1980 Ford Granada Ghia: Here I Am

The Granada, like many ’70s cars that once were everywhere and now are rarely seen, gets its share of hatred, fear and loathing from some quarters. But I’ve always had a soft spot for them. Why? Well, as a kid growing up in the 80s, there were still tons of them around, with approximately 50% rusty, 40% decent and 10% mint, little old lady driven time capsules. But they are few and far between these days, because like most popular cars, most were purchased and unceremoniously traded in 2-3 years later, or driven into the ground and junked. Oh, and they liked to rust.

Jim’s car was just about identical to this one inside and out, but was a two door.

Around 1995-97, our neighbor down the street, Jim Carlson, got a very well kept base 77 Granada coupe as a daily driver. They also had a then-new Town & Country minivan, but that was the ‘good car’ and Jim’s new acquisition was basically a work car. I remember he took me around the block in it, and it had a blue vinyl bench seat and pretty much zero options. Later, when he got rid of it, he gave me the mint condition owners’ manual and certicard; I still have it somewhere. As I recall, he replaced it with a nonmetallic tan 1977 Caprice Classic sedan that was slightly rough but nice, and had functional A/C, a big plus.

Spotted in West Davenport, autumn 2014.

I have seen a few in recent years. One was a 1977 root beer brown Ghia sedan. A rare survivor, right down to the color keyed wheel covers and chrome Dahl Ford dealer tag still affixed to the trunk lid.

I also spied a white two-door running around town a few times circa 2016-17, with red landau top, red interior and sporting ’90s Crown Victoria alloy wheels. There may be one or two others I saw at various car shows and cruise nights, but the details escape me right now.

Anyway, this one came across the transom recently, on the Finding Future Classic Cars group and I was surprised at how nice it was. Offered for two grand in Johnstown, PA, it’s a top trim Ghia with factory air and the 302 V8-a nice combination since these were pretty, ahem, sedate when equipped with air and the straight six under the hood.

Per the ad, on FB Marketplace: “Bone stock Granada Ghia, 302 V8, auto, AC, tilt wheel, delay wipers, remote mirror, am-fm, front/rear speakers and all the books.”

“Looks like spare never down. Very nice bumpers, grill and headlight trim. Clear glass. No trim pieces missing. Top nice too. Clear MD title. May do a trade, show me what ya got!”

It has 68,328 miles on it, and appears nice enough to be accurate despite the five digit odometer. I liked the blue interior; it’s nice to see something other than Rubbermaid tan, Rubbermaid gray, and black.

And naturally, with the 302 V8, it could easily be breathed on for a little more sprightly motorvation. Just keep the whitewalls and color-keyed wheel covers on; you could have a real Q ship, haha!

16 Replies to “1980 Ford Granada Ghia: Here I Am”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    Ford was ahead of the game in seeing that compacts had to get a lot fancier, and this Ghia shows what could be done. My family had a ride to the airport in one thanks to a neighbor while our family car was a 71 Valiant. The two cars were the same size so this trim really showed up our rubber base seats and no carpet on the floor. The AC through dash vents instead of not even fan forced air out of doored boxes in the footwell, it really showed progress. While waiting for the plane, we were all talking about the Granada.

    Remember Ford’s ads for the Granada. The one showing the price was the same as the Rabbit with the cardboard interior and the tiny exterior that tried to make no style a virtue. Or the trolling trim group with the MB headrests and groves in the taillights to remind import buyers how small their cars were even after paying out the ass for the big body Benz with the weirdly slow Granada style inline six. Thanks to Iacoaca no doubt, who never shared the American inferiority complex with the gonzo journos who wrote the road rests. He had so much fun with that he did it again a Chrysler with turbo 600ESs beating diesel MB taxis and Lancer Turbos racing eta 5 series around the decks of supercarriers. I wonder if the but hurt staffs of the magazines had meetings whether they should censor or at least “fact check” the ads. There is nothing new in the world

    Tom points to the real problem of finding them these days. The one I would like to learn more about though is the Grand Monarch version. It only existed a few years before the Versailles and pioneered super high trim, 351 V8 and the first rear disc brakes on a Falcon platform Ford. Supposedly it was the hot ticket for company cars for young Ford execs. By the time the young execs were old the same size Ford/Mercury was a lazy rebadge of a Mazda. How depressing, to go with their birds eye view of the decline of the city of Detroit. I bet they hated the empty suits that forced Iacocca out of first Ford then Chrysler.

    Reply
  2. AvatarDiv2

    How true! The Granada was clearly superior to any European iron. Years later it’s still obvious. Look how many clubs, forums and magazines are dedicated to Granada owners and enthusiasts. Contrast that with the almost total lack of interest in the German taxis.

    Reply
  3. AvatarLynnG

    Tom, Happy Motoring, something seems amiss as I am getting notifications of your postings from months gone by. Are there grimlins in the system?
    On the motoring front, you are correct use to see Granadas everywhere just like Citations, Cutlesses, Impalas exc and one day they were gone. Saw a 1988 or 1989 Impala two door the other day on Lee Highway had not seen one in years and I wondered where it came from.
    Oh, and check out our show from last Sunday. Had a 1990 Brougham with 4K miles (the firethoun/red one in the pictures, and a 1976 Sedan deVille with 7K miles (the White/White/White one). The only show we had this year and it was a real effort to pull it off (see the picture of sign at the check in table).

    http://www.clcpotomacregion.org/2020springcarshow.htm

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      It is great that this show was allowed to happen. I think organizations try to do virtual shows once, but if things don’t get back to business soon they will fade away. I do a postage stamp collecting website, (the-philatelist.com), and I decided not to get a virtual booth at any of this year’s virtual events. Yall did a good job of including Cadillacs from different periods, but I noticed pre wars were no longer there and neither were the modern trucks. I don’t think he should have, but did the 90s Deville with donk wheels receive any blowback?

      Reply
      • AvatarLynnG

        John, No the three modified cars did not recieve any “blowback”. Modified are a new area for the Cadillac LaSalle Club. Some regions on their registration clearly state “no modified” However, four of five years ago the Potomac Region created a catagory for them (a simple best modified award). In one of the pictures you can see the steering wheel trophy. There were no 1st. 2nd, or 3rd. Soon all the Regions are going to have to adopt to the fact that a lot of the 20 and 30 year olds like to “personnalize their cars” and change with the times.

        Like wise on the “Pre-War”, 20 years ago when I began going to the shows at Capital Cadillac we had three classes of pre-war and would sometimes have 20-30 cars show up (some trailer queens). If you explore the web site from my prior link and review the shows from the early 2000’s you will see some great Pre-War cars. However, about 5 years ago so few Pre-War cars showed up we cancelled what had shrunken to one class. One of the reasons also was the cost, the three class award (1st, 2nd, 3rd) cost approximately $400 dollars for each class and the Best of Show Pre-War cost $300 without any participation we were wasting the clubs money. Now this does not apply to the National Events there we have multiple high dollar Pre-War restored trailer queens.
        Due to the pandemic I was lucky to get the participation I did, typically our show draws between 90-120 cars but due to the 50 person limit and the fact a lot of our members are in a higher age quoup it came off pretty good and like you said I was lucky that the people that registered had a sprinkining of cars from different decades. Thanks, Lynn

        Reply
  4. Avatarstingray65

    An amazing transformation of the pedestrian Falcon, but saddled with absolutely miserable motors even for the malaise era. Granada era Ford 302 V-8 – the power of a 4, with the fuel economy of a 12. Ford 200-250 I6 – the power of a Briggs and Stratton, with the fuel economy of muscle car V-8.

    Reply
    • AvatarLynnG

      Stingray, they should have offered the 300-I6 that motor was bullet proof and had the power of that eras 302-V2…Just a thought… 🙂

      Reply
    • AvatarRj

      I guess we owe a lot to the Falcon-first the Mustang, then the Grenada. I’ll drop the top today on my Mustang in the Falcon’s memory.

      Reply
    • Avatarjc

      Well, the “power of a 4 with the fuel economy of a 12” phenomenon was the artifact of the last gasp of emission controls through mechanically controlled carburetors.

      Today that 302’s descendants power the Mustang with something like 500 HP out of the same displacement, with better fuel economy and lower emissions. How?

      Computers and sensors.

      Reply
      • Avatarjsj123

        The only relationship between today’s 5.0 and the pushrod 302/5.0 Windsor motor is that both were made by Ford. We usually broke blocks on the old 302/5.0 around 400hp, todays Coyote is capable of handling much higher levels of horsepower. Isn’t it wonderful that you can buy a 32 valve DOHC v8

        My only problem with the current Coyote 5.0 mustang motor is that I can’t easily get it in my Falcon.

        –Stephen

        Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        JC – you are partly correct, but GM and Chrysler somehow managed to get most of their smog strangled motors to run with more vigor and economy than Ford during the malaise era. The Chevy 250 six, or 305 V-8 and Chrysler 225 six and 318 V-8 were much stronger than the Ford 250 or 302, and Chrysler’s 360, Corvette L-82 350, or Pontiac 400/455 were stronger than any equivalent Ford from the same era. Fortunately, modern technology has made everyone’s motors run much cleaner, stronger, and more efficiently than the dark days of the 1970s.

        Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      There even was a 2.3 option which I would personally like to drag race against a 1976 LeSabre with the 3.8 V6…..

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        The Lima was only in the fox body Granada from 81. The only Falcon I can think of that got the Lima was the Mavericks built in Brazil after they had been dropped from the USA.

        Reply
  5. Avatarjsj123

    I parted out so many of these in the day. We used their front spindles to add disk brakes to Falcons and Mustangs. We used their anti-swar bars, accelerator pedals and c4 transmissions.

    Now I want one in good shape. Been looking, good ones are as rare as hens teeth. If I got my hands on one, I would put in a 5.0 Fox body drivetrain. Their main problem was the motor. With a proper engine/transmission they would be great cars. And I would never see another on the road.

    The reason Ford didn’t use the 300 six, is that thing is enormous. It was primarily a pickup truck motor. Not sure if Ford ever put in a car

    –Stephen

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.