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Discussion Starter #1
If you want to know more than most people in Deerborn about the entire development of the Gen III Taurus/Sable, from pre-development to the showroom, I suggest you pick up a copy of Car: A Drama of the American Workplace.

Someone pointed me in the direction of the book last year, and being a huge nerd, I jumped at the chance to read an entire book about my beloved Ford Taurus, and this delivered.

Ford allowed this woman, a reporter, complete access to the DN101 (the internal name for the Gen III Taurus/Sable) team, she even had a desk right in their offices. You get to read about all the glitches in production, internal squabbles over design elements...

I don't think there's any other book that goes into such detail about the development of a car, and it's really an awesome read if you're in to that sort of thing.

Reading this will give you a whole new apprication for the cars you drive, and the effort that went into building them. There were dozens of people who obsessed over the placement of controls, the routing of a wiring harness, the color of the instrument lights, and hundreds more in Atlanta and Chicago who genuinely care about putting together a car.

Anyway, I'm going to stop rambling about the book, but you can tell how interested I am in that sort of thing. I figured I'd share it here because it's marketed as a business book (which it is, I guess) and I don't think it's likely many people have read it.

Don't let the business part turn you off, the writing isn't dry at all, well, assuming you like reading about cars and the work that goes into making them.
 
B

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Nice find! I posted this to the V8 SHO list as well. I'm going to tell Anonda to get it for me for my birthday (in 12 days). :)
 

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I ordered me a copy along with another book written on the beginning of the Taurus. Also ordered a copy of Doom 3 :) DROOL can't wait. The Doom 3 demo was awesome, and it put my mom's PC on it's knees.
 

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I wonder if it touches on the problems of the V8 cam problems. Would be documented proof from the design phase that Ford knew about the problem but didn't do anything to fix it. Just a thought.

-mobiuslogic
 

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Intresting... Library has two copies, I reserved one :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Originally posted by mobiuslogic@Oct 14 2004, 10:04 AM
I wonder if it touches on the problems of the V8 cam problems. Would be documented proof from the design phase that Ford knew about the problem but didn't do anything to fix it. Just a thought.

-mobiuslogic
It does not touch as much on the SHO development at all, so the cam problem does not appear in the book.

The ending is pretty sad, it touches on the fact that the Gen III Taurus was a massive failure (as far as Ford's Sales and Upper Management was concerned) and how most of the leaders of the DN101 project quickly disappeared or were moved to less important positions.

They were really in charge with "re-painting the mona lisa" (quote from the book), they had to re-design the country's best selling car and the flagship of Ford's car fleet, and they did so with a design that was just as fresh and different as the original Taurus' in 1986.

It's a shame the design turned the public off (I admit it's a very...different design) and Ford's SUV-Obsessed management let the platform go without much needed attention.

I have hopes that the Five Hundred will turn around Ford's complete disregard for the consumer car market, because the fact that the Taurus/Sable can still hang in at #3 despite Ford's lack of attention shows that they can still make good cars, if they want to.
 

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Just ordered the book.

Keep in mind - the time that Gen III was around, SUV's were King. If you didn't have an Explorer or Expy, you were just a pee-on. Not to mention I think Jack Nasser was in charge of Ford at the time. I'm not 100% certain of the years of his reign, I know he left not long after the Firestone tire recall debacle.

Saving grace to the Bull was that Ford was dropping the T-Bird and the Gen III was put forth as it's replacement body shape in NASCAR competition.

Now with $2.00 per gallon petrol and oil markets going up even more daily, those SUV's don't look like such a good thing after all.

[I'm not a fan of SUV's - had an Explorer once, it had major issues, and I'll never get one again!]
 

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Originally posted by Sir Hailstone@Oct 14 2004, 01:36 PM
Keep in mind - the time that Gen III was around, SUV's were King. If you didn't have an Explorer or Expy, you were just a pee-on.
I never even thought about that. I know that my parent's went from a Taurus (Gen II) to an Explorer and then right to the Expedition. The my mom went back down to a Mustang, once my sister and I graduated HS.

JR
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh, I know all too well the hell of driving an SUV. I don't understand why people like them, they handle like complete crap. I don't want to worry about rolling over when I go into a corner.

For reference, here's my previous car parked next to my new car.

Yeah, I get about 10-15 more mpg now.
 

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Originally posted by mjolley@Oct 14 2004, 12:31 PM
The ending is pretty sad, it touches on the fact that the Gen III Taurus was a massive failure (as far as Ford's Sales and Upper Management was concerned) and how most of the leaders of the DN101 project quickly disappeared or were moved to less important positions.

They were really in charge with "re-painting the mona lisa" (quote from the book), they had to re-design the country's best selling car and the flagship of Ford's car fleet, and they did so with a design that was just as fresh and different as the original Taurus' in 1986.

It's a shame the design turned the public off (I admit it's a very...different design) and Ford's SUV-Obsessed management let the platform go without much needed attention.

I have hopes that the Five Hundred will turn around Ford's complete disregard for the consumer car market, because the fact that the Taurus/Sable can still hang in at #3 despite Ford's lack of attention shows that they can still make good cars, if they want to.
IMO the Gen. 3 was just too much of a different "design" for the time it was released. Say for example if it was released today or even 2 years ago, I would be willing to bet the car would do that much better. The oval concept scared people and looked too futuristic in 1996. Every other vehicle was still trying to get away from the boxiness of the late 80's-mid 90's automobiles, but wasn't quite as far along as the Taurus was (ie. the dominant curves of the car). The "new" Taurus was developed too early for auto buyers and ultimately led to its demise sales wise.

What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I completely agree.

The Gen III was way too different, and it scared people off. I like to rag on it, because it was my first car, as being goofy looking...but really, I liked it.

It was completely different and innovative, from the ground up, and sadly I think that was exactly what the Taurus didn't need to be. It freaked consumers out.

I don't know, I still can't look at the front end of a Gen III without seeing a big, grinning face, so it'll always be this strange goofy design to me...but there really isn't another car like it, it was an original.
 

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Yeah.. G3s are a lot better looking now then they were in 1996. Heck, now Buick has a car that looks just like it. I think the G3 Taurus opened the door for the luxary brands to start offering cars that aren't so boxy. Everyone learned from the Taurus design and copied it later on.

I love the way my car looks. It looks like a newer car. The only thing I don't like about the GEN3s was they had way too many interior colors. My In-Laws have a 1999 SE that has the ugly blue interior. I hate how it looks.
 

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Originally posted by mjolley@Oct 14 2004, 05:10 PM
Oh, I know all too well the hell of driving an SUV. I don't understand why people like them, they handle like complete crap. I don't want to worry about rolling over when I go into a corner.

For reference, here's my previous car parked next to my new car.

Yeah, I get about 10-15 more mpg now.
To each their own.... the newest generation of Explorers are a dream ride compared to the old ones, they handle much like a car. My wifes car is going bye bye next year for an Explorer :) Unlike some who don't use it as such, ours will be well used as an SUV.
 
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