, I still bookmarked my search parameters to see if any decent examples are out there. There is generally at least one available at any given time, but so far none of them have matched the condition of this particular Taurus.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about a first generation Taurus/Sable internet find. There was a nice wagon available back in 2013, and a Robocop replica was posted on eBay in early 2014. It’s also impossible to forget about the two door Sable convertible concept I talked about earlier this year. This 1988 LX stands above them all due to its low mileage and excellent condition.
I’ve looked at every available exterior and interior picture several times now and I can’t find a single flaw. I came across a similarly optioned 1990 Taurus LX back in 2014, but that particular example had scuffed bumpers and wheels. Not this brown beauty. If Indiana Jones walked by this car he’d find the owner and forcefully advocate for its donation to a museum.
This Taurus is also noteworthy because of its model year. 1988 was the last time buyers had the opportunity to purchase a Taurus in the exact form in which it debuted. For 1989, both the sedan and wagon received a light refresh that altered the front end and eliminated the amber in the sedan’s tail lamps. Some interior bits were also modified.
And that is what makes this survivor extra special. How many similar examples are left? I’d be surprised if the number is more than ten.
How many LX models were produced thirty years ago? I’m sure the production figures paled in comparison to the mid level GL trim, which makes this veteran even more special. The keyless entry system also sweetens the deal.
If you wanted more evidence that this car has been well maintained over the course of its thirty year existence, here it is. Steering wheel cover? Check. Dash mat? Yup, its got that too.
And a peek underneath the cover reveals what we already knew: a perfectly intact dash.
Electronics also appear to be in working order.
Ford’s digital dash may be the most desirable option for collectors who want a more fully optioned Taurus. I’d probably opt against it due to the possibility that it may fail, but in this specific case it would not be a deal breaker. I also like the 44k mile figure, because it means the car has probably hasn’t sat around, which can obviously lead to problems.
The biggest potential deal breaker lies under the hood. The 3.8 liter “Essex” V6 had headgasket issues for pretty much its entire run, and I believe the additional torque tended to fry the AXOD transmissions at a higher rate than models equipped with the 3.0 “Vulcan” V6. But any owner who encountered these problems would be justified in paying for the repairs, at least in the case of this car.
“Money can’t buy happiness” is a dumb aphorism because I’m positive I’d be smiling ear to ear if I had this extraordinarily well maintained Taurus in my garage. A collector would be wise to acquire it. I just hope that when the time comes I can find something similar.
There are currently no meaningful bids for the Taurus, but that is bound to change as we get closer to November 3rd, which is when the auction ends. You can buy the car now for $2,900, which seems like a reasonable number for a car this rare and in such good condition. And if one of you actually buys it, you’re legally required to host me for at least one night so I can bask in the glow of this precious historical artifact.
CC Capsule: Ford Taurus – The Best Seller Has Become Scarce by Paul Niedermeyer