Ford Granada (North America)

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Ford Granada
1st generation Ford Granada coupe (US) in Hastings, Minnesota.jpg
Ford Granada coupe (first generation)
Overview
Manufacturer Ford
Model years 1975–1982
Body and chassis
Class Compact (1975–1980), Mid-size (1981–1982)
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Maverick
Successor Ford LTD

The Ford Granada is a range of mid-size sedans[1] that was manufactured and marketed by Ford in North America. Introduced for the 1975 model year as the intended successor of the Ford Maverick, two generations of the Granada were sold through the 1982 model year. Sharing its name with the flagship sedan of Ford of Europe, the Granada was slotted above the Maverick as a luxury compact vehicle, expanding the segment in the United States.[2]

The first-generation Ford Granada was sold as a two-door coupe and four-door sedan, with the second-generation Granada sold as a two-door notchback sedan, four-door sedan, and five-door station wagon (replacing the Ford Fairmont station wagon). While wearing an all-new body, the first-generation Granada retained the same chassis as the Maverick (with its platform origins dating back to the 1960 Ford Falcon). The second-generation Granada retained a similar role as its predecessor, becoming a higher-content version of the Ford Fairmont, shifting to the Ford Fox platform.

In total, over two million examples of the Ford Granada were produced for the U.S. market.[3] The first generation was produced by Mahwah Assembly and Michigan Assembly with the second generation produced by Atlanta Assembly and Chicago Assembly. For the 1983 model year, in a revision of the Ford model range, the Granada was rebranded the Ford LTD in a mid-cycle revision, ultimately replaced by the Ford Taurus for 1986.

Background[edit]

While originally intended to replace the Ford Maverick, design work for the Ford Granada predated the 1973 fuel crisis.[4][5] In 1969, Ford began research predicting the emergence of the luxury compact segment, driven by gasoline prices, multiple-vehicle families, and urban traffic. In 1970, Ford began design work on a prototype vehicle, later becoming the production Granada.[5]

In what would later become a central theme of the marketing of the Granada, Ford benchmarked the Mercedes-Benz 280 (W114), using it as a basis for styling and dimensions.[5] As an alternative, Ford considered importing Ford Granada produced by Ford of Europe; it was rejected as cost-prohibitive.[6]

To expand its sales potential of fuel-efficient automobiles, the Ford Granada was redeveloped before its launch, becoming an additional compact model line. While not intended as a direct competitor for European luxury sedans (such as Mercedes-Benz or BMW), Ford intended for the Granada to be sold to buyers either downsizing from a larger intermediate or full-size car while wanting to retain the same comfort and convenience features along with buyers seeking to upgrade from a lower-content compact car.[7]

First generation
Ford Granada (North-America).jpg
1975–1977 Ford Granada 4-door
Overview
Model years 1975–1980
Assembly Mahwah, New Jersey, U.S.
Wayne, Michigan, U.S.
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
4-door sedan
Related Mercury Monarch
Lincoln Versailles
Ford Maverick
Mercury Comet
Powertrain
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
Transmission 3-speed manual
3-speed Ford C4 automatic
4-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 109.9 in (2,791 mm)
Length 197.7 in (5,022 mm)
Width 74.5 in (1,892 mm)
Height 54.1 in (1,374 mm)
Curb weight 3,120 lb (1,415 kg)

First generation (1975–1980)[edit]

The Ford Granada model line was introduced for the 1975 model year, slotted between the Ford Maverick and the Ford Torino in the Ford product line. Originally slated as the replacement for the Maverick, the development and marketing of the Granada was heavily influenced by the 1973 oil crisis. In response, demand for compact-segment automobiles increased, leading Ford to continue production of the Maverick (through the 1977 model year).

In its standard form, the Ford Granada was fitted with few standard features over its Maverick predecessor (including manual steering, manual brakes, and a column-shifted manual transmission). To allow for a high degree of owner customization, the option list for the Granada was long, adding many features traditionally included on the Ford Gran Torino and Ford LTD.[7]

Chassis[edit]

The Ford Granada derives its rear-wheel drive chassis from the 1960–1965 Ford Falcon (effectively giving the model line mechanical commonality with the first-generation Ford Mustang and Mercury Cougar). Retaining the use of unibody construction, the Granada was equipped with coil-spring front suspension; it was equipped with a leaf-sprung live rear axle (in contrast to larger Ford sedans).[8] Both versions of the Ford Granada have a 109.9 inch wheelbase, derived from the four-door Ford Maverick.[8] While the Granada was largely a clean-sheet design, the forward part of the floorpan of the Maverick was adopted into the unibody structure, along with elements of the steering gear and suspension.[8]

The standard brakes for the Ford Granada were front disc (11-inch rotors) and rear drums (10-inch). Four-wheel disc brakes were offered as an option, offered with an optional anti-lock system (marketed as "anti-skid" brakes), powered by a central hydraulic system.[8]

The Ford Granada was equipped with a 200 cubic-inch inline-six engine as standard, with a 250 cubic-inch inline-six as an optional engine. Shared with the Maverick, the 302 Windsor V8 was offered as an option; the 351 Windsor V8 was an option solely for the Granada.[9] A 3-speed manual (column-shifted or floor shifted) was standard, with a 3-speed automatic offered as an option (standard on the 351 V8); a 4-speed manual was introduced in 1976.[9]

Body[edit]

The first-generation Ford Granada was offered as a four-door sedan and two-door coupe. In a major shift away from the Coke-bottle styling of the Ford Maverick, the Granada adopted a combination of both U.S. and European design elements. The roofline of the four-door sedan was heavily influenced by Mercedes-Benz, along with the proportion of the taillamps and grille. The two-door was given a separate roofline; the trapezoidal door window with an opera window in the B/C-pillar was a design feature later used in the Ford Thunderbird, Ford Fairmont, Ford Ranchero, and Mercury Cougar.

While designed independently from the U.S. Ford Granada, the European Ford Granada Mark II (produced from 1977 to 1982) would adopt similar design features as its four-door U.S. counterpart, including the roofline and rear fascia.

For 1978, the exterior of the Ford Granada underwent a mid-cycle revision, concentrating on the front fascia. In addition to a revised grille design, the round headlamps were replaced by rectangular units stacked above the turn signal lenses (to more closely match the design of the Ford LTD II and the Mercedes-Benz W114). The rear fascia was given revised taillamp lenses and revised center panel trim if optionally equipped. In the interest of aerodynamics, the sideview mirrors were changed from rectangular to oval.

Trim[edit]

In addition to the unnamed base-trim level produced from 1975 to 1980, Ford offered the first-generation Ford Granada in three additional trim levels during its production. In a break from Ford nomenclature, two Ford Granada trim levels shared names with their Mercury Monarch equivalent.

From 1976 to 1977, the Granada was sold in a Sports Coupe trim (the Monarch equivalent was the Monarch S).[10][11] In addition to cosmetic upgrades (styled steel wheels, exterior striping, bucket seats, and interior trim) the Sports Coupe was given heavy-duty suspension and larger front brakes.[12] A 1977½ variation on the Granada Sports Coupe, produced from May 1977 through the end of the model year, featured blacked-out molding, modified trim, taillights, and color selections.[13]

As a replacement for the Sports Coupe, Ford introduced the Ford Granada ESS, produced from 1978 to 1980 (Mercury also sold a Monarch ESS). 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. As part of the marketing for the ESS trim line, Ford visually compared the Granada to the Mercedes-Benz W123.[14][15]

The top trim level of the Granada was the Granada Ghia (shared with both its European counterpart and the Mercury Monarch). Externally distinguished by a vinyl roof[6], the Ghia features an upgraded interior; with either cloth or leather seats offered as options, along with a wood-trimmed dashboard.[9]

Ford did not offer its own equivalent of the 1975 to 1976 Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia;[16] the trim line was repackaged as the Lincoln Versailles for 1977.

Second generation (1981–1982)[edit]

Second generation
1982 Ford Granada station wagon 1982 (U.S.).png
1982 Ford Granada GL station wagon
Overview
Model years 1981–1982
Assembly Hapeville, Georgia, U.S.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door sedan
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Platform Ford Fox platform
Related Ford Fairmont
Mercury Zephyr
Mercury Cougar
Powertrain
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
Transmission 4-speed manual
4-speed AOD automatic
3-speed C4 automatic
3-speed C5 automatic
Dimensions
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)
Chronology
Successor Ford LTD

For the 1981 model year, the second-generation Granada was introduced[17], slotted between the Ford Fairmont and the Ford LTD in the Ford product line. To modernize the chassis underpinnings of the product line, the Granada returned as a compact/mid-size product line, derived from the Ford Fairmont.

While far less extensive than the downsizing applied to the 1979 full-size Ford LTD, the footprint of the Granada would decrease in size itself, as it shed approximately an inch in length, four inches in width and wheelbase, and approximately 300 pounds of curb weight (depending on powertrain).

For the 1983 model year, as part of a major realignment of the Ford and Mercury product lines, the Granada nameplate was withdrawn. As part of a mid-cycle revision, the model line effectively continued as the Ford LTD, with the full-size product line becoming the LTD Crown Victoria. Following the 1986 model year, the mid-size Ford LTD was replaced by the Ford Taurus.

Chassis[edit]

The second-generation Ford Granada is based on the rear-wheel drive Ford Fox platform, sharing its wheelbase with the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr.

In the shift from the Ford Falcon chassis (dating from 1960) to the Fox chassis, the suspension and steering systems were modernized. In line with all Fox-platform vehicles, the second-generation Granada used MacPherson strut front suspension (replacing short/long-arm suspension), with a coil-sprung live rear axle (replacing leaf springs). A rack-and-pinion steering system was introduced, replacing the previous recirculating-ball system. While the four-wheel disc brake and anti-lock brake systems were discontinued, the Granada gained power brakes as standard equipment.

The second-generation Ford Granada adopted several engines from the Ford Fairmont, sharing a 2.3 L Lima inline-4 as a standard engine and a 3.3L inline-six (the Ford 200 six, under metric displacement) as an option. For 1982, the inline-six was replaced by a 3.8 L Ford Essex V6. Downsized to 4.2 L, the Windsor V8 shifted from the Fairmont to the Granada. While an automatic transmission was standard for all engines, the 2.3L engine was available with a 4-speed manual transmission.[17]

Body[edit]

The second-generation Ford Granada was offered in three body styles. For 1981, the Granada was introduced as a four-door sedan and a two-door notchback sedan (replacing the previous coupe). For 1982, a five-door station wagon was introduced (adopting the model from the Fairmont line).[18]

In a break from the previous generation (a stand-alone model line), the second-generation shared many visible design elements with the Ford Fairmont (including the doors). To differentiate the Granada from the Fairmont, Ford restyled the roofline (adding a formal notchback configuration on both two-door and four-door versions) and styled the front and rear fascias in line with larger Ford vehicles (with the front fascia in line with the Ford LTD and the rear fascia in line with the Mercury Marquis).

Trim[edit]

The second-generation Ford Granada was offered in three trim levels,[19] in line with other Ford vehicles of the 1980s (including the Ford Escort and the later Ford Tempo and Ford Taurus). The base trim was the Granada L, with the mid-level Granada GL.[20] Effectively replacing both the Granada ESS and Ghia, the Granada GLX was the top trim level.[20]

Blue Oval return[edit]

For 1982, the Ford Granada was one of the first U.S. Ford vehicles to mark the return of the Ford Blue Oval grille emblem. Although stamped on door threshold trim on many Ford-division (and Continental Mark series) cars for many years, the Blue Oval had been absent in North America since the 1930s. 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.

During the 1970s, the Blue Oval emblem saw a return on cars and trucks produced by Ford of Europe and Ford of Australia. For 1983, only the Ford Fairmont (in its final model year) and Ford Thunderbird (produced with its own grille emblem) were left without the Blue Oval emblem in North America.

Variants[edit]

During its production, the North American-spec Ford Granada was sold by Lincoln-Mercury in several versions. The first-generation Ford Granada was sold by Lincoln-Mercury as the Mercury Monarch and Lincoln Versailles, with the second-generation sold as the Mercury Cougar (replacing the Monarch).

1979 Mercury Monarch
1981 Mercury Cougar LS
1979 Lincoln Versailles

Mercury Monarch (1975–1980)[edit]

Introduced alongside the Ford Granada in 1975, the Mercury Monarch was styled nearly identical to the Granada, with the exception of the grille, rear fascia trim, and interior trim. As a division-exclusive model, the Grand Monarch Ghia included virtually every available feature as standard, becoming the junior version of the (far larger) Mercury Grand Marquis.

For 1977, the Grand Monarch Ghia was repackaged as a Lincoln, becoming the Lincoln Versailles.

Mercury Cougar (1981–1982)[edit]

For 1980, as part of its redesign, the Mercury Cougar model line was pared down solely to Cougar XR7 coupe; as part of a negative model reception, sales of the 1980 Cougar collapsed (falling nearly 65%). As a response, Mercury introduced its own version of the second-generation Ford Granada for 1981, replacing the Monarch nameplate to expand the Cougar model line for a second time. As with the Granada, a four-door and two-door notchback sedan were produced, with the Cougar adopting a station wagon (from the Zephyr model line) for 1982.

As with the Cougar XR7 and its Mercury Monarch predecessor, the 1981-1982 Cougar sedan/station wagon differed little from its Ford counterpart, largely distinguished by its grille, badging, and taillamps. This generation of the Cougar is notable for becoming the first Mercury model line to introduce the GS/LS trim nomenclature, used through the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s.

For 1983, the Cougar model line was again pared down to a personal-luxury coupe (based on the Ford Thunderbird). The Ford Granada-based version of the Cougar was restyled, becoming the Mercury Marquis, as the nameplate was applied to the mid-size segment.

Lincoln Versailles (1977–1980)[edit]

For the 1975 model year, the Cadillac Seville was introduced as a compact/mid-size luxury car as a response to European luxury vehicles. While featuring a Cadillac-developed exterior, most of its chassis underpinnings were derived directly from the GM X-body chassis (underpinning the Chevrolet Nova). As a response to the Seville, Lincoln-Mercury sought to use the Granada chassis as a basis for a compact luxury car, using the Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia as a starting point. For the 1977 model year, Lincoln introduced the Lincoln Versailles (the smallest Lincoln vehicle ever produced at the time).

Due to budget limitations, Ford designers could not produce a division-specific exterior for the Versailles. Instead, the front and rear fascias were updated slightly, adapting the exterior of the Versailles to match that of the Lincoln Continental and the Mark V (both nearly 3 feet longer than the Versailles). Along with a radiator-style grille, designers added quad rectangular headlamps and a spare-tire trunklid.

In line with its Cadillac Seville counterpart, the Lincoln Versailles was the highest-price Lincoln vehicle. Though equipped with a V8 engine as standard, along with four-wheel disc brakes, the Versailles sold far under sales projections, leading to its withdrawal in 1980.

Alongside the 1982 to 1988 Cadillac Cimarron, the Lincoln Versailles is often viewed among the most controversial examples of badge engineering in the automotive industry. Although sold in the same Lincoln-Mercury showroom as the Mercury Monarch, the Versailles was nearly visually identical to the Monarch, distinguished largely by its headlights and trunklid; however, the Versailles was priced twice as high as the Monarch. For 1982, Lincoln again produced a competitor to the Cadillac Seville, downsizing the Lincoln Continental into the mid-size segment. While based on a longer-wheelbase version of the Fox platform than the Granada, no visible exterior panels were shared between the Continental or any other vehicle.

Production[edit]

Ford Granada Production (1975-1982)[3]
Year Production
1975 302,658
1976 548,784
1977 390,579
1978 249,786
1979 182,376
1980 90,429
1981 121,341
1982 120,383
Total 2,006,276

Ford Granada in Venezuela (1983–1986)[edit]

Versions of the 1983–1986 North American Ford LTD manufactured in Venezuela continued using the Granada name complete with uplevel Elite badged versions.[21][22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Motor Trend - Sep 1974". Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  2. ^ Dammann, George 90 Years of Ford" (Osceola, WI: Crestline Series b MBI Publishing Company, 1993), p.474.
  3. ^ a b "Production & Registry Totals". The Granada-Monarch-Versailles Registry. Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  4. ^ Dammann, George 90 Years of Ford" (Osceola, WI: Crestline Series b MBI Publishing Company, 1993), p.468.
  5. ^ a b c "1975 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch". www.lincolnversailles.com. Retrieved 2018-07-12. 
  6. ^ a b "1975 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch". www.lincolnversailles.com. Retrieved 2018-07-12. 
  7. ^ a b "1975 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch". www.lincolnversailles.com. Retrieved 2018-07-14. 
  8. ^ a b c d "1975 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch". www.lincolnversailles.com. Retrieved 2018-07-13. 
  9. ^ a b c "1975 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch". www.lincolnversailles.com. Retrieved 2018-07-13. 
  10. ^ http://gmv-registry.com/generic481.html
  11. ^ http://gmv-registry.com/generic488.html
  12. ^ Street Rodder, 1/85, p.14.
  13. ^ http://gmv-registry.com/generic489.html
  14. ^ Bionic Disco (2016-04-30), '78 Ford Granada 'Mercedes Comparison' Commercial (1977), retrieved 2018-07-13 
  15. ^ Martin, Murilee. "Can You Tell The 1978 Granada From a $20,000 Mercedes 280SE?". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2018-07-13. 
  16. ^ http://gmv-registry.com/generic483.html
  17. ^ a b Hogg, Tony (ed.). "1981 Buyer's Guide". Road & Track's Road Test Annual & Buyer's Guide 1981 (January–February 1981): 98. 
  18. ^ Encyclopedia of American Cars. 
  19. ^ "Car Brochures - 1981 Ford Granada / Granada03.jpg". www.tocmp.com. Retrieved 2018-07-14. 
  20. ^ a b "Car Brochures - 1981 Ford Granada / Granada12.jpg". www.tocmp.com. Retrieved 2018-07-14. 
  21. ^ "1983 Ford Granada Elite (Venezuela)". Retrieved 2018-09-09. 
  22. ^ "1983 Ford Granada Elite (Venezuela)". Retrieved 2018-09-09. 
  23. ^ "1983 Ford Granada Elite (Venezuela)". Retrieved 2018-09-09. 

External links[edit]