Unsung Heroes : Ford Granada 1977-1985

Mike Humble takes a sideways look at one of the sheds that littered the highways and by-ways of the UK. The Ford Granada Mk2 might have smacked of Teutonic coolness, but it was its association with some very British characters that truly shaped its identity.

And for Mike Humble, that’s more than enough to convince him that the Granada is a star, not just on TV.

The big Ford’s finest hour…

You want to be that Ford Granada man, don't you?
You want to be that Ford Granada man, don’t you?

Say what you like, but today, TV is rubbish. Watching a good old gameshow is a brilliant nostalgia trip, especially Bullseye or 3-2-1 where in 1985, winning a microwave oven was as exciting as witnessing the second coming of the Lord Christ himself. Sometimes the prizes were so awful, it was great. But television encouraged family viewing, the streets would be empty on a Saturday evening, or at least would be until The Generation Game had been on and your average front room would not have a spare seat for greats including Minder, The Gentle Touch, The Professionals or the best of `em all.. The Sweeney.

Double acts like Morecambe & Wise or Tom & Jerry fell by the wayside owing to the great lines and banter of other legendary names such as Daley and McCann, Regan and Carter or Bodie and Doyle. After a hard day’s graft I need my fix of ITV4 where most of the aforementioned shows are re-run. They cater for an audience of gentlemen with discerning taste who need their fix of flares, fast cars and flying cardboard boxes.

When I think of it, I find it staggering that all the aforementioned shows still pull in huge viewing figures, Minder for example was as corny as a chiropadist’s waiting room, but the banter between Arthur and Terry is truly classic stuff. And what better televisual treat can there be than Ray Doyle powersliding his Ford Capri 3000S in pursuit of another villain in another hubcap-less Triumph 2000. My all time fave though, had to be The Sweeney – oh how I yearned to live in North West London in the late 1970s, where all the baddies blagged banks we had never heard of, and made their escape in a tired Jaguar with shot dampers.

Certain cars of yesteryear were timeless or classless, prime examples include the Mini or Range Rover. But hang on a moment – how about the Ford Granada Mk2 as another? Here was a car that suited you perfectly regardless of whether you managed your local bank or wished to rob one.

The Granada never had the all-out kudos or prestige of a top of the range Rover or Jaguar, and driving around in one stated you were on the ladder, yet some way from the top. Simply uttering the words ‘two-eight grannie’ was just enough to raise an eyebrow in the playground or bar room car discussion. A 2.3GL simply wouldn’t cut the mustard, but the 2.8 would eat the pot whole – and still want more. It even lacked the funky looks of the previous Consul Granada, and at 50 paces with half shut eyes bore a similar shape to the post ’76 Cortina, yet it had those vital ingredients that many cars lack today – charm and character.

From the lowly 2.0L through to the range topping 2.8i Ghia X Executive, the Granada was yet another example of how Ford knew exactly who its customer was. Ford cared not one hoot if you were a barrister or a blagger; it would happily supply you car regardless. All you had to do was pull on your flares and visit your local Ford Dealer.

The V6 models were hardly the last word in refinement – the 2.3 version offered little more get up and go over the 2.0, and the 2.8 was light years behind the Rover V8 in terms of smoothness and power. Yet that mix of thrash and fan roar from a Ford Cologne V6 sounded menacing to my schoolboy ear. The nearest I came to owning one came in the form of a half decent Y-Reg Cortina 2.3 Ghia. It wouldn’t handle, drank fuel like it was going out of style and caused my girlfriend to almost die of shame (musical horns) yet sounded truly amazing at 5000rpm – of which was the speed the engine turned over at everywhere I went. I was ‘Mike’-not-Jack-‘Regan’!

The Grannie was a cool car and in Ghia or Ghia X trim came decked out with bells and whistles. Leather came with the Executive and even aircon and trip computer came with top post-1981 models. The interior was roomy and on the whole, well screwed together, while the overall feeling of the car eclipsed the Rover SD1 in terms of construction and build quality.

The Granada was a car that would go the distance. Seemingly huge headlamps and chrome plated bumpers with huge over-riders gave an impressive picture in the rear view mirror, a strange mix of intimidation and style was what driving a Granada seemed all about.  You could never call it classy or stylish, and looking back, it seems as if the Granada was in a league of its own – with the Ghia badge never really being a fully-blown luxury pedigree like Vanden Plas or Jaguar.

To be fair, the Granada seemed slightly harsh or lacking in substance compared to many of its rivals, yet the yobbish charm of Ford’s biggest saloon along with a dealer on every street corner made sure sales were high.

The Granada’s line up comprised of a four-door saloon and five door estate (as well as a two-door in mainland Europe) offering power units from a twin choke carburettor 2.0-litre Pinto four cylinder, with 100bhp petrol; a Peugeot diesel (with its own taxi trim-pack); and a tri0 of V6 offerings, from a carb-fed 2.3- or 2.8- to a fuel injected 2.8-litre 160bhp 2.8i. Transmissions were the superb slick shifting N-series gearbox or 3-speed automatic, and later models from 1982 featured five-speed gearboxes.

Underneath its plain looking body shape, the suspension was by a double wishbone coil front set up, and a well insulated fully independent rear coil set up. It never offered the grippiest of cornering but did give an exeptionally smooth ride in town or at high speed – and was more than a match for its costlier rivals such as the BMW 5-Series (E12 and E28), when uprated to the sporting 2.8 Injection specification (including spot-lights!) of post-1981.

Thanks to the proven Ford running gear, the Granada simply excelled at crusing at high speed, and even though its brick like styling was very un aerodynamic, rear seat passengers were treated to world of eery hush with much of this refinement the result of extensive insulation and careful attention to wind-sealing and powertrain installation.

In next to no time, the Granada became the chosen steed for the chauffeur, wedding hire company, executive taxi firms, middle and upper company management, Bailiffs, Bank robbers, criminals and of course the Police. Both Ford and Rover area traffic cars could be seen up and down the land pounding the motorways and pulling the blaggers. And from my own perspective, I never decided which was the more intimidating Police car: the Rover 3500 or Ford Granada 2.8i.

I can say having spoken to a few bobbies over the years, hardened traffic officers seemed to preffer the SD1 – fully freighted, they seemed to handle and perform that bit better.

Today, the Granada is an appreciating classic car (with at least 73 different owners’ clubs in the UK), and values for good ones are on their way up after years in the doldrums. Constant exposure on mainstream retro TV is doing as good an advertising and PR job for the old Grannie, as Ford ever did back in the way (and they were very good), thanks to endless re-runs of The Professionals and The Sweeney. Ask your average car enthusiast what motor George Cowley was ferried around in – as the boss of fictional crime agency CI5, and they’ll tell you it was a Granada – despite an SD1 proving his choice of motor in early series. But somehow, Ford’s edgier Granada seemed to stick in the memory banks just that bit better.

So the nostalgia crew love the Granada – and so do I, even if it’s because, deep-down, I still dream of being Jack Regan.


Mike Humble


  1. The doors don’t exactly fit well do they? Swage lines look distinctly wavy…

    I have to say i much preferred the look of the MK3.

  2. Who the hell is Mike Regan?

    Remember the bloddy awful diesel version? My uncle when I was a kid had one, which cause the paint gold paint was peeling off decided to paint it by nad in black. It look awful, went awful but I still loved it as it was a nice cosseting ride.

    The closest my dad got to the Granada he wanted was a MK3 2.0 Cortina E estate, and yes he thought he was Jack Rgan in it.

  3. I’m assuming Mike Regan is Mike’s hard(er) talking, tough(er) crime-fighting alt(er) ego.


  4. Great cars, the Mk2 was a very clever reskin of the orginal Grannie. Don’t make ’em like that anymore but needs the spots on the grille for uber coolness…..

    I had a 2.3 ‘Tina GL for a while (taking a break from Marina’s and Itals) After I traded it in against a 244 Volvo GLT, It was written off in an armed robbery in London, they hadn’t taken my name off the log book, how cool is that!

  5. Another great nostalgia trip Mike. I watch those ITV4 re-runs mainly to see these cars too! I preferred the initial MK2 Granada than the facelift versions when colour coded grilles were adopted.

    As you say, there was a Granada for every rung of the management ladder up to a Director’s 2.8 Ghia. Even if the Granada didn’t have the kudos of a Jaguar, at least it didn’t cost as much.

    One Bank Hol weekend I had use of my Director’s 1989 Granada 2.8GL (MK3) Nice car but that’s another story…

  6. i think these cars are now cool,i once had a ghia x (cloth trim) and it was the mutts nuts it had everything but drank like a witch!

  7. Between ’86 and ’89 my dad ran a graphite grey 1983 GL – DBU16Y, such was the prestige or running a granny back then the old man actually got accused of being on the fiddle at work! Electrics drivers seat too on the GL, but by grief did those back seats make you sick!

  8. I’ve always liked the Mk2 Granny, but the Ozzie versions are awesome. The XD Falcon looks pretty similar to a Granny but was wider, longer and came with live axles and a 5.8l V8. I’ll have mine as a ute please.
    I wonder if anyone did a back to back of the XD and the SD1, my money would be on the far more powerful and tougher Ford.

  9. @Chris C – I often thought that, why can’t Ford (and Vauxhall) simply offer big Australian saloons and offer them with a selection of engines (ie. diesels for Europe, and the imported V6s/V8s for those with money to burn these days!).

    Ironically, the mid 80s AU Ford Falcon looked very like a mk2 Granada, although the lower windowline looked a bit Montego-ish from the side.

    Vauxhall sort of did this with the VXR8, but a 2.2 diesel and a 2.0 petrol would have seen it sell to the mainstream market.

    I guess big mainstream saloons died off when everyone decided big saloon = German marque. The Granada died of shame after it’s Scorpio nip-tuck, the Omega as the Vectra/Insignia were filling the big saloon/hatch niche, and families were going for MPVs/SUVs, and the SD1-800-75 lineage is an unfortunate tale.

    Anyhow, I digress. My dad loved his RWD Fords back in the day. I have fond memories of his mk2 Granada, a 2.8i Ghia X – ‘EBZ 5235’. V6 engine, front and rear spoilers, fogs and spots, a cracking blue colour and chrome everywhere! It really looked the business!

    He never liked the mk3 Granadas, thought they big Sierras. My uncle had one, I always thought they were very roomy though the transmission tunnel was a pain for the unfortunate who had to sit in the middle!

  10. I loved the ones I had, back in the day you could pick up minty 2.8 Ghias for weekend beer money, but they still looked impressive and imposing, still do today for that matter.

    I used to have one to drive as a taxi, well he had 2, an A reg white one and a B reg black one, both diesel taxi spec, and while comfy over a shift, they were god awfully slow and noisy. The taxi spec added a huge box stuck to the top of the dash to house the meter, great in theory, but it was at least twice as big as the meter itself, some extra interior lights, but rather than work with the door switches, they had to be manually switched on and off, and some extra ashtrays screwed to the doors. Looking back, maybe not the best idea as they were big metal items that slid up and down on the mountings to remove to empty etc, a certain other driver would take great delight of nicking them whilst parked on the rank, but they would have made an idea cosh for twating round the back of the head by anyone sat in the back wishing to relieve you of the nights taking. In the end I used to shove em in the boot out the way.

    Oh happy memories…

  11. Back in the late 90’s when they were developing the S Class, Ford thought first about using the Linclon is was based on as a new Scorpio, then about just brining it over as a Lincoln. Shame they don’t offer the falcon as it looks pretty sporty against the bland Mondeo, but there lies the por the Mondeo is bigger than the Grannie and the falcon is no bigger than the Mondy – it would just be competion for their own model.

  12. The latest Mondeo is indeed huge, easily bigger than the mk3 Granada!

    Their models seem to have jumped up a notch, with the Focus Sierra sized, the Fiests Focus sized and the Ka taking the old Fiesta slot.

  13. The earlier low spec Mk2’s had those odd black painted steel wheels which never seemed pleasing to the eye.

    Me & my Dad have wondered why Ford & GM haven’t tried selling their smaller American or Australian models over here.

    • In the 4 years since, perhaps they unintentionally have?

      Ford and GM have went ‘international’, the Mondeo being sold as the Fusion in the US, the Insignia as a Buick.

      The Sweeney film I feel should have had a V6 Mondeo rather than a Focus RS. Would Regan have driven an XR3 or 2.3 Cortina?

  14. Great article again Mike.

    The Sweeney, what a brill programe. The PC brigade wouldnt let it be made today.
    Just shows how crap mordern TV is.

    Ford did very well out of the 70’s / 80’s TV didnt they ?
    To this day, I still want an JPS RS2000 Mk2 and a 3.0 ltr Capri 🙂
    Happy days

  15. Nice article, takes me right back. There was a 1.7 litre version in Europe – with a V4? Great TV prog’s, I used to love Minder. As for the Mk2 Granny, can’t help thinking it was a bit of a trip to blandsville I’m afraid.

  16. @jonathan carling “can’t help thinking it was a bit of a trip to blandsville I’m afraid.” – in lowly L & GL guise, I’d wholeheartedly agree – but move up to a 2.8 Injection, or the plethora of Ghia variants, and even better the estate versions of said variants, and I dunno why, but it becomes a fabulous 70s/80s car with bags of presence and a certain brutish charm. In luxo-barge form, it seems ‘right’ in my opinion. I love ’em (and I normally dislike Fords with a passion!).

  17. @Richard16378

    The smaller Australian models? I think they’re called “Vauxhalls”. The proper RWD Holdens? They’re called VXR8s and are already cheap enough to compete with moderately specced executive cars. Unless they were trying to sell a straight-six, cloth-seat Holden for £20K, there’d be no point – and no-one with £20K to spend would want a povvo-spec Vauxhall no matter how big it is, as the last Omegas and Scorpios demonstrated beautifully.

  18. I was mostly thinking of the smaller Chevys like the Impala, I wasn’t 100% sure they were built in Australia.

    I knew the smaller Holdens were more or less identical to the Vauxhall / Opel range, I even spotted a Holden Vectra over here a couple of years ago.

    • The best car general Motors ever sold in Australia was a small Vauxhall derivative, the Brabham Torana (Viva).

      Actually it’s been all down hill since they sacked Larry Hartnett (in 1946)after he went “native” and argued with the Detroit bosses about building 9/10 scale model Chevs with Holden badges and using Government money to fund Detroit Executive’s holidays in Australia.

      Next year the last true blue, dinky dy, ridgy didge, Holden will trundle off the line and we will revert to buying Korean cars with Holden badges.

  19. Does anyone remember the granada ghia sapphire from about 1979/1980, it was two tone in colour blue over silver.

    • I’ve always loved the mk2 Sapphire. & was luck enough to find one a couple of months ago. It had been sat in a barn since 1995

  20. Badge-snobbery means that no-one would buy them, as Richard Kilpatrick states.

    The VXR8 is quite a brute but a real flop. And people get Holden badges for them! That’s why the only Falcon you’ll get is from Coleman Milne.

    When did you see any big prole-badge car? Even the excellent Honda Legend SH-AWD sold about three.

    My first enployer had a green mk2 2.8i Ghia; absolutely streets ahead of the dreadful TC Cortina with its horrid rear axle & driveline vibration and boaty steering.

  21. Cracking car, the Granny. My favourite bit was the front spoiler on the 2.8i engined versions, complete with a huge “2.8i” badge to let people know that you were the Daddy!

    I’d have one tomorrow.

  22. Awesome, This was my “Mums Taxi” Car… Metallic red with the early grill! MASSIVE!

    That picture of a gold one was on the front of the handbook if I remember correctly.

  23. Darren – Who would buy a Granada over an SD1? – Anyone circa 1978 who wanted a car that actually went and would have some resale value!

  24. “The latest Mondeo is indeed huge, easily bigger than the mk3 Granada!
    Their models seem to have jumped up a notch, with the Focus Sierra sized, the Fiests Focus sized and the Ka taking the old Fiesta slot.”

    That’s the same with Most Manufacturers though. The current Golf is massive compared the the MK1 which is about the size of the current Polo. Then VW introduced the Lupo, Fox what ever they call it now below that. Renault’s Clio used to be the smallest, now there is the Twingo below it.

  25. We ran two Falcon’s as company cars in the 90’s, both XR6’s (we had an aussie office and the directors liked the cars so they were shipped over to the UK). Big, fast, thirsty, reliable and fun. The build was good but the trim was pretty low rent and didn’t stand up against european cars of the time.

  26. Nice old cars, remember seeing my first new model at the Newbury Show in Berkshire and still have the brochure.
    Little was i to know that only 3 years on i would have a plethora of them to smoke around in, my favorite being a carb 2.8 Ghia with A/C in silver WKO100S are you still out there?.
    Problems started happening with the early precursor to the cambelt the fibre timing gear [ i think the 2.3s] this had a problem with stripping teeth and stopping the engine, although not fatal it was a great nuisance.

  27. Not forgetting George Cowley’s lovely red MkII and the consul coming through the glass on the Professional’s opening titles…..didn’t BL miss a trick with the Professionals?

  28. Great old barges these.
    Lot of shared DNA with the sierra too
    My dad had a new 2.5 Consul estate. I learned to drive on. I had a 93 2L DOHC Estate. A nice cruser, however, I have to say it was not the most reliable car ive ever owned. The ford main dealer I bought it from was not very sypathetic either.
    Ive nothing against Fords, but due to the dealers Indifference i’ve been put off since. Mrs H more so.”Never will a Ford be parked on our drive again”

  29. @Paul Simpson. Yes I also remember those Granada Ghia Sapphires with the 2 tone paint. For a while one was used as our Town Mayor’s official car. Also agree with Will M about cars getting bigger these days. The Mondeo & Focus are good examples. So is the Astra which looks as big as a Victor FC/FD from the late 1960s.

  30. “Not forgetting George Cowley’s lovely red MkII and the consul coming through the glass on the Professional’s opening titles…..didn’t BL miss a trick with the Professionals?”

    Have a look at the photo section, the earlier series of The Professionals featured BL cars for the regulars, but some reliability issues caused the makers to switch to Ford.

  31. One of the great strengths of Ford Marketing back then was that they offered a range of company cars with easy steps up e.g. Cortina 1.6L – 2.0GL – Ghia – then Granada 2.0L – 2.3GL – 2.8Ghia. One of the managers at my then-employer wanted everyone to think he was further up the tree than he really was, so he bought a Granny 2.3 with his own money, as that was the car issued to people at the level above him!

    The same company had a Granada 2.5 which had been used to carry stacks of computer printout from Derby to Glasgow and back, racking up starship mileage on the way. Everything was rusty, loose, or smoky, but it still went!

  32. The current Astra is massive. There are a few cars available from GM/Ford in the States which would do okay in the UK (IMO), Chevy Malibu (that maybe coming in its next generation, it has Vectra/Insignia underpinnings) and the Ford Fusion (not the godawful Fiesta based thing) which looks a lot better than the ghastly Mondeo. The Chevy Impala is a bit of a barge and quite crude (as I discovered when I had a look underneath when changing a wheel on one!)

  33. Re comment 38, I think producers of the Professionals pulled out of the BL deal because of continuity problems. BL kept taking the cars back and replacing them with different models, or same models but different colours. No doubt quality was still an issue, though.

  34. “Not forgetting George Cowley’s lovely red MkII and the consul coming through the glass on the Professional’s opening titles…..didn’t BL miss a trick with the Professionals?”

    Have a look at the photo section, the earlier series of The Professionals featured BL cars for the regulars, but some reliability issues caused the makers to switch to Ford.”

    I read that it was continuity issues. Apparently every time the crew turned up for the cars BL had loaned them out. The production team spoke with Ford, who simply dedlicated cars to the team.

    I have to say I think it has aged very well. I can’t imagine that the Mk3 would have done the same (if you see one on the road that is!!)

  35. @Russell G – Yep, I’ve also seen pictures of the US Ford Fusion saloon on the American Ford website and it’s absolutely no relation or resemblance to the Euro Fusion. The sort of car that made me feel like I wanted to move to America to get one!

  36. “I read that it was continuity issues. Apparently every time the crew turned up for the cars BL had loaned them out. The production team spoke with Ford, who simply dedlicated cars to the team.”

    I remember reading something about that. When one episode was being filmed the car would be a yellow one for example, then the next day it would be brown*, and so on.

    To be fair, I don’t think that at that time BL had anything that could match the wide-boy lairy looks and image that the Capri 3.0S and Escort RS2000 had, sadly. An Allegro Equipe just wouldn’t cut it would it? Especially not with four flat tyres.

    *Although that could have been the onset of rust.

  37. One hell of a car, the Mark 1 was awesome, but the Mark 2 was even better and looked the part. For a lot less money than a Mercedes, you had German build quality with Ford servicing and repair costs. Also the use of wood and leather in later Ghia models might have been a successful attempt to woo buyers away from top of the range Rovers.

  38. Many years ago, when the mk2 was still a common sight (late 90’s) I bought a mk3 Granny and remember thinking how up market I was having the newer model then the old mk2s running around. I soon lived to regret it though and now wish I’d bought one of those older mk2’s instead! Or even the ld shark-nosed 5 series BMW I’d been offered.

  39. Like most cars over the years the MK1 and 2 Granada’s end up seen on banger racing tracks even limo and hearse ones to date.
    Its a sad fact but seeing most classic cars in all shapes and forms enough to make you wept getting hammered.

  40. “I think producers of the Professionals pulled out of the BL deal because of continuity problems. BL kept taking the cars back and replacing them with different models, or same models but different colours. No doubt quality was still an issue, though.”

    If that’s true, how shambolic! offer them free advertising to millions every week, and they cocked it up! That’s a marketing failure which even the new MG may not be capable of.

  41. My dad had a 3.0 litre mark 1 with manual box new in 1973 around the same time I passed my driving test. By the standards of the day it was a quick car. It would spin its wheels in first and second which was a hoot and a good way to impress my mates. Where are you now MYY 94L?

    The mark 2 was an inspired re-skin of the original. However, to me it seemed a bit too sober. The styling, whilst of the moment, lost the quirkiness that was part of the mark 1’s charm. The Cologne V6, whilst lighter and a bit more economical, wasn’t as torquey and didn’t sound as nice as the good old Essex lump. Mind you, I wouldn’t say no to a nice 2.8i Ghia X now…

    Regarding the comments about BL and Ford cars in TV shows of the time, Ford were (and still are) excellent at what is now termed ‘product placement’. Every time Regan’s car ran the blagger’s S Type Jag off the road, or Cowley jumped out of his mark 2 to take charge of some international crime incident, another few hundred or so middle managers must have moved the Granada to the top of their company car list in the hope that some of the street-cred would rub off. Ford couldn’t have bought advertising that effective.

  42. I borrowed my mates mk2 grannie 2.8 ghia it was mint looked so cool, sadly it was flat as a pancake i had more power and acceleration and top speed in my newly aquired peaugeot 306d turbo.It was a sad day for ford…..A nice car all the same.

  43. Ultimately, a big Cortina. However, the Granada mk2 somehow managed to feel more than that. The 2.8 injection in sporting guise was rather appealing, I seem to remember.

  44. Anyone for VHK 491S? The Silver 2.8iS Granada from the last series of The Sweeney.Missing,gone to the home for retired tv motors!

  45. “limo and hearse ones”

    Those Dorchester things were terrible, funeral directors didn’t seem to keep them long, they seemed to rot far worse than the normal cars and i heard rumours that it wasn’t unusual for them to Flex in the middle even snap in half.

  46. I believe there was a Diesel version which was aimed at the Mini Cab market. Very stripped down from what I can remember.

  47. “I believe there was a Diesel version which was aimed at the Mini Cab market. Very stripped down from what I can remember.”

    Rob C mentions it in Comment 12 above.

  48. Wonderful article! I still watch The Sweeney on ITV4 -sometimes for breakfast!

    Jack Reagan didn’t drive the Granada -he had a driver, which was probably for the best as he was always p****d!

    As a lot of people know, the coolest cop shows these days are with subtitles and come from Sweden Denmark, France and…

    …the ultimate cop/crime show for cars is the wonderful Romanza Criminale, set in Rome in the late 1970s. Being Italian they have gone to the nth degree to get the cars right. Loads of Alfas and Lancias, as well as Autobianchis and Fiats, with lots of other cool stuff in the background (Jags, Mercs, Citroen DS’s, etc). Some cars get heavily featured, like an Innocenti Mini, Citroen Ami(!) and a Lancia Fulvia HF. You’ll find Romanaz Criminale on Sky Arts1.

    Unfortunately the don’t use phrases like “Shut It!”

  49. Italien for “Shut it, you slag!” is-“Chuiuderlo, e scoire!” (all credits go to Google Translate)

  50. I had umpteen MKII Granadas over a long period and can honestly say I never had a baddun..My first was a Sapphire while our MD was still using a Ghia X, I was 24 when I had that..various GLs, LXs and Ghias in saloon and estate form came and went. I’d give my front teeth for one now..
    Remember the limited editions?
    Sapphire previously mentioned
    Consort saloon,
    Talisman saloon,
    Chasseur estate.
    None of them had any badges giving the name though.

  51. ref. post 58 above.  Dorchesters and Cardinals did not rot quickly. Washed everyday, polished every week why should they? They were actually stiffer than the standard car and did not flex or snap in the middle. Immense strengthening to the sills and transmission tunnel saw to that. In fact, if you new what you were doing, you could really throw them around the road and get some dropped jaws gawping at you. The reason for frequent change was financially driven. I should know I was a funeral director through the 80’s and 90’s.
    I now have a Chasseur estate…..and a Windsor estate

  52. @Howard

    Sweeney Granada VHK 491S also featured in Motor magazines road test and group test around 9/77. It was possibly a pre-production car and I believe that after its road test and flying squad duties it was exported- possibly back to Cologne?

    I remember ‘smoking’ a 2.8 auto when working at a used car dealer in the late 80s. For that moment in time I was Jack Regan. Loved every tyre squeeling minute of it- (I was only 23!)  

  53. For us here in the suburbs of Cologne the Granada was a standard driveway view. Every third home had its Granada Mk II. Some 2,8i. Some 2,3 and lot of 2,0 versions. All had the licence K-FO XXX. All mid- and upper level Ford employees.

    The plant people couldn`t afford more than a MKI Fiesta.

  54. A shame that the new Sweeney film they’re running round in Focuseses.
    While the mk2 Escort back then was fairly cool (CI5…), to me this is the equivalent of Regan running round in a 5 door mk3 Escort.

    The big Jag is more appropriate, and it has been well placed as the baddies getaway car.
    Perhaps something like a mean looking Chrysler 300 or the everyman Skoda Superb (do they do a VRS trim?) would have been more his cuppa tea.

  55. I do think the pre 81 facelift models look much better. Interesting to read road tests of the car. It really was considered comparable with BMW’s and Mercs – and didnt cost that much less to buy! As for the Sweeney film, a nicely specced Mondeo would be by 2012 Granada equivelent. The release of the film coincides with the launch of the Focus ST in the US – where the Mondeo isnt sold and Ford where keen to get some appropriate product placement in, hence the two miserable excuses for Regan and Carter they have come up with have tool around in an off duty WPCs car!

  56. I was tasked with driving an ex employee’s 1990 Granada from his home in Solihull to company HQ in Eastleigh in 1995.

    I was a very comfortable car to drive, with an armchair like driving seat, although I thought the suspension was a bit soft. Also as I remember reverse gear was very difficult to select!

  57. @Paul

    The new Mondeo is close enough to the new Fusion (in fact they might be the same motor) that they could use one.

  58. Hi,

    My old boss had one – well he was the sales director of Exchange and Mart. My very upwardly mobile brother in law had one which started me on my spate of owning “Grannies” Starting with a 2.0L with LX wheel trims and pin striping, 2.3L, 2.3 GL, 2.8 Ghia X and finally a 2.8 MK I Scorpio Ghia. Loved them all and you have too with how much fuel they drink.

  59. I have just bought a 1979 2.8i Ghia after years of searching for the one I wanted. Well I really wanted a Mk II Escort RS2000 but can’t afford their prices now.

  60. We know someone who has had a ’79 2.3 from new, never weldedor painted, still looks brand new.

  61. Yeh the big Ford Granada always seemed to make you feel macho and definitly had presence. Seen one a couple of months ago and there is a, ‘I want one,’ pull with them. Looked like a MK4 Cortina but somehow were considered in a way better class. I remember pestering my Dad to buy an ’84 2.5D GL in silver, it looked, it just looked the way a proper car should look, was 1989 when he was driving a really slow 2.3D Sierra which had a bad engine due to many HG failures. I wish he bought that Granada, I went around it like a hawk and no rust could I find.
    Sigh the car my parents could have been driving when I started to (legally) drive on the roads. I could have been Regan in a diesel. O’Regan on the red!

  62. I can remember a porter at university coming into a bit of money in 1987 and buying a 1984 2.3 LX with a five speed gearbox, which meant it wasn’t too uneconomical and quieter than a four speeder. It was finished in metallic blue and was a very comfortable and quiet cruiser AIRC. A shame the Mark 3 lacked the presence of the Mark 2, which was like an American police car when it came up behind you.

  63. Thanks for allowing me to comment.
    We had Mk.I Consul GT’s on our Traffic Dept when I joined it.
    Big, roomy and you felt safe when driving them.
    No power steering of course but as they were fitted with calibrated speedos, I can categorically state that you could wind them up to around 130mph [true speed]…..
    and that with a 4 speed box!
    I could never quite get 110 in third… the valve limiter used to cut in at 108.
    We also had a Broad Speed prepared Consul GT (designated ‘Bullet’) on test.
    We were never told what the power plant was (the bonnet was wired down !), but it was fitted with a 5 speed ZF gear box and could push the vehicle up to 150 plus.
    Our ‘Boss’ refused to buy any of them as he maintained that within six months, even with our driving abilities, one of us would end up in a serious accident… or worse !
    I’m afraid that in my humble opinion, when we took delivery of the Mk.II’ Granada’s, with the ‘Cologne’ 2.8 ‘lump,’ they fell short of the GT’s in handling & performance. And when we – at a later date – had the SD1 Rover’s [3.5 & 2.6 versions] all I can say is… Oh dear ! But that’s another story.

  64. I love Mk2 Granadas! They always seemed so ‘solid’ & well made compared with the other stuff which was around at the time. I always wanted a 2.8i Ghia X Executive with the aircon & electric seat….what luxury! I think my choice now would be a 2.8iS with a manual box & Recaro seats….I’d have to banish the white wheels though…that was an odd twist of fashion (guess black is the modern version). Great motors though, shame we never had a posh coupe version of the Mk2, the mk1 coupe never seemed to be as good as it should have been, the two door notchback was a better looking design (to my eyes at least!).

  65. After having many in the 80s and 90s, I’ve recently bought a MKII “Two – Eight Ghia”, and lovely as it is to cruise – you just can’t help a bit of Sweeney action !

  66. Maybe not as characterful as a Rover SD1, but a far more reliable car and easier to maintain. I do recall problems with a Rover SD1 in the first series of The Professionals saw the show change to 2.8 Granadas for the next four series.

    • The Granada in both MK1 & 2 form always had that look of authority in “The Sweeny” & “Professionals”. The replacement MK3 and Scorpio were not as convincing.

      • The Professionals used a Dolomite Sprint and a TR7 in the first series as well, but from Series 2 onwards, they mostly used Fords. Rover SD1s mostly made appearances as police cars, as this was the favoured traffic car for the Met.

        • The cars changed from BL to Ford because of the bad management from BL – the cars provided might or might not turn up, if they turned up they would be different from the previous shoot so continuity was a problem, and the regular breakdowns. Ford stepped in, as they knew it would be a PR success and cheap advertising.

      • The producer of The Professionals had previously done the New Avengers, and had numerous problems with the BL cars featured in that, John Steed’s Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12 Coupe (XJ5.3C), Mike Gambit’s Jaguar XJ-S, Purdy’s Triumph TR7, later Rover (SD1) 3500, Range Rover x2, MGB and Mini.

        So, for series 1 of The Professionals, Doyle had Triumph TR7, Bodie a Triumph Dolomite Sprint and Cowley had a Wedge Princess.

        The stunt team were really unhappy with reliability of the BL stuff, plus getting hold of spares.

        So for Series 2, they switched to Ford. Doyle with the Escort (Mk2) RS2000 in Diamond White, Bodie Capri (Mk3) 3000S in Metallic Stratos Silver, and Cowley got a Granada (Mk2) often a GL or a Ghia.

        For Season 3, Doyle’s Escort was replaced by a Metallic Oyster Gold Capri (Mk3) 3000S.

  67. While understandable why Ford Europe did not produce anything larger then the Granada, in some respects it is surprising both Ford of Germany and UK appeared to have resisted the temptation in following Opel’s lead by developing their own fairly sophisticated Granada+-sized luxury flagship answer to the Opel Diplomat A/B (or Opel KAD A/B).

    If the Opel Diplomat was reputedly considered a suitable basis for a sophisticated Cadillac capable of challenging European luxury marques, an equivalent Ford rival to the Diplomat / KAD would have potentially been a suitable platform for a Euro adapted Lincoln. .

    • Both, Ford (Zodiac), GM-Vauxhall (Viscount), BMC (Farina, Wolseley, Riley & Vanden Plas) and Chrysler-Rootes Group (Humber & Hillman) had tried in vain to get into that higher class.

      With the heavy taxation on Petrol,

      The possibility of bringing in American V8 drivetrains, for anything other than Bristol or Jensen, GT Cars, was a non-starter.

      But in the UK, Triumph (2000/2500), Rover (P6)2000/2200/3500), Jaguar (XJ6) & Daimler (Sovereign), had it sewn up.

      Badge snobbery exists in the UK & Europe, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than being asked to park at the rear, when your having a business meeting at the Golf Club, Country Hotel or Restaurant, when your an executive.

      I think, the company that did the best line up in the UK, was GM Vauxhall in the late 80’s early 90’s. Corsa, Astra, Cavalier, Carlton, Senator.

      Sadly the Sporting Opel Coupe versions were stopped from being sold in the UK.

      • Ford took a different approach to GM and bought Jaguar (and Volvo) in their attempt to move up market. The X Type was the first fruit of the tie up – not a bad car, but it always laboured for acceptance as a premium model due to it’s links to the Mondeo.

        • Cliffr… Among all the better trim X type Jags I saw whether chromed or full colour coded, I once saw an X Type diesel with steel wheels and silver plastic Jag wheel covers. That certainly cheapened its appearance

      • @ Steven, Go back fifty years and British Leyland dominated the executive car market, Ford and Vauxhall’s offerings were seen as too downmarket and too American in their styling, Rootes Chrysler had abandoned the sector, and imported cars like Mercedes were far more expensive. The Granada was the first serious challenger to British Leyland, as this was a far better car than the Z cars it replaced and came in numerous trim options, from the basic 2000 Consul to the luxury and power of the 3000 E. Buyers who had run away from the prospect of a Zephyr Six were soon making enquiries at their local Ford dealer and the Granada rapldly became a big hit.

    • Nate, Ford had looked at a slightly stretched and new front rear version of the Mk1 Granada during its development under the insistence of Bunkie. It was dropped after several prototypes on cost ground, typical Ford!

      • I see. Had Ford appropriated or drew inspiration from the Ford V8 powered De Tomaso Deuville for its slightly stretched mk1 Granada, had Ford been inclined it could have become its own analogue of the Diplomat / Senator (either under a Ford or European Lincoln badge). It would have also been of similar size as the 1970 Ford Maverick, which would have meant a Granada coupe could have instead formed a more international Ford Mustang II to slot above the Ford Capri (since Ford also looked at a larger Maverick-based Mustang II proposal alongside the eventual Pinto-based more Capri-sized production model).

        The stillborn Slant-Four derived Vauxhall V8 petrol and diesel engine project does also raise the possibility of whether Ford Europe also looked at a similar road-going domestic European V8 project in place of the American WIndsor V8/etc.

        FWIW while the following is not a V8 as such (except only in potential), some of the architecture of the Cosworth DFV V8 was used in the MG Metro 6R4’s David Wood designed bespoke 90-degree 3-litre V6 powerplant, before going on to be heavily redesigned and significantly altered for the production twin-turbocharged Jaguar XJ220.

  68. Other than the Two Tone, “Sapphire” special edition.

    Were there any other Mk1 or Mk2 Granada special editions ?

    • There was one other, a Mk2, that I can remember, which featured stripes on the bottom of the door but for the life of me can’t remember the name of it!

      • Brain kicked in, it wasn’t stripes, it was different colour along the bottom of the doors and sills and called the Chassuer, just like the Cortina run outs.

  69. I prefer the Mk1 Grandad. To me the Mk2s, especially the early ones with the black grill look too similar to the Mk4 Cortina, with only the slight slope back of the nose differentiating them

    • I see where you’re coming from but I don’t think I’ve ever mistaken a Grandad for a ‘Tina. The former is a fair bit larger and more square-rigged. The mk4 Cortina retained a hint of the coke-bottle waistline, quite distinct from the Granada.

  70. German premium brands saw off the likes of the Granada and Carlton/Omega years ago and have just about killed the Mondeo. In the 70s the opposite was taking place as well specced Granada’s and Cortina’s decimated Rover and Triumph.sales.

    • It can be argued that the SD1 wasn’t a premium car anyway, with its poor build quality and lack of the traditional wood etc inside. The SD1 was far more of a Granada rival than a Mercedes rival, whereas that wasn’t the case with the P5 and P6.

      • The ugly demonic son of detriot! Ford of Europe got it dumped on them. It may have looked nasty but it was a very comfortable place to be.

        • Although the saloon was one the ugliest cars ever made, for some reason I thought the estate version looked perfectly ok. It had the same front end, but the different rear end somehow improved its looks.

          • That’s because the rear of the estate was virtually the same as the previous version, only the numberplate surround and lights were changed. Still think it looks like a goldfish with its mouth open

  71. The frog eye Scorpio was pretty ugly compared to earlier MKII & MKIII Granada’s / Scorpio’s. I think the MKIII Scorpio in Hatch or saloon versions looked better by far.

    I once had a weekend loan of my Company director’s 1989 Granada 2.0GL which I found to be a nice cruiser on the Motorway

  72. The Mark 3 Granada wasn’t as good looking or imposing as the Mark 2, but still quite a good car, if you avoided the dreadful 1.8. Also the Sierra look made it more contemporary and when a saloon version was launched, it complemented the Rover 800, which was available as a saloon or hatchback. In 2 litre injected form, the Granada had the right trade off between economy and performance.

    • Must admit I never knew the MK3 Granada was available with a 1.8. The MK3 Hatch had huge loadspace… the saloons looked imposing too.

      • The 1.8 was hideous in the Sierra, my dad had one and it was OK when it only had two people in it, but fully loaded it was asthmatic. The best engine was the 2.9 v6 with the Cosworth 24v head, smooth and plenty of go, just a bit juicy when you drove around town or put your foot down.

        • The 1.8 CVH was never a good engine, thirsty, noisy and totally underpowered in the Granada. Interestingly the 2.0 was a bit under powered in the Mark 2 Granada, but fuel injection and an increase in power made it quite desirable in the Mark 3.

  73. We had a mk111 estate 2.0 injection. Great load lugger, very quick, and an extremely comfortable cruiser. Did Leeds to Fort William loaded to the ceiling plus a top box, amazingly rapid and sure-footed family transport. Returned economy in mid 40’s on the journey.
    Swapped it for a bug-eyed 2.0 16 valve estate, big mistake. Lost money like dropping tenners down a well, was probably quicker, but didn’t feel it, economy rubbish. Also going rusty at 3 years old.

  74. You want your fix of late seventies and early eighties big Fords, then ITV 4 is re running The Professionals. I think a Granada Ghia suits Cowley more, a more conservative car than the Rover 3500 he used in the early episodes and needing to get around the country in a hurry, far less likely to break down. ( I would feel rather sorry for the British Leyland dealer having to placate Cowley after another fault with his Rover).
    Also in one episode, it’s revealed Cowley’s nickname is The Cow, but it would be very brave of Bodie and Doyle to say it in front of him.

  75. You’re probably right about the Rover 3500, though James Callaghan owned one while he was prime minister. Cowley drives a black Princess in one episode, which were used as ministerial cars from what I’ve heard.

    Certainly the Mk2 Granada suited him well & were used in the TV adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as official cars.

  76. Cowley had a turmeric yellow Rover 3500 in some of the early episodes, but reliability issues and a problem with British Leyland supplying cars for The Professionals saw them totally switch to Fords for series 2 onwards. I reckon a Capri 3000 S suited the macho image of Bodie and Doyle more than the Dolomite Sprint they used in series 1. Also being made in Germany, the Fords were generally reliable and could take more punishment, such as being raced over rough ground and being driven flat out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


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