Thursday, August 27, 2015

Under The Radar: 2000 Ford SVT Contour

The US market Ford Contour was sold as a re-purposed European Ford Mondeo, but in truth it only shared a few pieces including the windshield, windows, side mirrors and door handles.  Everything else was standard parts bin junk left over from the Tempo or borrowed from the Taurus or Escort.  That didn't stop Ford from making an interesting SVT version that might not command much respect on the street, but is a bit of a sleeper. Find this 2000 Ford Contour SVT offered for $650 in San Jose, CA via craigslist.

The SVT Contour combines the basic efficiency of a workday chassis and adds a dose of magic from Ford's Special Vehicles Team.  You get a car that looks like the next econobox rental reject, but is actually a hoot to drive.

Ford's SVT put a few more ponies into the basic Duratec V6 for a total of 200 horsepower and required the use of a 5-speed manual transmission.  The combination isn't earth shattering, but it turns a the basic sedan into a stealthy front wheel peel-out machine -- comparisons to the first or second generation Taurus SHO are appropriate.

See a better car for a bank job getaway?


  1. I bought one of these new but only kept it for about a year. Now, 16 years later, I'm pondering buying another, albeit with the 3L upgrade.Many of these are missing the jack mount covers on the side aero kit; this one seems to be missing the side aero kit entirely. But for $650, you can forgive a few things!

  2. The price has steadily dropped from $1350 and stating a blown head gasket down to $500 and call for info. These are great driving cars but seem to suffer from coolant leaks and head gaskets.

    1. If you've got to do head-gasket work then you might as well just do a quickie 3-liter swap, the 3-liter FWD Duratecs are plentiful in any pick-n-pull and sell for just about the value of the scrap aluminum.

  3. Lemons regulars Team Grumpy Cat made one of these pretty quick out here on the east coast.

    1. If this thing has a decent interior and body kit on it then you might be able to part the SVT-specific stuff for enough to pay for a good chunk of a 3-liter swap and a Quaife diff for the MTX75, at which point you've definitely got a top-10-fast car.

  4. I owned one, it was sort of fast, but handled great. Really fun to drive.

  5. Those floor mats are right where they belong.


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