(First Published 4/2/2015) It’s hard to imagine that the original Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable will be turning thirty by year’s end. At the time of their release, this duo’s smooth aero styling was like no other American car. This was especially true of the wagons. With their rounded rear windows and hatch, they truly looked like no other wagon on earth. Their shape was instantly recognizable back then, and even today, still stands out in a crowd of cars fifteen-to-thirty years newer.
I can’t recall the last time I saw a first generation wagon – Sable or Taurus – but I know it’s been many years. Even by the late-’90s and early-’00s, these were extremely scarce. Most examples I saw around this time were looking tired and battle-scarred with rust, peeling paint, numerous dents and dings, and body panels/doors that no longer fit together perfectly.
However, a quick run to Costco the other day yielded a great surprise when I spotted this remarkable blue first-generation wagon. Coming within view of the front, I was even more delighted to be greeted by that unmistakable full-width light-bar, as being a Sable made my discovery a truly rare find!
As I did a quick walk-around and snapped a few pictures, I was amazed at the overall condition of this Sable – not bad for a quarter -century. With no rust, peeling paint, body damage, sagging rear suspension, and all four original wheels, this Sable might very-well be the best-shape first-generation wagon I have ever laid eyes on, at least since the mid-’90s when seeing one of these wouldn’t have garnered a second glance.
(Pictures of a 1990-91 leather-equipped blue interior can’t even be found on the Internet; cloth will have to do)
The interior was also remarkably well-kept, with no visible rips or excessive wear in the navy leather (a rarely-seen option). The dash design of this one makes it a 1990 or 1991. As I was about to get some interior shots, the annoying little white fluffy dog in the blanket-cover back seat started barking up a storm at me. It was attracting too much unwanted attention, so I decided it was best to simply move on.
As I took this final shot of the rear, I noticed the “Neponset Lincoln-Mercury” dealer badge, signaling that this car has likely been a Massachusetts car its entire life. The “Regal Motors” license plate frames mean the current owner is not the original, but I’m willing to bet he’s been the owner for the majority of this car’s life, as Regal Motors in Holbrook generally sells late-model pre-owned cars. I’m also quite certain that its owner is an elderly man, given the various AAA, veteran, and union stickers on the front bumper and rear hatch, as well as the handicap placard.
Whomever its owner, he (or she) has obviously taken very good care of this rare gem of a Sable wagon. Rolling time capsules such as this aren’t all that common sights for me, so this was a truly special find! It looks like “The shape you want to be in” has dual meaning today.
1986 Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
Wow, great find. My first car was a fairly beaten up ’89 wagon, and I only had it for a year before it wasn’t worth fixing. Despite my short time with the bull, I fell in love with its driving dynamics (even if it was a bit tired at 190,000 miles) and the interior.
Even when I owned the car (2003-2004) the first gens were very rare – and they’re practically non-existent in upstate NY, with pretty much all of them being claimed by rust. My third gen Sable was starting to rust at 16 years old, and that means the youngest first gen Taurus/Sable will be at least 24 years old in 2015, so if you don’t find a grandpa driven one like your example, you’d have to stick to eBay or restore one at a junkyard if you find a good example. Shame such few exist now!
My mom is friends with a gal whose dad owns a “private junkyard” of sorts with a first generation sable wagon in it. It has been sitting for a while, but it looks to be in good condition.
Wow–seriously nice find. I still think these Taurus/Sable wagons are probably the best aero wagon shape ever, and the light bar on the Sable version is the perfect 80’s/90’s touch.
And who can forget the 1/64 Matchbox version? One of my favorites, until some punk at school stole it. Ended up getting a mint one from eBay years later though.
I remember when the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable was introduced here in the USA. I found the Merc Sable more attractive than the Taurus. My dad has a Mercury Sable wagon.
Very nice! I always really liked the early Taurus/Sable wagon. I remember that the wagons carried something like a $3k price premium over the sedans, at least in the lower/mid trim levels, which explains their relative scarcity.
I just looked at an couple of old price guides, in their 1st year a Taurus wagon had a base price about $400 more than the same sedan. By 1997 that gap had grown to just under $1100. In the 90s the wagons had 4 wheel disc brakes among other features that were options on the sedans…making the wider price difference less in reality. Minivans “killed” these cars
It’s a toss-up as to which body style is more attractive: wagon or sedan (NOT something you can say about many cars). Taurus or Sable? I prefer the Sable, and always with the contrasting lower panel like this car. I also like the “lacey” wheels on this wagon, though these need a good cleaning.
Taurus and Sables from 2000 to 2005 are currently used car lot back row inhabitants, with the sedans vastly outnumbering the wagons. They are okay/decent drivers. If you want one, get it now.
I am going from long-ago memory, so my figures are probably not as good as yours. I just remember being amazed at how much more the wagons cost. Perhaps there was a tendency for most of the wagons to come with much more optional equipemnt or in higher trim levels. Thanks for looking at this. And I agree, that minivans were the main culprit.
As well as SUVs. As a kid, I recall seeing a decent amount of second generation Taurus/Sable wagons, but by the time the third generation came out, SUVs were all the rage. I never saw a whole lot of third- and fourth-gen wagons even when they were new.
Obviously many people did the transition from wagon to minivan to SUV to CUV, but there were of course the people who really liked their wagons and have continued to purchase them from a limited choice through the present day. I knew a few families growing up who owned Taurus wagons. If I recall, they both skipped the minivan step, and traded the Taurus wagons in for a Tahoe and Pilot, respectively, in the mid-00s.
Minivans I can understand, having much more 3rd-row passenger space & flat floors, but not SUVs, for when we shopped ’em, they had no more useful space than wagons of comparable length. SUVs are taller, but their floors are higher, thus no net gain in cargo room. I’m thinking XV10 Camry Wagon vs. Highlander, which effectively replaced it along with the Previa/Sienna.
Our Camry attracted surprising interest, it was a sort of rare bird, as wagons were already in decline by the early ’90s.
In an era when passenger cars had plummeting tow ratings, SUVs we’re seeing progressive increases. My dad pulled our boat and camper with his ’76 LTD and ’78 Caprice. Cars like this Sable were usully rated no higher than 1,000 lbs.
I went nuts for these cars when they came out and the Sable wagon was my favorite version. It gave you the light bar front end without the blacked-out C-pillar that the sedan had, I didn’t care for that.
The LS trim gave you that gray lower cladding and lacey-spoke wheels which I always liked. Base models didn’t look nearly as nice. IIRC the wagon had a lower coefficient of drag than the sedan. Look at how nice Ford handled the luggage rack design, even that was styled and well thought out.
This one is in really great shape. Too bad about that annoying little dog I wanted to see a pic of the navy blue leather which I remember having a really simple and modern sew style.
My sister had a Taurus wagon of about that vintage. She currently drives an AWD Element; before the Taurus she had a Colt Vista and she still thinks the Taurus was a better car in many ways. Slightly apples-to-oranges of course, but she said the V6 Taurus was much cheaper to run for both MPG and repair/maintenance costs. Now she is checking out the Flex.
My brother had the Taurus version of this wagon with the Vulcan V6. He still says it was the best car he ever owned.
I borrowed it for a long road trip once, and, boy was that car ever made for highway cruising.
Unfortunately for him, a Montgomery Wards Auto Center mechanic didn’t put things back together properly after a fuel-filter replacement. The resulting engine fire totaled the Taurus.
Those quick disconnect fittings were burning up lots of Fords back then. Insurance company I worked for bought hundreds of them. The govt allows insurance companies to share loss data, and it was obvious how bad that coupling was. Forced Ford to recall all the vehicles and install a secondary lock, which just clipped around the fitting and hold it together if for some reason it hadn’t locked when shoved together. And there was no visible indication as to whether it was latched or not.
Most of the govt recalls are started when the insurance companies notice a pattern of failures and get the govt involved.
Always thought that front light bar was a neat trick. These cars have an 80’s futuristic look that looks unique. One of my pet peeves is when the dealerships put their logo on crooked. Great looking rare survivor, hope it continues to be well cared for.
I had a 1987 Taurus Wagon in light blue with blue cloth interior. Was pretty beat up when I got it with high mileage, but still ran and drove perfectly. Had it for about 9 months before I bought the ’87 VW Jetta – should have kept the Taurus!
Ford got this car exactly right. Right cutting-edge styling that blew GM out of the water, right size, great quality and excellent ergonomics. A once-in-a-generation home run. The Sable looked even better than the Taurus with that front light bar.
I remember in the summer of ’87, I was working at a local deli and making deliveries for catered lunches, etc. I remember the owner giving me the keys to his brand new burgundy Taurus wagon. I was so impressed, even as a 19 year old kid, how nice this car was. Modern, and what a departure from what was out there at the time!. It was so comfortable, and the steering had road feel to it, not like the cars I was used to that were so over power steered that you could steer with your pinky! That really stuck out in my mind. As soon ad I saw this Mercury wagon, I immediately thought of that Taurus wagon. What a nice vehicle, like Brendan said about the new shape, and the lines and such. Ford really hit it out of the park on that one.
I owned a very similar ’88 Taurus wagon for a short while. It was even this same blue colour but a more basic trim. It had the 3.8L engine with its fragile head gaskets but ran and drove well. My first car with an automatic. The Previous owner had driven it through a fence. I fixed it up on the cheap but my wife deemed it too ugly to be seen in and I moved it on fairly quickly. Saw it around for years after so served someone well.
And a plus, to me anyway, is that the Sable LS wagon was available with front bucket seats and a floor shifter.
Talked my grandmother into buying one of these back in ’91, an LS sedan in the same color combination as this wagon. What a truly NICE car — quality assembly, really nice paint job, well tailored/put together interior, and it handled really well too. The one “bad” thing I’d have to say is that after about 3 years (of very little use in a mild climate), the plastic coating on the lacy spoke aluminum wheels started lifting/peeling, just like on this car. She eventually gave it to me and I still kick myself for not keeping it…after 10 years, it only at 15K miles. I’d be the only guy at a car show with one!
Wow, all these comments on a Sable wagon and not one of them is negative.
I have respected, if not admired the Taurus/Sable all along. They felt right when I drove them and when I got a ride in them. A befriended family is on the second Taurus Wagon and their daughter is driving a Taurus Sedan. They purposely avoided the minivan and SUV options. Another friend bought a used Sable Sedan a few years ago. Of all of them I like the second generation and 4th generation Sable Sedan the best.
Those wagons are fairly rust-prone but if treated with proper rust-proof somehow it can hold up quite well ( unlike MN-12 cars, no matter how hard to try it just doesn’t work ) I saw an almost equally nice white ( the most rust-prone color ) Sable wagon last summer in a corner used car lot with a price tag of $1600 range. It had one small rust bubble on the lip of rear wheel well, but the rest chassis is intact with thick ziebart coating. It has a tag of ziebart too, but it can’t protect the rims from very bad erosion ( just like this one ). $1600 range price tag probably tells something too.
Weird, when I was growing up the Taurus/Sable seemed to be one of the most common wagon models on the road besides Volvos – especially Gen2.
For as much as they looked “modern”, the layout of these was still very much a traditional American car. Ford even kept the fold out third row seats that faced backwards like an old woody wagon. A family my parents knew bought a series of Taurus wagons replaced every 8-10 years. They would always keep the old one as their 2nd car, so they had a constantly rotating series of these things. The one I most remember is their teal ’92-’95 wagon. I recall riding in the “far back” once or twice in the late-’90s when we would carpool together. It was a fun experience watching traffic fly by backwards, since most other families had a Chrysler minivan to serve as the main family hauler (including mine).
After the Gen 2 model, they bought one of the last 2004-2005 wagons and it still had the 3rd row seats! I think at the point the design had switched to two individual seats that faced inward rather than backwards, but it was still an “8 passenger” wagon on paper. Last I knew they had a 08-09 Taurus X, which seemed in huge in comparison but was the next logical step. For all I know they probably have a new Explorer CUV now, kind of a sad thought…
EDIT: Did a quick google search and apparently the 2000-2005 models still had the ’70s-style backwards seat. Kinda neat to see in a 21st century car:
Looks very comfortable, too.
Yeah, most FWD wagons from the ’80s onward had rear-facing 3rd row seats (if they had 3rd rows). GM A-bodies, Ford Fox-bodies, Camry, Mercedes E-Class, and any Volvo wagons come to mind. It’s more space efficient.
Forward facing 3rd rows were common pre-1960s, but after that every automaker seemed to have a preference: GM-forward facing through 1976, then rear-facing; Chrysler-rear facing, Ford-dual side-facing.
It is actually exactly the same seat as in 3-seat Tauri and Sables since Day One in December 1985. For a time, and perhaps even now, you could get one as a retrofit kit.
Get underneath the swoopy body of the 1996+ Taurus/Sable and you’ll notice a lot of carryover from the first ones.
We’ve had four Taurus/Sable wagons: a 1986 Taurus L, a 1987 Sable GS, a 1992 Sable GS and a 2002 Taurus SE, which is still a daily driver and is, given the discontinuance of the Taurus wagon in 2005, probably our last one. Just today, though, I saw a white second-generation Taurus wagon, in the same kind of condition as the featured car, and perhaps a bit better. I cannot say I would not be tempted.
If they bought a Flex, it would be a de facto Taurus wagon. But since they probably get an Explorer, just imagine it’s a higher Taurus wagon with optional AWD.
There was a point in the late 80’s/early 90’s when Ford could really claim that they were the wagon master, they had about 50% of the station wagon market between the Taurus/Sable and Escort/Tracer. At least around here the Taurus was the most common so yeah probably more than 1 out of 4 new/newer wagons on the road was a Taurus. At the same time Ford was advertising their wagon market share Subaru was advertising that they sold 50% of the imported wagons in the US.
I remember getting the V6 equipped rentals on business trips back then and I actually looked forward to driving them. They felt powerful and handled quite well even when driving it like a.. um rental car… I was pretty hard on rentals back then too.
Rare? I see first generation Taurus/Sable wagons all the time.
Of course, that’s here in California, not some rusty place back East.
That rear-facing third seat was unchanged throughout the life of the Taurus/Sable wagon; despite the reskin in 1996 (the wagons’ body did not change in 1992 and
2000); the wagon’s basic structure remained the same from 1986 to 2005.
I’ve had four of them…and have seen “the view from underneath” remain remarkably the same!
So true, here in Cali most people would be surprised at the amount of older (mid 70’s to mid 90’s) cars in good shape that are rolling around everyday. People here tend to like and keep there older cars in shape!
Yes. I visited California for the first time several years ago, and had quite the revelation with how many older yet nice condition (besides faded paint) cars.
Here in Massachusetts (especially the suburbs), I’m honestly surprised when I see most late-90s cars that aren’t Accords or Camrys. Even those cars are often pretty battle-scarred and weathered. You tend to see more older cars in city neighborhoods, but they’re often in worse condition.
Had a ’95 Taurus GL – last year for the original body style. I had wanted a Volvo, but couldn’t find one in in my price/condition range, so “settled” for the Ford. Never really regretted it. It was a great car, and terrific for vacations with all that room back there. The flip up tailgate glass was especially useful for filling up the last nooks and crannies in the cargo area. I finally bailed on it when the repair bills were starting to approximate the monthly payments on a new Focus wagon…and when the transmission was showing signs of impending doom.
One of the unusual features of these wagons was the rear suspension. Where the Taurus and Sable sedan’s rear ends were held up by Chapman struts, the wagons have an innovative upper/lower lateral arm arrangement, with a very large diameter and squat coil spring. Ford did it that way to minimize intrusion into the cargo area, but the geometry was apparently marginally better for handling too. And I’m pretty sure that very few – if any – wagon owners appreciated that little detail!
I had two gen 2 Taurus wagons as company cars. Taurus wagon #1 was a medium blue ’92 with the Vulcan 3.0 liter engine. As company cars go, it was good but not great. The 3.0 engine was OK in relatively flat terrains, but was kind of a dog in hilly areas. But, overall, it provided pretty good service for 80K miles until trade-in time.
Taurus wagon #2 was a dark green ’94 with the 3.8 liter V6. The extra power and torque of the larger engine made a huge difference in mountainous areas. I had the opportunity to spec this one out rather than just taking what was available on the dealer lot, so I included the heavy-duty suspension (which was something like a $25 option) which really seemed to tighten up the ride compared with the ’92 that it replaced. I kept the ’94 for just about 100K completely trouble-free miles (including the original brakes) when I traded it in after about 2 years. I’m surprised that no one mentioned the head gasket issues that affected the 3.8 liter V6; although fortunately I dodged them with my ’94.
The ’96 Taurus wagon that replaced #2 was a disaster in just about every possible way — but that’s a story best left for another day.
No extra power was to be had with the 3.8, at least on paper they were both rated for 140 horses in the early models. Now the 3.8 did have significantly more torque which does give a better seat of the pants feel and means that climbing hills won’t require the engine to be wound out and sound like it is working near its limit. .
I havej to add some praise for the Sable/Taurus wagon. Our family bought an 87 Taurus wagon, fairly basic as it was the sellers well-maintained business vehicle. I think we got it in 91 and it proved to be very reliable and Perfect for long distance travel for our family of five.
Of course the transmission went one year after we bought it, but that was the only major mechanical problem. It was traded in for a 97 Windstar. I wanted to keep it, but a used Fox body Mustang came on the scene. Smaller, but the Mustang made more sense for daily commuting.
One of my cars was in for service and the dealer gave me a Sable wagon as a loaner. It was very likable, and I used its utility for a trip to Menard’s ( a Midwest Home Depot like chain). But, its limitations were apparent. The third row was unusable for adults, and as a rear facer it was considered obsolete and unsafe as per the child safety classes my wife and I attended when she was expecting. Tow ratings were a miserable 1,000 lbs. This was not your father’s Colony Park. The tall shadow of the SUV was all over this car by 1990.
Ah the first generation Mercury Sable. It has been years since I saw one. I actually like the 86-91 Sable better then the 86-91 Taurus due to the light bar and the fact it looked more aerodynamic then the Taurus.
I had a friend whose family owned a 1991 with a sunroof and leather and it was nice to drive.
However they have largely disappeared around my way now. My folks had a 1993(2nd gen) Taurus wagon from 1993 to 2009 and it was a good car. it was replaced by a 2009 Taurus(which its front end oddly enough gives off a 86-91 Sable vibe if you look at it at an angle)
They also own a 2003 Sable wagon and while it is not exactly an exciting car(except when you have to replace a starter on a cold winter morning where the wind has conspired to drop the temps to minus degrees due to windchill)
For those getting the itch, there’s a one-family, 67K 1993 (the barely-different Gen2) Sable wagon on eBay right now (sorry, not LX):
Although I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool Ford guy, I have to admit that the first/second-gen Taurus was relatively OK-looking for 1985-1995. The Sable’s integral headlight bar reminded me of a vacuum cleaner when I was a kid, though (and there was some kind of Pontiac from this era that had this too. I think it was a Grand-Am that had the headlight bar).
I suppose Ford was very afraid when 1993 rolled around and the world’s most beautiful cars were released–the Chrysler LH platform–and instituted what they had perceived to be a good, modern aerodynamic look in 1996 (GM countered the LH with the new Lumina, though it wasn’t as exciting as an LH). The 2000-07 redesign assuages the radical styling of the 1996-1999 Taurus/Sable, and looks respectable again.
Oh, I know this is a minor and silly question, what is the acronym on the rear windshield near the windshield wiper motor of all gen1/gen2 Taurus and Sable wagons? I found a closeup of what I’m talking about on Google Images. This has struck my curiosity since I was a kid.
I think it would be electricity wires.
It is because McCormick Spice company sponsored the wagons from Ford…. At least that was what that “M” looking thing looked like to me when I was a kid.
The real reason is less exciting, It is a electric grid for the wiper motor. Because the Tauruses/Sables with the rear wiper had the 2 in one tailgate where the whole tailgate or just the window could be open, there needed to be a way to run wires to the wiper. The way Ford found to do this was to put a electrical grid next to the motor(just like they do for rear defrost) and have the motor plug into that. Then have the wiring inside the tailgate. The latch on the window is the conduit that allows the power to pass from the tailgate to the wiper motor.
If you opened the window when the wiper motor was on the motor would stop as you have broken the connection.
I am not sure they did that with the 96-2005 Tauruses as the wiper was at the top of the tailgate.
Partially correct. The motor plugged into contacts on the opposite side of this feature, but the wiring between the window and gate was at the top, beside the hinges, not at the latch. The wiper motor would run whether the window was open or not.
Many memories of these, they symbolize my transition from early childhood when many families had full size RWD wagons or GM A body wagons, to adolescence when everyone seemingly had an SUV. These occupied that middle period between 1990-96 or so. My tastes always ran more to the Colony Park end of the spectrum but I did, and do, like these. They’re round without losing all character, highly recognizable, and ride nicely.
Towards the end of their time as a commonly seen car, c. 2001, I remember a lot of them with failing and very audible power steering, groaning around in parking lots.
I don’t think I’ve seen one since sometime before the recession.
On an older Ford product, groaning/squealing/whining power steering doesn’t mean it’s failing. If you can hear it, you know it’s still working!
(My ’97 Crown Vic has had noisy power steering for at least four years.)
The noise was also a great fluid level indicator when the steering gear in my Crown Vic was leaking through a seal.
Well I will add a dissenting voice here. I had a 1986 Sable with the 3.0 L engine that I bought new. Great car. Loved it. Unfortunately it was totaled in 1991. I went out and bought a low miles used 1989 Sable wagon with the 3.8 L engine. Hated it. Couldn’t keep brakes in it, rotors warped after 5-10K miles. Lost the water pump at 50K. Motor mounts shot at 70K and again at 85K. I had it for 3 years and couldn’t wait to dump it. Last domestic I ever owned.
The Ford Motor Co. hit four grand slam home runs in its existence, each of which probably
saved the company. The original Model T, the Model A, the 1949 Ford, and the Taurus/Sable.
The wagon version of these were great, the equal to the terrific sedan. Bold, futuristic, reliable it was the right car at the right time.
I would add the Falcon and Mustang, and possibly the 58 Thunderbird.
I would also add the Gen1 Focus – especially the platform underneath it. In all its variations, they’ve been able to pump out millions per year, profitably. And they’e a ball to drive!
My concern is leaving a dog in a closed up car, I’m hoping its not too warm there in Mass, here in Phoenix many dogs are killed this way, it does have to be very warm for the interior of the car to heat up to the point the dog has heat stroke and die an awful death. If I ever would see a dog locked in a car I would not hesitate to break a window. Now that I got that out of the way, nice Sable….
Ironically just the other day I saw a 1st gen Taurus wagon in front of me at the local supermarket. It was in great shape, and it still had that original Taurus uniqueness that was so amazing back in the 80’s when these came out. Here in New England you very rarely see any more of these cars, especially 1st gen. I had a customer of mine that still owned a light blue 1988 Taurus sedan which they named “Snowflake”. It only had about 50,000 miles on it and they absolutely loved it.
Back in 1987, my Dad’s 1982 Country Squire was approaching 100k miles and he was ready for something new. We went to the local Ford dealer, and in the showroom they had a totally loaded Taurus LX wagon. It was a bluish-green color with tan leather interior. He was ready to test drive it but kept staring at it and saying it was weird-looking to him. I wanted him to get it more than anything, but he just couldn’t pull the trigger on it. We ended up going to a Nissan dealer to look at the Maxima wagon. When he found out you couldn’t get leather in the Maxima wagon he bought a GXE sedan instead. To this day, I wish he had bought the Taurus wagon. He never loved the Maxima and he also said he should have given the Taurus a chance.
Back in 1989, when I was a kid, we test drove one of these. My parents (and I) loved the styling, and were pretty much sure we were going to buy one. Just for the heck of it, they also decided to drive a Plymouth Voyager. They loved the Voyager, didn’t like the Sable much, and went on to buy several more vehicles, including 2 more minivans, from the Chrysler/Plymouth dealer.
My sister had a first generation Taurus sedan. It was no longer pretty but survived five years of her punishment. It was driven with no coolant and no oil and just kept going. Near the end of it’s life the fuel cutoff switch in the trunk started to malfunction. A hard bump would require opening the truck and tripping the switch to restart the engine.
Rental fleets were utterly swamped with Taurus-Sable cars. One of their quirks that sticks with me is a weird “dyoof! dyoof! dyoof-dyoof! dyoof!” or “glub! glub-glub! glub glub glub!” sound, muted but audible inside the car, coming from somewhere near the rear, just after engine start. I never did figure out just what it was; my best guess was something to do with the fuel pump and/or evaporative emission control system.
Interesting. I had an 89 wagon and I don’t remember that sound. Perhaps it affected earlier models?
It’s been awhile, but I seem to remember it well into the post-’91 models. I do recall it being characteristic, not particular to one car or some-did-and-some-didn’t. That said, all the rentals were sedans. It seems entirely plausible to me that the body structure and component placement (fuel tank…) could easily have been different enough on the wagons that the sound, whatever made it, wasn’t audible.
There is probably no vehicle whose absence on the road today I feel more strongly than the Gen 1 Taurus and Sable. These were everywhere from the mid ’80s to the early 2000s but quickly disappeared. I would love to own the car featured in the article above.
Haven’t seen a first-gen. wagon (Taurus OR Sable) in quite some time. But, today, here’s a low-mileage ’86 Sable light-bar sedan that’s been sitting for a long time, though awfully clean. Hard to think of this as 33 years old, and very tempted to risk a fly-in, drive-it-home after a good going over: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1986-Mercury-Sable/132957020367?hash=item1ef4db20cf:g:uQ0AAOSwdwlcacKX:rk:8:pf:0&vxp=mtr
Oh my that is beautiful. I think its well worth the trip!
Over a hundred thousand miles on an ’86. Sure, that’s low miles for the year, but it’s high miles on a Taurus/Sable, plus the deterioration due to extended non-use, plus we see in the photo here that burned-out light bulbs have been left dead or replaced with wrong bulbs. What other slack maintenance and skived repair is hidden under the nice-lookin’ sheetmetal…?
I didn’t care for the light bars on the ’86-’88 models because the center section inexplicably didn’t light up, leaving a 4″ wide dark spot in the middle. They fixed that for ’89-’91 and the second generation models after that.
Ugly transcends time and space. Not a fan then or now.
I saw a late 80s Sable wagon with Di-Noc ‘wood’ on a backroad in Adelphia, NJ. It looked like the front wheel family hauler from ‘National Lampoon`s Christmas Vacation’. I wish I had my camera!
If you ever see this wagon again contact me immediately.
Unlike most FoMoCo station wagons, the Taurus/Sable wagons were often purchased by upscale, stylish people of means and good taste.
Anyone recall the one driven by Julie Andrews in the movie “That’s Life”? Her character was the upper middle class, bordering on wealthy SOCAL actress wife of a prominent architect, played by Jack Lemmon.
The perfect “target audience” for this car!
1991 was peak Taurus and Sable. First year the wagons could be had with ABS, second and last year of the nicer dashboard and driver airbag, third year for the full width lightbar on the Sable. The ’92 overhaul cheapened the interior.
The Sable LS and Taurus LX were competitive with far more expensive cars.