Gorfe’s Granadas: 1984 Ford Granada 2.3 L

The middle of the first half of the 1980’s is considered an interesting time by fans of big Fords. Here’s why.

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The 1984 2.3 L offered all the main features of Ford’s respected motorway mile-muncher in an economical package. The styling was at the cutting edge but didn’t frighten people like spaceball weirdness from Renault, Peugeot’s bizarro big saloons or Citroen’s disastrously complicated hydraulic malarky.

At the same time, it had a dash that Volvo and Mercedes couldn’t even dream of copying. BMW: they didn’t even get a look in. The Granada undercut Vauxhall’s drab Carlton and offered a modern V6 instead of the General’s dated and rough straight-six. You won’t find an engineer who has a bad word to say about Ford’s Cologne engine and you won’t find an engineer who will go anywhere near a Carlton (if you can find one – they are all rust now).

But even as Ford’s designers were paving the way for a revolution in the form of the 1985 Granada, the engineers were still adding refinements and revisions to the old-stager. This model is an example of how Ford cleverly attracted customers who were still unready for the wild Sierra style.

The bottom line is that it’s got all the features of the Sierra but in a more familiar package and for a not-dissimilar price. That’s why you find comfortable seats but no head-restraints, manual transmission and keep-fit window winders. But to casual observers it was still the same classy car that could be had with all the trimmings of the prestigious Ghia X or GLX spec levels.

That was the thing with Ford: whatever car you bought, it was plain brilliant. So, these base-model Grannies aren’t just entry-level cars but also the way Ford provided a two-pronged attack into the middle market for the radical new Sierra.

By Myles Gorfe, acting assistant classics consultant editor-at-large.
Photo credits for Granada: here

Author: richard herriott

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

12 thoughts on “Gorfe’s Granadas: 1984 Ford Granada 2.3 L”

  1. It’s certainly true that 6 cylinder Vauxhall Carltons don’t exist; but then, they never did.

    1. Mark. I assume that Myles was getting confused with the Mark II Carlton. Please cut him some slack. Basically he has only a passing knowledge of anything without a blue oval on the grille. That said, I suppose he’d just use the fact that you couldn’t even get a 6 cylinder Carlton as an even greater reason for lording it over GM. And don’t bother mentioning the Viceroy or Royale or Senator, he’ll have a good reason for that car’s deficiencies – either the rear suspension won’t be as sophisticated as the Grannie’s, or it will be too sophisticated.

    2. Er… I like the wheels. That’s about it. I do have a bit of a soft spot for this car’s replacement. There is something glorious about the rear drive, large hatchback format… it took Porsche to reprise it with the Panamera.

    3. “it took Porsche to reprise it with the Panamera.”

      BMW got there first (only just) with the 5 GT, which is more of a true successor to the Scorpio – in shape if not price/market positioning.

  2. Commodore, Senator, Diplomat, Viscount, Viceroy – I wonder if this litany of self-important sounding names helped or hindered sales of these cars? I suppose people aspired to different things back then. Growing up in Ireland, I never really understood the upmarket connotations associated with ‘Carlton’, my only reference point being the morbid tones of Mary Tyler Moore’s disembodied doorman in the hit TV show of the early ’70s…

  3. For reasons of family history, the name ‘Carlton’ doesn’t have great connotations for me, but for some reason it was very popular in the later part of the last Century. First of all there was the 19th Century Conservative Carlton Club, originally for ‘gentlemen’only. Then the Carlton Towers Hotel in London. Did either or both of these make it a classy name to some ears, if not mine? Then came, not only the car, but the TV station and a suitcase company and I’m sure I saw it on the side of an electric toasted sandwich maker.

    1. There’s, of course, the Ritz-Carlton chain of five star hotel properties. Or, as taxi drivers in Berlin like to refer to it: ‘Charlton Ritz’.

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