Nobody did styling the way Ford did in the ’70s, writes Myles Gorfe, associate editor.
Every car seemed to smash the sweet spot in customers’ affections: Cortina, Escort, Fiesta and Granada, huge successes all. Among Ford’s line-up of glamorous large cars, none had as much sparkle and shine as the legendary Granada Ghia coupé. This car wasn’t the only coupé in the line-up. They also had a “standard” two-door saloon. Ford then offered this rakish fast-back, inspired by Italian style and carrying the noble Ghia badge which was more than just a trim variant back then but a step-up into a new level of comfort and elegance. (That standard two-door was not sold in the UK though, making my example even more special).
Notice the Ghia has real wood cappings and soft cloth, detailing which Mercedes, Opel and Volvo could not come near. Mercedes W-114 and W-123 coupés were really just saloons with 2 doors with barely anything more than seats and a steering wheel. Any passenger stepping out of the Mercedes into the Ford would have breathed a sigh of relief as they stretched their legs in the generous rear compartment. Opel’s Monza seemed to have come off the boat from Detroit, while Volvo’s 242 was a bad as the four door 244 and the 262 was worse, crippled by its French-designed V6 and Italian build quality. Swedish engineering, French engines and Italian build – the 262 had it all, really.
This car which is for sale here from a well-known Ford owner, has all the bells and whistles and what’s more has been tenderly looked after. Only the dashboard and interior lights don’t work, not bad for a four-decade old grand dame. The car is an automatic (the only way to go) and has a smart vinyl roof and the renowned Cologne V6 three-litre which could make light work of a Derby to Dundee trip, cruising all day at 90 with barely a whisper. No wonder the police loved Granadas.
The Ghia set a benchmark for the Granada and the others could only watch in envy as it went from success to success, thanks in no small part to the mystique of the Ghia badge.