When this car first parked on my street the light had fallen. By early morning it had driven off. Would I ever see it again?
Some good fortune meant that I did, as the photos attest. The Granada is both banal and not uninteresting. How’s that? First, and this is not due to the car’s inherent quality, is that it is pretty rare. I’ve never seen one before, not as a two door. And seldom even as a four door. Second, because the car represents a dead niche, that of the plain big coupe. We still have coupes but they are luxury goods, a celebration of impracticality: the A5 and Mercedes CLA, for example. They are made by the premium manufacturers. Oddly people will pay a lot of money for a two-door car but won’t pay a bit less. Ford and friends can’t sell a coupe for 15% less than Audi or BMW.
Isn’t that a peculiar state of affairs? Customers have a hard time paying less for a saloon with the same content as one of the premium three as well – and refuse point blank to pay for a car with fewer doors.
Finally, the ‘nada reminds me subliminally of a BMW 3 in the E30 iteration (and not its predecessor) which ran from 1983 to 1991. Both cars are simple in form and could be quite plainly equipped. The Granada is the better for its larger size but the E30 does everything in a more refined way. This cheerfully Spartan Granny is not unlike a base model Escort but larger. The E30 exudes quality and heft and is like a smaller 5.
The Granada is wider while the cabin is not that much longer than the E30. You could imagine more than a few people deciding that BMW’s clear quality difference made the Granada’s size difference evaporate. The thing I’d like to examine is the effect of the accumulation of small refinements that make BMW’s essentially similar concept more appealing than the Ford. It is – I guess – to do with the steel pressings and joints. The Ford has been made to be made with less effort. It shows. The chrome trim on the window frame is made of three parts where BMW managed one. The E21 is ornate in this regard. The bumpers are more cleanly integrated than on the Ford but certainly less good at bumping.
These days the differences are much, much harder to see. Frankly, the image difference between a Ford Mondeo and 3-series is the persistence of vision. Ford has been paying a high price for the corner cutting of the 1970s and 1980s. This much we know. BMW get away with murder now: the base 3 is nothing special.
The car here makes me ask how would a cheap, big two-door Mondeo fare, a car with the content of a base-model Focus. Would anyone go for it and why not if it had all the impracticality of an Audi A5 but similar poke?
[Does anyone have production numbers for the Granada 2-door? Myles Gorfe is away.]