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