Shogun is essentially a well executed car conversion performed
by a company called Special Editions in Upland, California.
Notable features was the Ford Taurus SHO V-6 drivetrain installed
in a mid-engine configuration within the Ford Festiva bodyshell.
concept for the Shogun is credited to Rick Titus (drove a Saleen
Mustang to become SCCA 1987 Escort Endurance Champion and magazine
editor). Titus approached Chuck Beck with an idea to install
a Ford Taurus SHO V-6 (4 cams, 24 valves, 220 horsepower) drivetrain
in the rear of a diminutive Ford Festiva (Beck was a chassis
fabricator well known for his Porsche 550 Spyder replicas and
work with the Shelby GT-350 and Ford GT-40 racing programs from
result of this was the first Shogun, the yellow prototype which
was developed (in 1990) to refine the concept and to test marketability.
The Shogun prototype was based on a salvaged (roll-over) Taurus
that was found in Dallas, Texas. The Festiva body used for the
prototype was actually a 1988 model (again, located from salvage).
concept proved good enough, for Beck and Titus to commence production
on the remaining 6 cars (a total of 7 Shoguns were built, including
the prototype. All are numbered 1-7). The yellow prototype was
featured in an issue of Car and Driver who quipped the Shogun
was "one loose cannon" (anyone have a scan or print
of this issue?). Some changes were made to the prototype not
found in the later cars, primarily the fender flares/spoilers
were refined and smoothed some (note softer styling lines) and
the BBS 15 x8 and 16 x 9.5 honeycomb wheels (popular back then)
were dropped. Peter Brock (key designer of the Shelby Daytona
Coupe) was enlisted to help with the styling changes (fiberglass
bodywork and interior).
of the Shoguns were built to customer order to work around the
DOT certification laws, however the car did meet emissions regulations
(including California of course). The stock SHO drivetrain retained
all the original emissions equipment. The Shogun's sticker price
was somewhat of shock to some ($47,500 US). It is important
to remember though that included in the price was a new
Taurus SHO and new Ford Festiva (SHO drivetrain was new).
These both were required for the conversion. The production
Shoguns were not based on salvaged cars. The quality of this
conversion done by Beck was impeccable.
steps to make a Shogun began with the removal of the drivetrains
from both vehicles. The Festiva rear floorpan was removed and
a tubular rear spaceframe (with integral 2 pt rollbar) welded
to accept the new powerplant. The side doors also received additional
door impact beams. The Yamaha-built SHO V-6 was in my opinion,
the best all around performing V-6 at the time and was a logical
choice for a superb powerplant. A sweet note exited the two
Supertrapp mufflers which the Shogun was equipped with (often
the mufflers would get discolored a different shade due to the
exhaust routing which caused the left side to run hotter than
components from the SHO were also used for the suspension. The
car used the front SHO spindles, strut housings, hubs,
vented 10" rotors, and brake calipers for both front and
rear. Custom made for the Shogun were the Koni strut inserts
used in all four corners. The modified SHO struts were adjustable
for ride height (coil-over) and were fitted with special rate
Eibach springs. An additional (adjustable) front stabilizer
bar is used along with the stock Festiva piece in the front.
It attaches to the front struts via a link. The rear toe is
set using a Taurus front tie rod end. Solid bushings are used
in the rear suspension to eliminate compliance. The wheels used
on the production Shogun are Boyds aluminum (billet center/spun
outer). Sizes were 15 x 8 for the front and 16 x 10 for the
rear. Tires used were Goodyear Eagle 205/50VR15 (front) and
245/45/16 (rear). The rear tires were actually the softer compound
("S") for added grip. The Festiva rack and pinion
was retained (except for #005 car which featured a quicker ratio).
The original space taken by the stock 63hp Festiva 1.3, was
used mostly for a 15 or 17 gallon (not sure which) racing-type
fuel cell (which is refilled by lifting the hood).
fiberglass exterior bodywork on the production Shogun was to
me, a work of automotive art. The panels just seem to suggest
that they were meant to be there. Production type tooling insured
quality of the exterior bodywork and the fit and finish were
excellent. The front spoiler housed two round halogen driving
fender flares were designed to end at the door seams. This allowed
the doors and hatch to be left as is. Everything is functional
in this respect like the Festiva. The Shogun was in every aspect,
a car capable of handling daily driving chores (ride height
was high enough not to worry about rough roads). The rear flares
feature functional scoops. The hood featured a exit duct for
hot radiator air (hints of Daytona Coupe).