Gorfe’s Granadas: 1981-1985 Ford Granada 2.3 LX

Here is another example of Ford’s unfailing talent at large cars, writes Myles Gorfe who is currently Driven To Write’s Acting Assistant Senior Classic Cars Editor-At-Large.

Ford Granada 2.3 LX

Driven To Write is looking for an Assistant Senior Classic Cars Editor-At-Large so if you are interested, send a CV soon, please.

Myles Gorfe writes: “This great car was spotted by Richard in Denmark and not me. I was sorry not to see it myself because you absolutely have to

Pure class: Ford Granada 2.3 LX

examine these cars up close to truly understand the quality involved!

Detail design: Ford Granada 2.3 LX indicator

Ford offered a range of cars of huge scope under the Granada moniker between 1981 and 1985. From the bottom up there was the 2.0 L, then the 2.0 LX followed by the 2.0 GL after which came the 2.3 L to be chased by the 2.3 LX which was not quite as plush as the 2.3 GL which was outclassed by the 2.3 Ghia and, if you needed DERV there was the 2.5 D L and a fancier 2.5 D Ghia.  At the very top were all the 2.8s: the 2.8 GL, the 2.8 Ghia, the 2.8 Ghia X, the fuel-injected 2.8i Ghia, the luxury 2.8i Ghia X and finally the 2.8i Ghia X Executive which went beyond luxury. Nobody had a car hierarchy this precisely structured nor as massive.

This exact car we are looking at today is nearer the bottom of that immense range but it still offered a true mountain of quality and kit which other brands like Saab and Mercedes could not match, pound for pound. Basically the lowest level Granada corresponded to Mercedes top-line efforts.

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This LX model had manual windows both front and back, super comfy cloth and centre arm-rests front and rear. It also had rear head-restraints. So, even penny-conscious buyers did not feel short-changed when they drove off in their new car.

Even if this Granny has been spending time on Danish roads, it looks in pretty good nick. You never see an Opel or Renault like this because they have all rusted away. It would not take very much effort to deal with the few rust spots here and from ten feet you can’t see them anyway.

Inside the car, you can’t see them either.

Powering the car is the venerable Cologne V6, which was available from 2.0 to 2.8 litres capacity, tuned for economy as well as performance. The Cologne engine remained in production in various forms until 2011 too, not bad for an old stager, really. That engine really set the Granada apart from vehicles from Renault, Opel and Citroen – most of them really, since they tended to fit four bangers and reserve the V6s for the top-line models.

Only Mercedes offered six cylinder engines with the same mix of displacements and then you really paid and paid, first in the dealer and then at the pump and then at the mechanic when they inevitably broke down.

If some people think the Granada an ordinary car, they are wrong since it had such a good choice of V6s available across the range. No wonder these cars sold by the train load while the French and Italians struggled to shift their underpowered 4s.”

Author: richard herriott

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

12 thoughts on “Gorfe’s Granadas: 1981-1985 Ford Granada 2.3 LX”

  1. That is in L trim. Has somebody applied a cheeky X badge? LX had body colour bumpers and wood effect dash.

    1. Myles Gorfe assumed the badge was an LX which had been switched around. The X seems to be upside down too. Are you sure the wood came with the LX option? I really could do with a catalogue or brochure for this car, and so could Myles.

  2. IIRC, the Mk2 Granada was a clever reskin of the Mk1. This was more apparent in the estate version, where the wwhoele of the Mk1’s bodywork aft of the A-pillars was retained, including the distinctive uptick in the waistline at the trailing edge of the rear doors. On the saloon, this uptick was still there, but was blacked out and masked by a straight chrome trim.

    The first company I worked for had an early Mk2 2.0L as a pool car. It looked smart enough, but suffered from a lot of mechanical, road and wind noise and felt pretty unrefined. The suspension was easily unsettled on potholed Irish roads and the car quickly became very “baggy” and loose, not helped by having numerous drivers, none of whom treated it with any care. It was a lot of car for the money, but you could easily feel (if not see) how it had been built down to a price. It was replaced by a Montego, but that’s another story…

    1. That building-down-to-a-price is ultimately what has felled Ford. I don´t think the trade-off is unreasonable but eventually customers decide the money saved wasn´t worth it. In fairness, pretty much all the mainstream makers followed the same path and a few were outliers, preferring quality over quantity. It was not clear that path was going to be the most succesful. Ford et al. made huge amounts of money with the policy. A few structural changes to the car market began to undermine the low-cost-car model. And from the other direction, the prestige makers have backed off from the money-no-object policy that defined them.
      The Granada, overall, isn´t a bad car though. If they did get baggy too soon (Irish roads are awful) they certainly survived more than others outside the premier league and the duo of Swedes.

      (Myles Gorfe is not available for comment at present.)

  3. The steering wheel is a masterpiece as it seems to get covered in suede automatically if exposed to sunlight.

    1. They all seem to do that, don´t they? I don´t like these four spoke steering wheels, on any car. Three or one are the only options for me. BMW´s of the same period had an equal lack of charm.

    2. Yesterday at a fuel station on the autostrada from Firenze to Siena I met a genuine GTA 1300 junior. That’s the steering wheel of steering wheels…

  4. I used to own a MkI estate with the 2.3 back in the mid eighties. I got it dirt cheap and replaced the springs and dampers with new stuff, monroe if I recall correctly. It was a fabulous car for a mechanic in his early twenties. We rode it fast and hard on the long straight roads of Western Denmark. The only qualm was that the rubber band and the plastic nut holding the gear shift lever doqn was prone to malfunction so you suddenly was holding the stick in your hand.
    Good memories indeed.

    1. Hi Niels:
      I think Myles Gorfe has never got remotely near that level of involvement with his Granada. He has been very quiet of late on this car restoration which reminds me I need to remind him to send in a new instalment to update us on the case.
      Since I saw this car it has gone from the garage (near Lem). It seems to be a car that is alive and well unlike Myles´ car.

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