Will we ever see a modern two door car in Ford’s lineup not named Mustang? Probably not, especially considering the current sales plight of the four door sedan. Thirty years ago, the idea of an intra-company Mustang competitor was also far fetched, but thanks to a company called Cars & Concepts, someone’s dream became a reality.
By the 1989 model year, the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable were riding high, as critics and car shoppers alike continued to thoroughly enjoy the vehicles several years after their paradigm-shifting debut. With the sedan and wagon, Ford designed the Taurus and Sable for young families, which meant that anything beyond the SHO performance trim was never seriously considered. And no evidence exists of any such variants being discussed anyway.
So why does something like this exist? According to the information available on the internet, this creation was the brainchild of Cars & Concepts, a company based out of Michigan that specialized in concept cars and also periodically built specialty vehicles for automakers and other customers. The company doesn’t exist anymore, but their legacy lives on in this very unique Sable.
The company obviously went all out with their modifications to the Sable, and the result was a fully retractable top that didn’t need much human intervention for its operation.
The team responsible for the Sable convertible definitely knew their stuff, as the design doesn’t look marred by any of the modifications, which included front doors that measured a foot longer than the production model. Although this example started out as a sedan, Cars & Concepts incorporated the rear suspension of the wagon in order to make the top fit inside the trunk and also deal with the extra weight.
Television screens were fitted into the rear seats as well. Obviously those tiny 3″ units are laughable by contemporary standards, but I imagine they were pretty cool thirty years ago.
Despite being a concept, at some point the car was apparently assigned a VIN, so any potential buyer would have no problem driving it on public roads.
And the car does deserve to be showed off. That was its whole purpose anyway. The concept was brought to the Cobo Center in 1989 for the Society of Automotive Engineers International Congress, most likely because the company wanted to show off their convertible technology. And what better car to modify?
In some alternative universe Ford contracted with Cars & Concepts for a limited production run of Sable convertibles that are still highly sought after today.
Fortunately, the Sable seems to have been well taken care of over the years. The car resurfaced in late 2017 when its owner put it up for sale. With an odometer reading of about 9,800 miles, it seems the car traveled less than 300 miles during its tenure with this particular individual. It’s been advertised on the internet several times, hence the older pictures. Before the older ad disappeared, the asking price was $15,900, which I don’t think is too unreasonable considering its status as a one-off vehicle. Recently the car was posted on craiglist again, this time with an asking price of $17,995.
Taurus.org listing for the 1989 Sable Convertible Concept