Monday, January 12, 2009

Cars Part 7: 1987 Ford Taurus MT5 Sedan



1987 Ford Taurus MT5 Sedan—Tony was a fellow prior-service Marine. He worked with me during the night shift at The Warehouse.

Tony was of Italian extraction. I knew this to be fact because his last name ended in many vowels, and he enjoyed hinting that he was a hit man, or that his dad was a hit man, or that he was somehow connected with the Mafia…as if there really was such a thing.

Tony could often be seen wearing government issue jungle boots, and a field jacket liner for added warmth during the colder months.





Regardless, I liked Tony. He seemed to be a good dude, and we got along famously. He had the attitude most Marines have, so we were like long lost brothers.

Or something...

When he heard I was looking to buy a used, family-type automobile, Tony offered his up for my inspection.

It was a 1987 Ford Taurus MT-5. It had a four-banger and a 5-speed manual transmission, and an air conditioner that didn’t work.

It was also my first front-wheel drive vehicle.

The MT-5 designation was supposedly super special and not available in the Mercury Sable, the Taurus’s other and more fancy brother.

The intardnets said this about it:

“Taurus offered a 2.5-liter four-cylinder model from 1986 to 1988 dubbed the "MT5". It was exclusive to the sedan body and was not available on any Mercury Sable version. The Taurus MT5 can be identified by badging on the trim near the front doors.”

So there!

That means it was uber cool and rare and a special edition and way more better than a regular, run-of-the-mill, everyday, shitty Taurus!

Now…I hadn’t rowed gears since the early days of my youth…when I would, without permission, borrow Dad’s beat up Ford F150 with a Rock-Crusher 4-speed, and go tear-assing around the block a few times.

Anyhoo…I inspected the Taurus at night (always a bad idea), after our shift. I test-drove it by racing through the industrial complex, running through all the gears, and jumping some railroad tracks.

The 4-cylinder was anemic, as I was accustomed to V-8s, but the car had four doors, and seemed OK.

It would be a good backup to the minivan if it was down for service, and we needed to haul babies around.

I handed Tony the correct amount of $100 dollar bills, and the sale was complete.

I drove it home that night.

A closer look at it in the daylight would lead to its nickname…The Taco Car.

I always give a newly acquired vehicle another detailed inspection once I get it home.

Upon further review, it appeared as if my buddy Tony had little to no interest in cleaning up his former ride before he sold it to me.

I found what appeared to be several different varieties of partially eaten foodstuffs collected deep down inside the center console.

I couldn’t identify exactly what kind of half-rotted material I found there, so I assumed it was taco-related…hence the car's nickname.



I spent all day cleaning the Taurus interior.

It was extremely funky.

After scrubbing the carpets, my bucket water took on the appearance of canned chicken gravy.

The headliner was partially caved in, so I just ripped it all the way out.

Mechanically, I didn’t have to do a whole lot to the car. Tires all around, and shocks on the ass-end, was just about it.

I had to replace the muffler, but, unbelievably, I did not replace it with a glass pack.

Glass packs on four bangers sound like ricers or farting bees and are improper and imprudent.

I have no drunken stories to relate to you regarding this sled either.

Yes.

I was becoming more civilized with every passing day.

How ordinary…and boring.



In spite of everything, Tony and I remained friends until I quit The Warehouse after a year of employment.

After parting ways there, I never saw him again.

I would keep the Taurus until its engine started smoking...a nasty and disgusting habit, and I would have none of it.

I wasn’t going to put any more money into this shitbox, and I was looking for something else to replace it.

My next vehicle would be a huge blast from the past.

And I mean HUGE!

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