I am including this information for people that are interested in Taurus SHO's and have actually considered buying one just to have something different from everyone else. I own a 1992 Gen 2 and a 1997 Gen 3.
The 1st and 2nd generation SHO's are entirely different animals than the 3rd generation SHO's. I just bought a 1992 SHO with a 5 speed manual (of course!) Do you REALLY want to sneak up on people? Do you have a "Clark Kent/Superman" thing going for you? Well then my friend, I have the perfect car for you! The preferred car would be the Gen 2 because the flywheel surface is larger. Larger surface means less likely to burn up and better power transfer from the engine to the transmission.
The 2nd generation SHO is this sort of mundane looking older four door car. There are available body mods and rims that make the cars look better. When driven in a civil manner it acts pretty much like any other Taurus I imagine. THEN YOU LAY INTO THAT GAS WHEN SOME CLOWN CUTS YOU OFF!!! Oh, people GET the idea QUICKLY! This car has a 7000 rpm redline downshifting from 5th to 3rd is not an issue! Say goodbye to that inconsiderate cellphone blabbing fool and say hello to 110 miles an hour :D!!!
Now lets talk about shifting, between 1989 and 1992 ALL SHO's are 5 speed manuals. So if you can't actually drive (driving automatics is not driving) it's your lucky day. For those without the coordination or inspiration to learn to drive a manual transmission you can look to the 1993 to 1995 SHO's. If you really want one (a SHO), Most of the SHO's for sale fall under this description (automatics YUCK). You will pry the manual transmission SHO's from their owners dead, cold hands including MINE.
Now comparing Gen 1's and Gen 2's to the Gen 3's. The Gen 1's and Gen 2's are "Angry Street Brawlers" and the Gen 3's are a "Civilized Interstate Express". Gen 1's and Gen 2's can be coaxed into action ANYWHERE/ANYTIME. Gen 3's make it happen out on the freeway when you turn the Overdrive off. Just let the tranny settle and bury the accelerator into the floor board. The Gen 3 doesn't really "accelerate" so much as it ascends. The Gen 1/Gen 2 cars make an angry noise in this same situation. The Gen 3 when pressed makes high tech sounds.
The Gen 3's in stock form handle noticeably better than the Gen 2's. That makes sense because the Gen 3 suspension was tuned by Jackie Stewart.
If you want a civilized, refined high speed cruiser for a lot less money than the Japenese Infiniti's, Maximas etc etc, get a Generation 3 Taurus. Just be prepared to shell out an extra five or six hundred dollars to get the cams welded or buy one that has already been modified. If you don't YOU'LL BE SORRY!!! Ford and Yamaha dropped the ball on the cam design for the Gen 3 V8.
If you want a car that will sneak up on those corny rice cookers that have modifications limited to an exhaust system and a wing get the Gen 2! When they were first released it beat the Mustang GT in stock form. The engines were built by Yamaha (the motorcycle company)
Have fun and be prepared to spend BIG MONEY getting it run just right. After that you will be happy!