This JDM 1996 Ford Taurus Wagon for Sale Is Astoundingly Cool
Typically a Ford Taurus is a humdrum car that doesn’t present much interest. This one is incredibly neat.
Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) cars are always cool when they wash up on our shores. But a little-known fact about Japan is the small but strong contingent of car enthusiasts that love buying American cars. This 1996 Ford Taurus Wagon is one of the wackier examples of this phenomenon.
Typically a Ford Taurus is a humdrum car that doesn’t present much interest. There are a few things about this Taurus that are genuinely neat. One, it is a Japanese sold and delivered Taurus Wagon, complete with a Ford Nagoya sticker on the rear glass. Two, this generation of Taurus is closely related to the overseas Ford Mondeo. Three, these cars are supposedly lovely to drive.
As is customary, I searched for a sound clip of the 3.0-liter quad-cam Duratec V6 that powers this bread van. It won’t set the world alight with acceleration, but it sounds nice. The only real bummer with this car is that it is automatic, and Taurus’ didn’t typically come with a manual unless it was the medium-quick SHO model.
JDM-spec actually means something for the Taurus. Instead of the four headlight treatment that we know and love, Japanese-delivered cars get Mercury Sable headlights and a unique front bumper to complete the look. This particular example adds a Borzoi front lip. According to the seller, it is one of three lips in existence. I’ve never actually heard of Borzoi, and I’ve been head-deep in Japanese car culture my whole life, so it is an incredibly rare piece for a very strange car.
The last few weird export market things the car has is an actual center console-mounted handbrake instead of the foot-actuated handbrake we got in the states. So, no automatic but it can do serious handbrake turns. It also has a rear-facing jumpseat in the rear hatch, which is neat.
Finally, tri-spokes. It completes the weird space-bubble mid-’90s aesthetic of the car so beautifully that it’s almost hard to believe. As a bonus, it appears to come with the original Japanese license plate on the front. If the plate is correct, the car was registered in the city of Nagano in the Nagano Prefecture and was registered as a private vehicle over 2000cc. The Ford Nagoya sticker means the car was likely road-tripped home, or the sticker was added later. Either way, this car was judged well from the word go.
So yeah, this car is intensely cool. If I had a little less good judgment and a lot more money, this would be my ultimate seventh car—cheers to whoever does snag this rare oddity.