My affinity for these mid-70s Ford products must act like a powerful magnetic force, as I seem to keep running into them. Recently it was the very rare LTD II S. But that was topped by something even rarer yet: this ’77 Granada with a 250 six and the ultra-rare four speed manual, which in reality was a three-speed with an overdrive fourth. According to its owner who has looked into the matter, it is one of just 179 Granadas built that way. I’m not in a position to argue, as I’m just awed by finding a floor-stick-shift Granada at all.
There it is. Now I should clarify something about this transmission: it was referred to as a “four-speed fully-synchronized manual overdrive floor shift transmission”. Essentially they took a regular Ford four speed, juggled the gears around some, and ended up with something that would help Ford’s EPA/CAFE numbers. And it was actually the standard transmission on Granadas, along with the 200 CID six. It was optional on the optional 250six and the 302 V8. Does it sound logical that only 250 equipped Granadas were built with this transmission? Seems a bit of a stretch on one hand, but then on the other hand, the overwhelming majority of these cars were packaged to be sold off dealer’s lots, and the 250 six upgrade was just almost universally teamed up with the automatic. if you wanted a cheap stripper, you (or your dealer) might be able to come up with a 200 six/manual combo (the automatic wasn’t even available with the 200), but even thta might be a challenge.
The point is: 200s, as few as there were, only came with the manual; the 250 inherently came with the automatic, unless you ordered one. So although I can’t verify it, it does sound plausible that only 179 customers were willing to wait a month or two for a 250/four speed OD manual. As did this owner’s father, who bought it new.
Since the 250 only made two hp more (98) than the 200 (96), it’s not like it was going to be much faster anyway, although the 250’s extra torque certainly had to help when teamed up with the three-speed automatic.
Hot rods these aren’t by any stretch, even with the stick. but in any case, things were certainly better in 1977 than they were in 1975, when the 250 Granada made all of 72hp, three less than the 200, resulting in the worst power-to weight ratio of any semi-modern American car: 48.46 lbs per hp. That and a few other abysmal stats led to us crowning the 1975 Granada as “The Most Malaise Car Ever”. A 0-60 time of 23.15 seconds sealed the deal.
I suppose this ’77 might be able to get that down to some 17-19 seconds; that’s an educated guess.
I know that the Granada was constantly being pitched as a cheaper alternative to the Mercedes, but the dashboard is even less convincing that the formal grille on the front. Not very appealing; at least to me; then and now.
This is going to be a record-short CC. We’ve covered the Granada a few times before, and I’ll give you a few links, but lets just say that given its 1960 Falcon underpinnings, sloppy steering, drunken-sailor handling, asthmatic engines, derivative/imitative styling and a few other deficits, it was…just what Americans wanted, at least for the first couple of years, when it was a hit. Not surprising.
So what mid-70s Ford will I find next that might be even rarer than this?
More Granada goodness: