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The year was 1990… and one of the most boring economy cars ever built had been on the market since 1986.  Kids on skateboards were faster and quicker.  But a couple of guys had a dream… a sick and twisted dream.

It actually involved two different cars, both Fords, but quite different in the market, focus and performance.  The cars were the Festiva and the Taurus SHO.

1988-1989 Ford Festiva photographed in College...
1988-1989 Ford Festiva photographed in College Park, Maryland, USA. Category:Ford Festiva (WA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Festiva was the previously mentioned boring economy car.  Even for a 1.3L motor it was a dog.  Styling screamed… ok, whimpered… boring economy car.  Itsy bitsy little tires with contact patches more appropriate to the quicker skateboards.

The Taurus SHO was a different matter.  It’s 3.0L HO motor packed quite a punch for the time.  It had competent handling… I even raced against a few of these mid-size sedans on the autocross course.  The styling was still kind of weak… it was a Taurus, after all.

But, Chuck Beck and Rick Titus had the idea to mate these two unlikely machines.

Take the 3.0L HO from the Taurus and put it into the lightweight Festiva… 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.  The 1/4 mile came up in 12.9 seconds (at 109mph).  Cornering was around 1g… that would be Vette territory.  But, unlike a Vette, the SHOgun was a little twitchy in the corners.  Chalk it up to short wheelbase, mid-engine and wild power.  They made 7… Jay Leno has #3.  It would be the SHOgun.

A little more exciting than either of the donors…

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