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Ford Granada

Ford Granada Published: 31st Jul 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Granada
Ford Granada
Ford Granada
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With rear-wheel drive Fords soaring in value, this big comfy cruiser is also the last chance saloon if you want to snap up a big barge blue oval bargain

Old fords seem too dear, are there any bargain buys left?

No not many – there’s even an Escort Mk1 estate currently being advertised at almost 20 grand… Unless you grab a Granny, that is.

Gave that lark up some years ago…

Dope – we’re talking about the Granada that was first launched 45 years ago in 1972 and ran right up to the turn of the century.

That’s a thought

There’s three generations to choose from and all represent fine value for money starting from comfortably under a grand plus you can even get a cheap as chips classic Cosworth into the bargain.

How come?

Well, the Mk3 Granada, as good as it is, wasn’t selling too well so Ford gave the car a halo model by having Cosworth tune the engine to make a real Q-Car that’s still underrated.

What can i get?

The range replaced the old MkIV Zephyr/Zodiac and, apart from the engine and transmission, was all new and lifted the Blue Oval to a genuine Mercedes/BMW alternative. Apart from the Granada, there was the lower run Consul range but this was amalgamated in the Granada range in 1975. Two years later, the Mk2 surfaced and the Ford gained a level of sophistication it lacked, and this included new (German) 2.3/2.8 V6 engines, five-speed gearboxes and fuel injection, according to model.

This ran up to the mid 80s before an all new Granada (badged Scorpio elsewhere) replaced it, now relying upon a modified Sierra chassis.

What’s the best?

From a classic standpoint, it’s the Mk1 with Mk3 the least desired but this is in part due to ‘newness’. The Mk2 is the best all rounder as it’s classical and yet significantly better in most departments than the slightly gaudy Mk1. In fact, as good as the Granada was, the stigma of a wellto- do chap owning a common Ford was hard to take back in the 1970s. Scottish songster, B.A. Robertson highlighted this in his hit 1979 song “Knocked It Off” where the lyrics remarked: There’s got to be a limo to take me down the shops. Tell them they can stuff it, I’m not about to rough it in some Granada Ghia – I was top of the pops!

All Grannies are good and on a different plane from previous big Fords. True, Ford didn’t have to do much to make a better car than the Mk4 Zephyr/Zodiiac, but it pulled out all the stops with Granada – a point that was not lost on the cynical lads at Car magazine who were as impressed with the new big Ford as they were indifferent about the Cortina Mk3, so much so that it pointedly remarked, “Where were the Cortina engineers while all this was going on?”. Without doubt, the chassis was one of the best of its age and, as the monthly further rightly commented, “Call it a BMW and the world would beat a path to Ford’s door”.

In V6 guise (try to ignore the Transit van V4, the Sierra 1.8-litre Pinto and early diesels) you have a fine classic that is ideal for those who would love a far more expensive 3-litre Capri. Well, the Granada offers a similar performance, has a much better chassis, plus there’s plenty of room for others to enjoy it while all estates are fabulous workhorses and still rightly coveted.

Grans with glam?

Of the Mk1s, there’s two which particularly stand out, the Consul GT and the Granada Ghia Coupé. The first, is a base Consul sporting 3-litre power and, because of its role in The Sweeney of the 1970s, are highly prized as there’s only a handful left. This was replaced in 1976 by the Grananda S which is even better but doesn’t have quite the same caché.

The Ghia trim raised Granny’s class as the chintzy GXL trim was described as a bit of a Gin Palace. The real wood and velour of the Ghia gave this Ford true status while the two-door coupé added superb style. UK cars came with a vinyl roof and a straight-edged rear wing but some overseas versions saw a ‘coke-bottle’ appearance like the Mk3 Cortina.

The Coupé was dropped when the Mk2 surfaced. Models to look out for here are the 2.8 Ghia and Ghia X variants which make good sports saloons. There was also a handful of high level special editions such as Executive, Sapphire and Chasseur, although it must be said that despite there being no shortage of Granadas, particularly Mk2s, condition counts more than their spec, but if possible, aim for a post 1981 buy as they were usefully further improved by then.

In contrast, if anything, the earlier Mk1 you find then the more they appear to be wanted despite the post ’75 line up boasting a much better suspension and trim detailing.

How about the MK3?

It’s a much more modern Granny that was the first production car to come with anti-lock brakes as standard plus they are the best drivers thanks to that Sierra chassis. What largely lets this model down is its styling that never gelled; initially an oddball looking but extremely spacious hatchback before it became a slab saloon. But worse was to come when a major revamp, a decade after its 1985 launch, saw what looked like a Ford styling department contest to come up with the ugliest car ever! With its big arse, and even bigger eyes, the Scorpio (as it was now known) was voted one of the worst looking cars ever – even now no one admits to signing it off!

Sad, really because under the skin lurked a much improved car with a Mondeo-like chassis and the top Ultima trim still wants for nothing. Look out for the 144bhp 16V 2.3 model here as it’s as good as the old V6s and vastly better on fuel. Others to ponder over include the excellent grippy V6 4x4 range that provides quattro-like security – in estate form, especially, they make truly wonderful workhorses if the AWD transmission (as used in the Sierra and the RS Cosworths) is still okay as many aren’t. Note, it can cost more than the car to repair so, check that it hasn’t been cunningly disconnected…

The V6s came as carry-overs from the Mk2 but for 1987 they were enlarged to 2.4 and 2.9-litres respectively plus gained improved breathing making them much livelier.

What about this Cosworth though?

To be honest, Ford played down the Cosworth connection, labelling the car the Scorpio 24V and refrained from adding wings and things on it. Instead, this was the flagship Ford and a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Cosworth cylinder heads and a twincam ‘top end’ to the familiar 2.9 Cologne V6 resulted in 203bhp but, as the model was available only as an automatic, it wasn’t a performance car although they don’t exactly hang about… Alas many Grans have been stripped of this engine to make some rather nice Capris, but even so you should still get one comfortably under 10 grand and there’s a few estates about, too.

Let’s talk money

Mk1s now touch five figures (and Consul GTs appreciably more) with Mk2s say, two-thirds this. With a budget of £5000, you should get a very good Mk2 or a tidy enough Mk1. The Mk3s are the bargains where under £1000 sees you in something worth having and £3000 buys the very best – check out the assorted buying sites. Our editor remembers buying a scruffy but sound 2.0i Ghia at auction a decade ago for £20 – it cost more in admin fees just to get it out!

Any problems to look out for?

It’s Ford so relax! True, rust is an issue, even on Mk3s, but it’s all repairable. Check all the usual areas but in particular the inner sills, bulkheads and drain tubes from sliding sunroofs, that’s fitted to most, leading water down the rear pillars. Mechanically, there’s few horrors although ‘Essex’ V4/V6 engines are prone to timing gear and distributor drives shearing and certain oily bits are getting scarce as are trim parts – but being a Ford it’s out there, somewhere. There’s quite a few dedicated owner’s clubs (like Granada Appreciation Society) and forums to help out with spares, advice and much more.

I might grab a granny then…

Why not, they offer the usual Ford thrills and easy running only on a much larger scale for a smaller outlay. Who needs a V6 Capri?

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