Brad, Conan, and me

What do us three hunks have in common?  The answer is easy and natural:  we're all (former) proud owners of a Ford Taurus SHO. 

Mine was an 89 with a chalky black finish.  A good car with a fabulous, fabulous motor. The best device ever conceived by mankind for laying some patch.  On a cold Oregon winter highway, in the dark and in the wet, I could shoot huge rooster tails of sparks out from the slipping studs of my winter Michelins on steel wheels.  Oh, the romance.

Sadly, the Taurus brand isn't what it used to be.  Years of being the default choice of rental agencies will do that to your brand equity.  And at a personal level of branding, to admit in public that you loved an SHO is something akin to admitting that you used to play with GI Joe dolls. But hey, it's all true.  I'm not afraid to say that I loved driving my SHO, and I hated parting with it.  The day the truck came to my house to take it away, I made sure I was away for the afternoon so that I didn't have to be a witness to the act.

At what point do you release yourself from brand snobbery and just live your life, do what you want, buy what you want, consume what you want when you want?  Hopefully one of the outcomes of this big economic reset will be a relaxing of our emphasis on brand value, with a shift toward intrinsic value. I think there will be more freedom to be you and me, with more acceptance of those of us with strange tastes or less appetite for consumption (I drove my SHO for 12 very good years — and only one clutch).

I mean, look how happy Brad looked as he peeled out in his new whip.  Isn't that what it's all about?