5k: SHOcase of the Dakotas: 1987 Mercury Sable wagon, SHO swap

One of the more unfortunate tendencies of human beings is to reduce a culture to stereotypes and rash generalizations. For example, the Dakotas are not merely Fargo jokes and wide open spaces, but an exercise in pragmatism. As in, inexpensive land, low taxes, low unemployment, low crime (except for that fellow with the woodchopper) and a low chance of getting heat stroke. Like a 220-horsepower family wagon, it does the job right without begging for attention, which is a polite way of saying it has all the sex appeal of a Cosby sweater. Find this 1987 Mercy Sable wagon with SHO swap for sale in Rapid City, SD for $4,500 via craigslist.

This Mercury is from the second year of Sable production, and predates the Taurus SHO by two years. It’s reminiscent of the 1992 Chop’n’SHOp Taurus wagon featured in September, but more sneaky. All-original and unassuming on the outside, and apropros of its cultural climate, this white-on-tan longroof is a vessel of conservatism.

The Yamaha-tuned V6 and 5-speed manual transmission were swapped in 1991 and have put on just 58,000 extra-urban miles since then. You’ll find Mustang brakes and a Tokico/Eibach strut/spring setup in the front, with SHO disc brakes and coilovers in the back. Thicker sway bars are the practical way to control body movement while maintaining road comfort. Practical is the name of the game, but no games are allowed until you finish your homework.

The side mirrors are color-keyed but the handles aren’t, because you’re likely to break the handle when the door freezes shut on sub-zero mornings and it’s easier to find replacements when you have one color to choose from. Of the two sets of wheels shown, one is probably mounted with winter tires because it’s cheaper to own two sets of wheels than two different cars. You’re only allowed to shift gears for yourself because 5-speed Ford transmissions returned greater fuel economy than contemporary 4-speed autos. However, a column-shifter would allow for a front bench seat… better get to work on that immediately in an appropriately paced timely manner.

See a car with greater headlight area? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com.

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.