Here’s another interesting oddball from the Me Decade. I spotted it this afternoon on Marketplace; its for sale in Edwardsville, Illinois.
A Granada, with all that entails, haha. For better or for worse the Granada, introduced in 1975, was an immediate success. In its first year 118,168 sedans, 100,810 coupes, 43,652 Ghia sedans and 40,028 Ghia coupes were sold. Not bad for a car that was essentially a Broughamed out, restyled Maverick.
It had the squared off, baby Brougham look down to a T. Inside, the interiors gave off sort of a 3/4 scale Lincoln vibe, at least on the flossier Ghia models.
And the color keyed wheel covers were a pretty blatant ripoff of Mercedes wheel covers. Indeed, much of Granada advertising myopically suggested it looked like a Mercedes or Cadillac Seville.
But it sold, ’70s Detroit build quality notwithstanding. And in 1978 a new ESS trim package was added. It tried even harder to look like the European car it wasn’t, with black trimmed windshield wipers, rocker panels, window surround, B-pillar trim, black striping, color keyed sport mirrors, those aforementioned Mercedes like wheel covers, leather wrapped steering wheel and other extras.
Ads comparing it to a 450SE were kind of painful to read, especially since the Granada looked more like a 240D…after a two martini lunch. They even added the Mercedes style “ears” to the front seat headrests, for Pete’s sake.
But it was an interesting version. I’m guessing not many were sold. I only know of them from my brochures and vintage ads. None of my books list ESS production by itself, but 110,481 ’78 coupes and 139,305 sedans of all trim levels were built. I never saw an ESS in the metal-maybe because they averaged $200 more than even the Ghia versions.
Personally, my choice would be a triple Jade Ghia sedan with the lacy spoke alloys and whitewalls. Go Brougham or go home.
Mercury offered the same package on the Monarch, but I’d bet even money that those are even rarer than the Granada ESSs!
Most Granada buyers wanted either the plain Jane or Broughamy variants, not the Mercedes wannabe. The ESS lasted through 1980 though, which was when the original Granada bowed out for a short lived Fox body replacement. That one was gone after the ’82 model year. Which brings us to this ’78. In oh so ’70s pastel yellow and appearing very original.
The ad was short on text, but seems like a solid example and the $5500 ask doesn’t seem too out of line. One thing is for certain: you’d have the only one at the car show!