Here we go again, with another edition of “Can’t throw a rock without hitting one of these there, but it’s impossibly rare here”. Today’s car is a 1991 Taurus in a lovely brown hue, bought new from the States and brought over by someone most likely of advanced age by now. In that sense it matches the earlier Mustang post exactly, and even resembles the white Maxima.
The Taurus wasn’t really available here new, except for a few anomalies brought into the country by the official Ford importer. Back then, 20-25 years ago, US cars commanded a certain cachet; they were bought by older guys who had driven cars since the ’30s-’40s. And since back then the only useable cars that were in the country tended to be American cars, the user base grew strong. Nowadays there isn’t much other American-branded available or commonly bought than the Cruze or Caliber caliber stuff, and that is a shame in my opinion; for the sake of variety, if not for anything else.
But, back from calibrating and into this Taurus.
As befits an older guy’s car, the Taurus has accumulated a few bumps and scrapes. The graphite-painted bumpers have had the paint peel on scuffs, and the wheelarches show signs of rubbing.
The plate surround notes the car was sold new by Thomason Ford in Gladstone, Portland. Wonder if they’d seen the Taurus end up way east from Oregon?
The car was photographed in the old town. It’s a well-preserved neighbourhood with housing dating back to the 17th century.
But on the Taurus it seems the door bottoms are bulging and bubbling; it’s probably spent a bulk of its years in Finland and isn’t a too-recent import. The battle scars on it are browning heavily, too, as are the wheelarch edges.
The winter tires seem to be of US origin. How old can they be? The lattice alloy wheels still look tidy and still have their centre caps, and those as well as the old tires give me the idea the car hasn’t gotten too much winter driving. There is a rust-proofing sticker, probably from the time when the car was imported, but it’s most likely only protected the underbody.
Thinking of the Taurus’s fate, it’s easy to make some assumptions. If it’s driven by an older character, the person is likely to give up driving in the near future. The Taurus then would move down in the family, possibly as a hand-me-down car, but the brown colour would only engage a more distinguished recipient of a free car than today’s unthankful teenager might be.
Then, if the Taurus hit the used car market, it would make only a certain amount of sense as there are bound to be a bunch of things to fix – not only the bodywork – and Taurus parts availability here must be less than stellar despite a strong US car fanbase. If it’s only had a limited amount of use lately, there will be deteriorated seals and other annoying things that will significantly hamper the Taurus’s enjoyability.
The Taurus here is sort-of-comparable to a Ford Taunus in a weird twist of fate. The Taunus, or Cortina as it was known in Britain, was the blocky old-guy predecessor of the swoopy Sierra that was pretty much what the Taurus meant for Stateside buyers (yes, I’m skipping the Merkur saga here). But as much as the aerodynamic Sierra and Taurus blew the straight-lined conservatively styled old mens’ cars out of the water then, they’re now the wheels of choice for old people who drive with flat caps on.
For me, a first-generation Taurus has OCP Detroit written all over it and I want mine either with a Robocop tie-in or a Yamaha power plant; in the guise as it’s featured here it doesn’t really live up to my Taurus fantasies.