We all know how the third gen Taurus/Sable fared in the mid-size marketplace after its introduction. But what happens when the both the auto industry and the entire world collapse? How will our curbside classics perform in that brave new world?
By all accounts, AMC’s strategy of investing large sums of money into their television series has paid off quite handsomely. Mad Men successfully parades its own dashing man (Jon Hamm) and woman (the vivacious Christina Hendricks) around a 1960s ad agency. The Walking Dead features characters struggling to live day-to-day in post-society Georgia. So what happens when a protagonist ventures out in a car all by her lonesome? (Warning: Spoilers ahead).
When her husband’s search party fails to return from its search for another AWOL character within a reasonable time, Lori sets out in this beige, third-generation Sable to track them down.
But what do you do while trying to find the location of your husband and others in an unfamiliar area? Apparently, you look at a map as you drive. Take a gander at the road ahead for some obvious foreshadowing.
Bam! Lori’s lack of common sense sends the Sable straight into…a human? Let’s find out:
The episode ended with Lori’s stupidity sending her flying off the road with her poor car hanging precariously on its side. On to the beginning of the next one:
Its nighttime now, and an injured Lori looks quite incapacitated. But what about that person (?) she hit?
Definitely undead, and completely aware of the tasty flesh resting in the drivers seat.
Uh oh. Mr. Zombie (or ‘walker’, in the parlance of the show) isn’t going to let some tempered glass get between him and a meal.
She’s awake! And not exactly thrilled to be in her current position.
The walker keeps coming. Get out of there, Lori!
Too late! The walker grabs her by the hair.
Is this the end for our protagonist? There are few options at this point…
But wait, what’s this? Why, it’s the turning stalk/windshield wiper controller combo!
Lori takes a firm grasp of the stalk…
…and promptly dispatches the threat. At this point, the stalk looks like its gone full-CGI.
Whew! That was a close call. Note the Mercury badge in the foreground; some good directing, if you ask me.
Oh God, not another walker!
Time to get away! But is Lori grasping for something beyond her reach?
Ah, yes! An errant alloy rim, perfect for smashing walkers in the face.
Lori readies the improvised walker-fighting device…
…and the walker is KO’d.
Still, it wasn’t enough. Walker number two continues as a threat. What is she gonna do now?
A pistol! It’s a quite effective way to stop the undead, but it’s back in the car. Also, did the rear seats just vanish after the accident? Personal experience with those 60/40 seats tells me they wouldn’t completely disengage so easily after an accident.
Here. We. Go. Lori is tucked inside the lopsided trunk of the Sable, gun in hand. The undead fellow continues his advance, hoping to get a nice midnight snack from (or of) the pretty lady.
The aftermath: Lori exercises her post-apocalyptic second amendment rights and puts that sucker down, all while inside the spacious trunk of a third-gen Sable.
The danger gone, Lori now contemplates her surroundings. There’s no sign of anyone, anywhere. Now she must venture into the unknown with one less bullet and one less car.
So what’s the takeaway here? Even after a Sable dies, it can be resurrected as a walker-fighting machine.
A Panther platform vehicle would have made more sense…that platform was brought back from the dead several times, and the cars themselves refuse to die.
Lol, clever! 😀
Makes sense, the only time you could drive one of these cars without getting laughed at would be after the fall of civilization.
I see a pattern here. Roger628 shared this clip in the discussion about yesterday’s 62 Monterey. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDtYsBte57E
In it, Ray Milland’s family relies on their Mercury to navigate a desperate, lawless world.
Now, the Sable is instrumental in protecting its owner from the walking dead.
It’s now been proved – in the event of an apocalypse of some kind, whatever you do, find yourself a Mercury. It’s your only hope!
Thankfully I have 3 in the fleet.
I just don’t get all this zombie crap.
Ditto. And man, modern TV is gross.
I’d rather watch the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Interesting post, nonetheless.
It’s a PC way to frame the premise: collapse of civilization at the hands of outside forces. Anything other than zombies invites cries of racism, bigotry, religious-phobia, stereotyping of some generalized type.
The zombie lobby being pretty weak, they’re safe to use as bogeymen…for the time being.
That said…when the apocalypse hits, I’m not going to be in something that needs a gallon of gas every 25 miles and invites pot shots. IF I have to move about, it will be by small motorcycle. Travel light; travel quiet; don’t invite raiders. Look even more desperate; be ready to tuck and roll and move the bike under the bushes.
But…as escapist entertainment…I guess I can understand a zombie attack…
A 2nd gen Escalade or Hummer H2 works pretty well in the post apocalypse as well, if one goes by Zombieland. Bill Murray, not so much.
“A vortec 6.0 liter, a box full of hollow points and lord willing a goddam Twinkie. You gotta enjoy the little things”
That was a great line.
Most people wouldnt be seen dead in a Taurust never mind undead
Lol, excellent one-liner there Bryce!
The front end of the ’96 to ’99 Sable reminds me of Bubbles from The Trailer Park Boys.
Call me a tasteless philistine (And you will ) but when they came out, I thought that the Taurus and Sable were a relief compared to the tepid 2nd gen re-design. I truly beleive that If these cars had not had the ultra cheap looking Tupperware inspired ovoid interiors, they would have been successful. Think of buyers comming into the showroom in the day. The new look may have been odd to them but, they had been through this before. I beleive that, once they sat down inside the new cars in the showroon that it was just too much. Many must have shopped elsware. My younger brother had one of this generation ( Perhaps a 97). Looking at it to me was fine, being in it and driving it was something else intirely. The interior was one, YES, one colour. It was the same beige that speakes defeat to all that see it. The driving experience was equally disconcerting. The remarkable thing about steering feel and accuracy was simply that it was nowhere to be found. Acceleration was another dissapointment. Although my brothers’ car had the DOHC emblem on the front fender, the recalcitrent transmission frustrated it’s, admittedly, modest spec to power ratio. My brother replaced it with a 2005 Crown Vic. The first of his long line of Fords that had any appreciable steering accuacy. If they could find the right tire, rack, assist, combo on this relic, what happened in the development of the third gen Taurus/Sable?
I understand your comments on the car, but disagree with some points you made.
The only cheap interior bits in the car are definitely the door panels – total plastic. But after 15 years mine still look great because they can’t be stained. Some other cars with actual fabric on the door don’t have that ability. As for the monotone interior, some of these cars did come with poor coloring schemes, my car in particular has the beige door panels and black dash, which in my opinion, looks quite good.
It seems like your brother may have gotten a poorly maintained Taurus that soured your experience. My 1997 has plenty of steering feedback and handles quite well. I’ve never actually driven one of these with the Duratec V6 though, so you might be right about the troublesome tranny.
Edward, I understand your satisfaction with your car. I myself own a car that I actualy ordered “from the factory” that is universaly pilloried as an unreliable piece of human waste. My experience of this car, however, has been different from the masses. It has been a paragon of reliabile service and after 11 years, it still looks and drives, as new. The lesson taught by the Taurus interior design of those years, I think, was Luxury feel does not equate with molded plastic door pannels. Servicable and easy to clean, I will grant. With my car, I sprang for the leather interior, largely due to the excellent service that my brother had with his experience from his Ford leather interiors. My POS with it’s leather seats and stiched leather and naugahide door panels still looks good. My brother’s Taurus with leather seemed to me to be of a different order. The seats still looked fine by the time that he traded it but the door panels, while clean, still looked so plain. They just seemed to scream, one class down. As for the steering Issue, I can only go by by brother’s car. The Irritating thing about it that I found was that it was over-assisted and required constant attention at the wheel as it seemed to have little sense of the straight ahead. I will grant you that something may have been amis on my brother’s car but he did have it scrupulously maintained by a Ford dealer and he never complained about it. My brother did complain, when driving my car, that it had armstrong power steering.
I guess those door panels really are the linchpin, aren’t they?
For me, I’m able to look past it because the entire dash seems to make up for it with high quality plastics and excellent ergonomics. The cloth seats in the Sable are also fantastic; just as supple as when I got the car over eight years ago. Its possible FoMoCo cheapened the Taurus seat upholstery, but that might be more of a conspiracy theory.
Edward, I guess that they are. They seemed to be space age when none of us truly thaught that they were. They are definitly 2001 a space odesey but, if ford had crafted an interior that had soft touch surfaces, aparently touched by human hands in this gen. of Taurus I still think that it would have sold like hotcakes.
I posted in response to your earlier Taurus post Ed, that I had excitedly awaited the Taruii arrival in New Zealand in 1996, liking the photos I’d seen of the inside and outside, only to be bitterly disappointed by the attrocious quality of the door panel. Their poor quality construction and finish ruined the overall experience for me. The design still looks great though!
Shite Movie-side Classics–I truly hope this becomes a regular series.
I,d much rather see close ups of Christina Hendricks with a classic,no sorry make that 2 curvaceous Classics ;o)
An errant alloy rim? Looks like a (mostly plastic) hubcap to me.
You might be right, I wasn’t sure if those Sable models had rims or plastic on them since I’ve never seen one up close. My own ride has the classier alloys.
This is how you zombie proof your rig
Mighty Car Mods
Last year The Walking Dead was heavily sponsored by Hyundai………so of course it was Hyundai to the rescue every time! And, as is the Hollywood movie norm, whenever you see an older model car in a major scene……expect BAD things 😉
(kinda like seeing a “new” guy on the Enterprise Bridge…….you just know he isn’t going to last the episode)
There was a new Challenger in the first year, and I think the RV was a Dodge too. So there was some product placement there too.
That’s a family joke when we watch TV. I’ll see, say, a ’99 Tahoe and wonder out loud if it will crash, blow up or drive off a cliff.
Yeah, their automotive choices outside of the blatant Hyundai product placement are strange. If you’re facing the prospect of no reliable source of gasoline for the foreseeable future, why are you driving pickup trucks and CUVs? Wouldn’t you want a hybrid or higher mileage small car? The show frustrates me sometimes.
Breaking Bad has some blatant Chrysler product placement–wonder if they have a package deal with AMC? (If Don Draper is driving an Imperial next season, we’ll know.)
Oh wow man, she stuck it in his eye.
The Taurus/Sable of this generation had an incredibly brittle-feeling turn signal stalks. I guess the series shows us it’s good for something at least.
It also feature sharp edged corner of the front doors, good for poking them zombies in the shins. It sure poked mine.
Really? I always thought the stalk felt pretty solid. But then again, it could only be because I was enamored with the signal/windshield wiper controller combo, which I believe is still a feature of brand new Fords.
As for this sharp edge you mention…I think you know what you’re talking about, but am not sure, is it the very bottom of the doors?
This may be due to not being American, but I had to do a triple-take before I realised `AMC’ referred to TV network instead of Jeeps and Ramblers.