I’ll have you know that a 1976 Ford Granada, Ghia or not, is not exactly my cup of tea (at least the domestic version, the Euro one I love). Nevertheless, I couldn’t let a top spec car like this just get crushed without giving it one last day in the sun and hopefully be able to muster up some enthusiasm for it. Also, it reminded me of Key Lime Pie, which I love, so I was drawn to it somehow anyway and that’s as good a start as I can hope for.
We seem to have covered the Granada more than several times here at CC, so everyone is likely familiar with it in general, if not use the little search box at the top right and type in Granada, everything will pop up. Debuting for 1975, this one is from the following year, so someone took the age-old advice of not ordering a first-year model to heart and waited for America’s BiCentennial year to buy it, although not in the ever-popular red, white, and/or blue that seemingly everything was that year. Still, waiting for that second year of production seems to have paid off as the car lasted 44 years. Or it’s just been behind the shed for a couple of dozen, who knows.
The Ghia, being the top of the line, got a buyer a few more niceties standard such as a hood ornament (gone already), tape stripe, vinyl bodyside moldings, and a few other things.
While lesser Granadas were offered with a feeble 200 c.i. inline 6 as standard (except in California), the Ghia selection automatically bumped a buyer up to the still sort of feeble 250 c.i. inline 6. You could also opt for a 302 or 351 V-8 if so inclined. I was surprised to note that the standard transmission on a Ghia was a 3-speed manual, however this car is equipped with an automatic with a column shifter although a console version was available as well.
If you want to get more up close and personal with this fire-breathing monster of an engine, here you go. Lots of hoses and tubes here, courtesy of the EPA no doubt, starting (pretty successfully, actually) to clean up the air. Of course that was all at the expense of drivability in those early years.
Ghia emblems and various crests galore covered this car, nowadays we are seeing this sort of thing again but inside the headlight and taillight housings rather than embossed on the outside of the lens. Your neighbor’s three-year-old knows you’ve arrived when he’s at eyeball level with your crest-encrusted turn signal lens. This here is the Ford family’s “heraldic” crest which is seen in several place. The hood ornament had a crest specifically for “Granada” as well and the fact that its a Ghia added yet another to the mix.
This one’s been a local for a long time judging by the remaining dirt from under the dealer tag. Ghent Ford of Fort Collins isn’t around anymore, it’s a different dealer’s name now, but Ghent made the switch to Chevy and still sells those a few towns over, actually in the same town where this junkyard is located.
The trunk lid wouldn’t latch or stay down for me, so you can’t admire the clean rear styling with it closed. Sorry. But you can still admire the Light Green paint (yes, Green, although it looks more yellow-ish now, that’s OK though, I like Lemon Meringue just as much as Key Lime Pie). The big bumpers don’t even bother me here, I suppose first since there never was a small one and also the big slab o’ chrome kind of works with the rest of the bling.
Since it’s open anyway, might as well take a peek inside, not too much going on in here really besides the carpet sort of folded over and the right turn signal trim. I can’t figure out what’s with the area that it was mounted to, perhaps this car was in an accident and part of the rear was replaced and then painted after the tail light was replaced? Odd that it’s a brown color under the edge of it, it should be body color. The fuel filler is under the center panel where the Granada script used to be.
It appears that these are the Corinthian Vinyl (yes Ford had a Corinthian Vinyl, I guess Chrysler scooped up all of the real thing) bucket seats in White, which seems a bit odd that the buyer didn’t get a center console to go between them. Why not just get the bench seat instead then? This one has the $5.99 ($1.79 in 1976 most likely) Walmart cupholder tray on the center hump which works just as well. Power windows, cruise control, lots of goodies.
I was at first baffled by what appeared to be a very 2000’s smoked gray wood package and then figured maybe it’s the Wizard of Oz edition or something but for some reason the plastic wood seems to have died off and weathered like driftwood. But only on the left side of the car. And not in the speedometer itself. Odd, have not seen this before.
76,596 miles but who knows how many times that’s gone around. It seems like this would be a fairly frightening car to try to get up to anywhere near maxing out the speedo at 120mph, although I doubt it could achieve that except maybe on the run from the 11,000 foot Eisenhower Tunnel back down into Denver. Braking from those speeds in this car might be a little hairy, however according to the brochure it was possible to spec four wheel disc brakes as an option on a Granada which surprised me as well. Maybe it is just like a Mercedes after all…
Another crest (a Ford one again), this time on the pleated door panel. There are more crests on the D-pillars and a couple of other places, although they were missing in most places.
And here’s the real Ghia crest which looks better to me, perhaps just due to the design or that it’s older. It all reeks of Iacocca though with the badging and tuftery going on here but thankfully no vinyl roof. That Granada nameplate in the above panel could be replaced by a clock if one was so inclined, presumably so the passenger could count the minutes until his or her ride was over.
The backseat looks comfy if a bit short of bottom cushion length. The first thing that came to mind upon seeing this was the scene towards the beginning in Pulp Fiction, whereafter the whole area was reupholstered in blankets…Weird how these memories just pop up sometimes but there it is. Anyway, white interiors seem like just as bad of a long term idea now as back then.
Built in Wayne, Michigan (the W in the VIN) and ordered in the Denver region (that’s the 76 code at the bottom right, DSO stands for District Sales Office), color code 47 is Light Green, Trim CW is Corinthian vinyl buckets in White, W is a C4 3-speed automatic, and the 6 for the axle denotes a 3.00 rear. The 54K body code is for the 4-door Ghia models (both Ford and Mercury Monarch).
For the 1976 model year, a total of 694,607 Granadas and sister Mercury Monarchs were built of which 52,457 were Granada Ghia 4-door models. This starts to put into perspective why Ford canned the Fusion, the freaking ’76 Granada outsold it 3:1. Jeez.
Well, I think I’ve done enough to give this Granada a decent send-off. I don’t know that this thing ever really did light my fire but I have become hungry enough to head to the fridge in search of some pie…