Gorfe’s Granadas: 1983 Ford Granada 2.8 GL estate

Among the very best of an already outstanding crop, this. An estate of the highest quality, writes Myles Gorfe who is now Driven To Write’s assistant classic cars editor-at-large

Top of the top drawer: classic cars for sale.co.uk
Top of the top drawer: classic cars for sale.co.uk

If Merc, Volvo and Peugeot thought they had the estate market tied up, Ford was there to remind them that they were well wrong. Ford’s outstandingly roomy cruiser also showed Saab that offering a big hatchback was not going to cut it, and not when it was only front wheel drive. If you wanted more room in a car, you had to have a Transit and that was a Ford too.

This example is the pick of the bunch, a pure white car with only 170,554 miles on the clock. Did I mention the Granada’s famous clock? It kept better time than a Maserati’s. It was quieter than a Rolls Royce clock.  And anyway the only reason you can hear the sound of a Roller’s clock is because you’ve stopped to get more petrol. The Ford’s V6 was faster than Rolls, handled better and guzzled less juice. And it was cheaper. And roomier.

How these cars can look:
How these cars can look.

So what was it like to drive? Riding on its metric tyres, the Granada offered great grip, neat handling and the kind of talky steering no Merc driver would ever believe. Yet it was 4.6 metres long. And only weighed 1412 kilos (depending on trim). Some versions of the V6 turned out 152 PS or 150 BHP in real money (or 112 kW if you live abroad). Fact: the Granada had a special device to switch between PS, BHP and kW depending on where it was driven.

Nought to sixty blew off the doors. How does 9.2 second sound? That’s good even for a modern car. But not bad for a thirty year old V6 estate with the same frontal area as Ipswich Cathedral. And the top speed could frighten a lot of so-called performance cars: 117 mph, all day from Aberdeen to Abingdon if you felt like it.

There’s a reason these cars are esteemed as they are. All of them offer something unique but the 1983 2.8 GL estate must be among the very best of Ford’s cars. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

16 thoughts on “Gorfe’s Granadas: 1983 Ford Granada 2.8 GL estate”

  1. “If you wanted more room in a car…”,
    there was only one answer: CX Break. Thanks to FWD and a clever yet simple rear axle design, its boot was wide and had the lowest floor height you could imagine. And yes, it had metric tyres, too.

    1. Simon: For some reason Myles lacks permissions on Word Press. He’s asked me to forward his reply: “Here’s the part I had to leave out: And Citroen’s CX may have been long but it was too low. It’s leaky green suspension could be relied only to fail and even if it worked the roly-poly ride and front-wheel drive were not a patch on the Granadas sporty set-up. No wonder the big Cit doesn’t even get a mention here.”

    2. If I want to get ‘sporty’, I’ll fetch my trainers. In a car, I prefer a comfortable and safe ride and superior traction even on wet and snowy roads.

  2. A Reader Writes.

    Whoaah Gorfey! Hold on a sec!! Here you are telling us a white GL is the bees knees of Granny Estattes. A couple of month’s ago it was the Chausseur. Can’t help but think your making a bit of a meal of this! Geddit??? You sound like a man whose never driven a big Vauxhall from the stonking Victor based 3300 to a Carlton or Omega Estate. Now those are load carriers with STYLE!!! And BTW a tasty CF van would see of one of your Tranny’s …. Any Day!!!!. Mind you, what this other guys on about with his Citrons I haven’t the foggiest. S’pose there OK if you can start ‘em and you take your seasick tablets and only need to collect a couple of baguetts from the bakers but you and me know a Big Brits the only thing for the Big Haul. don’t we????. But are my eyes deceiving me??? Assistant Classic Editor??? What do you know about anything that isn’t a 4 letter word starting with F?

    1. Sean: if you have issues with Myles’ status take them up with Simon Kearne through the appropriate channels.
      I can see Myles’ point about Vauxhalls. They are just rebadged Opels, aren’t they?

    2. A Reader Writes

      Your mate Sean’s just the Monkey mate, I’m the organ grinder. He seems laid back about Gorfey’s new status but I just wonder if he’s got something on your Editor thats all. And it’s a big myth about Vauxhalls being Opels with different badges. They have to look the same cos that’s something to to with EU legislation apparently but actually there completely different. Nothing fits from one to the other.

  3. Simon: I can see where you´re coming from. Myles Gorfe takes a different line but I am sure he would add that the Granada had the best ride of any mainstream, rear-drive V6 estate car ever. He probably isn´t going to change his mind any time soon.

    1. I can easily agree with Myles on this. Yes, a CX and a Grannie are two completely different worlds, and I’m glad they both existed at that time. We miss this kind of variety today.

  4. I had a CX. The suspension was about the only thing that never went wrong with it. Still miss it . . .

    1. Hi Harry: thanks for stopping by. I´ve only driven one once and it left a lasting impression on me. It was a super car and it seems more and more think so as prices are rising now. I have an XM and I can´t say the suspension has been flawless but it has been more than good enough. What are you driving now? And how did you find us here?

    2. I have had suspensions going wrong, about three times in 400’000 hydropneumatic kilometres (not all with the same car). Usually this occurred well over 15 years of age and 200’000 km on the clock. It’s a time for rusting pipes, brittle hoses and leaking pumps.

  5. It is a remarkable turnabout that as the hallowed consumer demands more choice they get less. What is there in the estate car market that could compare with the sharply contrasting talents of the excellent Granada and the equally excellent Citroen? And why is it that Opel never fielded a Senator estate? The Commodore was not the same sort of car. There was an Omega estate, of course, in both generations.

    Myles writes: “three suspension failures in 400,000 kilometres? Never happen with a Granny, mate.”

    Thanks, Myles.

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