Ford Granada (North America)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact (1975-1980), Mid-size (1981-1982)|
|Layout||Front-engine, rear-wheel drive|
The Ford Granada is a mid-sized car manufactured and marketed by Ford in North America from 1975–1982 across two generations, along with its rebadged variants, the Mercury Monarch and Lincoln Versailles.
First generation (1975–1980)
1975–1977 Ford Granada 4-door
|Assembly||Mahwah, New Jersey
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe
|Engine||200 cu in (3.3 L) I6
250 cu in (4.1 L) I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) V8
3-speed Ford C4 automatic
For the 1975 model year, the Granada was originally intended as the successor to the Ford Maverick. As a consequence of the 1973 energy crisis, the fuel-efficient Maverick continued to grow in popularity; Ford chose to produce both cars. The Maverick was positioned as an entry-level car, while the Granada was created a new niche as “one of the most luxurious compacts on the market". To appeal to potential buyers moving out of full-sized cars, the Granada retained many comfort and convenience features seen in the much larger Torino and LTD, only in a smaller package. To emphasize this, the Granada was marketed by Ford as a rival to the similarly sized Mercedes-Benz 280 of the time. The Maverick was produced alongside the Granada until the end of the 1977 model year.
The first-generation Granada and Monarch were based on the platform of the four-door Ford Maverick/Mercury Comet. Sharing much of its design with earlier Ford compacts and intermediates, it was the final generation of the platform introduced with the 1960 Ford Falcon. They were assembled in Wayne, Michigan and Mahwah, New Jersey, and also overlapped with the Maverick/Comet's ultimate successors, the Ford Fairmont and the Mercury Zephyr, which were released in 1978.
During the 1977 model year, a rebadged version of the Granada was introduced by Lincoln division as the Lincoln Versailles. Intended as competitor to the Cadillac Seville, the Versailles sold very poorly. The 1978 model year brought a minor restyling for the Granada; this included rectangular headlamps and revised taillights, as well as more aerodynamic "bullet"-style side mirrors. These features continued through the end of first-generation Granada/Monarch production in 1980.
Powertrain options included the base 200 cu in (3.3 L) Thriftpower Six, a 250 cu in (4.1 L) Thriftpower Six, and 302 cu in (4.9 L) and 351 cu in (5.8 L) "Windsor" V8s. Available transmissions included a standard three-speed manual, a four-speed manual with overdrive, and a three-speed automatic (standard on 302/255-powered cars).
Ford Motor Company's design chief at the time, Stephen Estrada, would later mention: "The Granada was my favorite design and the one that I'm most proud of".
Ghia versions of both the Granada and Monarch included higher-level interior and exterior trims and added sound insulation. The 1975-76 Grand Monarch Ghia  was a top-of-the-line version. The Granada Sports Coupe  was produced in 1976-1977; Mercury offered a similar treatment with its 1976-77 Monarch S. A 1977–1/2  variation on the Granada Sports Coupe, produced from May '77 through the end of the model year, featured blacked-out molding, modified trim, taillights, and color selections. Documentation of this half-year model exists in Ford advertising from spring 1977. This car is perhaps the "rarest" of Granada production.
- Sports Coupe/S
The 1976–77 Sports Coupe and S packages included standard heavy-duty suspension, styled-steel wheels, striping unique to this option, and unique interior trim with standard bucket seats. The Granada's front spindles interchanged with the Pinto (and the badge-engineered Mercury Bobcat) and Mustang II, but the rotors were larger, at 11 in (280 mm) compared to 9.5 in (240 mm), and used a "5 on 4½" (five-lug, 4.500 in (114.3 mm) bolt circle) pattern.
- ESS (European Sport Sedan)
The 1978-80 ESS replaced the Sports Coupe and S models. Distinguished by its blacked-out exterior trim, the Granada/Monarch ESS featured bucket seats with a floor-mounted shifter as standard equipment (though a bench seat was optional). The ESS option included standard color-keyed wheelcovers (styled-steel wheels were optional) and unique opera-window louvres for coupes.
Second generation (1981–1982)
1982 Ford Granada GL station wagon
|Body and chassis|
4-door station wagon
|Platform||Ford Fox platform|
|Related||Ford Mustang/Mercury Capri
Ford Fairmont/Mercury Zephyr
Lincoln Continental (1982–1987)
Lincoln Continental Mark VII
|Engine||2.3L Lima I4
200 cu in (3.3 L) Thriftpower Six I6
3.8 L (232 cu in) Essex V6
255 cu in (4.2 L) Windsor V8
4-speed AOD automatic
3-speed C4 automatic
3-speed C5 automatic
|Wheelbase||105.5 in (2,680 mm)|
|Length||196.5 in (4,991 mm)|
|Width||71.0 in (1,803 mm)|
|Height||54.2 in (1,377 mm)|
For the 1981 model year, the Ford Granada underwent an extensive update, replacing the 20-year old Ford Falcon platform with the Fox platform introduced in 1978. As part of the redesign, the Lincoln Versailles was discontinued with the Mercury Cougar taking the place of the Mercury Monarch. Though the use of the Fox platform meant the Granada was now shared its body and underpinnings with the Ford Fairmont, a number of styling changes were made to allow some model differentiation. In addition to its own front and rear fascias, the Granada was given a formal notchback roofline on two door and four-door sedan models; the station wagon was moved from the Fairmont to the Granada for 1982.
Although slightly shorter than its predecessor, the redesign of the Granada/Cougar would leave it with additional interior room. In what would become later nomenclature among Fords in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Granada was produced in base "L" and deluxe "GL" trims.
Base power for the Fox-body Granada was a 2.3 L Lima four-cylinder, with an optional 3.3 L Thriftpower Six inline-six and a 255 CID Windsor V8. In 1982, the Granada marked the introduction of the 3.8 L Ford Essex V6. While an automatic transmission was standard for all engines, the 2.3L engine was available with a 4-speed manual transmission.
Blue Oval Return
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For the 1982 model year, the Ford Blue Oval emblem made its return on the exterior of the Granada, becoming the one of the first Ford vehicles to display it. Although stamped on door threshold trim on many Ford-division (and Lincoln Mark-Series) cars for many years, the Blue Oval had been absent in North America since the 1930s. During the 1970s, the emblem had gradually made its return in cars produced by Ford of Europe and Ford of Australia. By 1983, only the Ford Fairmont (in its last year) and Ford Thunderbird (with its own grille emblem) were left without the Blue Oval emblem.
While Ford had stopped using the logo on its vehicle exteriors in the 1930s, it had remained in wide use as the company corporate logo in sales literature, advertisements, owners manuals and on dealership signs.
In 1983, as part of a major model shift, Ford discontinued the Granada and Cougar named sedans and wagons. They were restyled and renamed LTD and Marquis in an effort to revive sales to the mid-sized car lines. The LTD Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car, the top-level models, became the sole full-size cars in each division's lineup. The Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar platform-mates of the Granada were also shifted back into their original roles as personal-luxury coupes; the first "aerodynamic" vehicles from Ford led to a revival of sales. Ford's shift to front-wheel drive led to the Fairmont being replaced by the Tempo in 1984 and the LTD being replaced by the Taurus in 1986. After the 1989 redesign of the Thunderbird, the Fox platform was used solely by the Mustang and the Lincoln Mark VII, keeping the version shared with the rest of the midsize Fords to the end of the 1993 model year.
- "Motor Trend - Sep 1974". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "Road and Track - Aug 1974; first paragraph". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Popular Mechanics - Oct 1974; p104 second paragraph. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "Car and Driver - Aug 1974; second paragraph". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Gunnell, John Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975 4th Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc 2002), p.445.
- Flammang, James Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976-1999 3rd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc 1999), p.466.
- Dammann, George 90 Years of Ford" (Osceola, WI: Crestline Series b MBI Publishing Company, 1993), p.475.
- "Production & Registry Totals". The Granada-Monarch-Versailles Registry. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
- Dammann, George 90 Years of Ford" (Osceola, WI: Crestline Series b MBI Publishing Company, 1993), p.468.
- Dammann, George 90 Years of Ford" (Osceola, WI: Crestline Series b MBI Publishing Company, 1993), p.474.
- Can You Tell The 1978 Granada From a $20,000 Mercedes 280SE?
- Street Rodder, 1/85, p.14.
- Hogg, Tony (ed.). "1981 Buyer's Guide". Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1981 (January–February 1981): 98.
- Encyclopedia of American Cars
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