Ford had one of its all-time greatest successes with the original 1986-2007 Taurus (and its Mercury Sable twin), and the roomy Taurus wagon could take credit for a respectable slice of those sales. Still, the parallel rise of the minivan and the SUV squeezed wagon sales hard as the 1990s progressed. The full-sized, rear-wheel-drive LTD Crown Victoria Country Squire got the axe in 1991, but the sales momentum of the Taurus wagon kept it alive well into our current century. Today’s Junkyard Find in Colorado is one of the final handful of Taurus/Sable wagons ever built, and thus an important part of our automotive heritage.
All Sable production ended in 2004, with a tiny sprinkling of model-year ’05 Sable sedans and wagons rolling out of showrooms before the end. The final Taurus wagons rolled off the Georgia assembly line in late 2004 as 2005 models, and all wore the second-from-the-bottom SE trim level. Production of the original Taurus sedan continued through 2007, though every one built after early 2006 went to fleet buyers only. After that, the Taurus name was applied to a Volvo-based sedan and its crossover cousin, but it just wasn’t the same.
Yes, a numbers-matching, original, final-year Taurus wagon. This is another excellent junkyard example of the “rare but not valuable” phenomenon.
The 1986 Taurus could be purchased with an optional 3.0-liter pushrod V6 known as the Vulcan, and this engine continued to be bolted into the original Tauruses and Sables all the way to the very end. The more modern and powerful Duratec V6 went into the top-shelf Taurus SEL for 2005, but all the ’06s and ’07s got the primitive-but-sturdy Vulcan. All 2005 Taurus and Sable wagons have Vulcans, rated at 155 horsepower.
The SE’s interior was designed to withstand the rigors of rental-car use, so it’s very sensible and very gray.
With the demise of the Taurus wagon, Ford shoppers had just the tiny Focus as their sole true, non-crossover wagon option… and the Focus wagon was discontinued after the 2007 model year. A far cry from the 1980s, when you could get Ford and Mercury wagons in three different sizes and with faux-wood paneling.
While the Taurus wagon underwent facelifts and redesigns for 1992, 1996 and 2000, the underlying chassis remained much the same as those under the original cars that appeared on the street in late 1985.
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