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:
Automotive History: The 1975 Granada Wins CC’s “The Most Malaise Car Ever Award”
CC 1977 Ford Granada Ghia – LTD Lite
Vintage R&T Review: 1975 Granada
This is one of the least attactive cars I can imagine owning. I have never driven one, or even been in one, but it doesn’t seem to have anything going for it. How was this a hit? Was it exceptionally comfortable? Did it represent solidity in a changing and uncertain time? Who would want to shift this beige brick around? I can almost always find something attactive about any car, but I have a hard time with this one. The dash is actually offensively ugly. Maybe the doors had a solid feel and it was really quiet. When I was a kid and these were everywhere, they looked like they had a sad face and I felt sorry for them. At least the Versailles loked like a better Granola, I mean Grenada. The Fairmont, plain as it could be, seemed so much better in every way. But I guess there has to be a low point in everything. I suppose I like the shifter knob a little. There, I found something.
It was a reasonably comfortable alternative for people who were horrified by the fuel consumption of larger cars in a time of uncertainty regarding fuel prices. I rode in a nearly new one with this transmission, and the owner wowed us with tales of getting nearly 30 mpg on the highway.
The Granada was smooth and comfortable with a nice ride, but that was at the expense of steering feel and handling.
It was one of the first smaller cars trimmed out in a way to make it a legitimate alternative to a traditional larger American car. It was like the original Mustang in one way – there were no ultra stripper models. They also came out at a time when smaller cars were becoming socially acceptable in middle America.
I knew several who bought these (although not the 2 door which never sold that well). Including my father who chose a really loaded up Monarch th replace a Continental Mark IV. Almost without exception, these were people who were over 40 and had owned much larger cars.
The Fairmont became the Granada’s opposite. I wonder if anyone ever cross shopped the two in 1978-80. It always seemed to me that there was almost no overlap between Granada fans and Fairmont fans. My father, for example, would never have looked twice at a Fairmont.
My dad bought a Granada when my sister was born in 1977. That would have made him 27 years old at the time. It replaced a Vega that had rusted and blown it’s eng in all of 3 years. My mom, sister, aunt, and I were hit head on by a drunk driver in the car a few years later. They had to cut the car in half to get my mom out but all 4 of us ended up being okay. I mean my mom and aunt were hurt pretty badly, but made full recovery’s. That car was replaced by a 78 Monarch. And then the Monarch was replaced by a Fairmont.
”It always seemed to me that there was almost no overlap between Granada fans and Fairmont fans.”
The story of Ford’s US compacts from the mid-70s to the early 80s is an interesting one, and a profitable one. The Granada’s development shifted from being a Maverick replacement to being an upmarket compact, sold alongside the Maverick. Then, the Fairmont effectively replaced the Maverick, and a new, Fox-platform Granada only lasted for two model years, before morphing into the LTD.
Lee Iacocca had a good knack for sensing what the market wanted, and building it with an eye toward profits. The fact that Ford was able to meet the needs of both skinflints and style setters in their showroom – at the same time – lends support to that statement.
My grandmother drove a Granada while my grandfather had a Fairmont wagon as his “work” car. But to your point, these cars were not cross stopped and were purchased for very different reasons. The Granada was a nice “small” car that she could handle, and the Fairmont was utilitarian for a salesman on the road. I remember both cars well inside and out, but I was too young to know or recall what engines they had. Both were automatics.
Actually, there were ultra-stripper models, as my dad purchased one, albeit a Monarch. The Mercury dealer had it on the lot as the low price car required for ads, and it sat and sat. My dad, in his great wisdom (cough), picked it up much to the chagrin of my mom. Red, red vinyl interior, no A/C, small 6, and 3 on the tree shift in the handy coupe model. It had an AM radio and heater, nothing else.I really do not know what possessed him to buy it, but he did. It got replaced by a 1978 LTD II coupe, loaded, so he must have not enjoyed being frugal after all.
But from what I remember all Granada/Monarch models came with full wheelcovers, carpet and radio, not at all like the 74 Charger of some friends with rubber floors, dog dish poverty caps and a plastic plate in place of a radio.
Friend had a totally base ’76 4 door, 6 cyl 4 speed, Armstrong steering, lots of rust, a back east car that made its way to SoCal. But it had full wheel covers, carpeting, lots of fake wood and did not look like a stripper. Sort of like Ford did with the original Mustang, even the base cars had nice interiors and full wheel covers. It was quiet and smooth riding, never drove it but probably really needed 4 gears to keep up with traffic, don’t know if it was 200 or 250, probably a 200. I helped him replace the clutch on his, not a fun job laying under the car on a dirt driveway.
The handling, steering feel and braking on the Granadas and Monarchs were pretty much like how the LTD or Marquis handled, steered and braked. They were almost as comfortable and quiet on the road. This was a great 15-18 mpg gas saving alternative to the 11 mpg 460 equipped full sized cars and the 13 mpg 351 Torinos and Cougars (my ’78 351 cougar got 10 at 65 mph with the a/c running) being offered by FoMoCo because they were familiar to the buyer who was already used to the malaise era road dynamics of the cars from the early 70s.
I kinda disagree being 15 and being my first car it was amazing I have a 1978 Granada w/4spd manual transmission and the 250 i6 we are going to put a barra i6 w/ a turbo and make it all wheel drive basically a drag car.
Thanks for the article. It is interesting to see how cars are equipped by owners when they are given the opportunity to do so…what were they thinking?. I recall my dad ordering a 1977 Caprice Classic with manual locks and windows, but took the cruise, clock and retracting antenna. But I digress.
As for the Granada, I remember several families in my neighborhood moving up from Mavericks to Granadas as their situations improved through the seventies. I also seem to recall a model called Fairmont that ran in parallel with Granada and found their way into government fleets, occasionally with manual transmissions. I haven’t seen one if these for a very long time.
Your father and mine would have gotten along with each other. My Dad didn’t trust power windows. He was sure they would fail and require an expensive repair. So our cars came pretty loaded with things like cruise control and A/C, but no power windows.
I don’t dislike the Granada. It fulfilled it’s mission. I will say however that if I were to pick a color that best represents Ford during the 70’s, this is the color I would pick. Vanilla Blah.
If memory serves, that color was called Chamois.
But I like your name for it better. 😀
I never really liked that color.
There was talk above of no one cross shopping these in the late seventies. My best friend from high school and I did, and he went for the Monarch 2 door loaded up with lots of options. I went for Fairmont Futura. He picked light metallic blue with a midnight blue vinyl top, landaued up like the featured car. I went with midnight blue metallic with a midnight blue split by the basket handle vinyl top.
His car handled only a little bit better than my ‘73 LTD, but was a smooth and quiet ride, while my Futura handled a lot better, but was not as refined a ride. There would be no cutting of diamonds in the back of my car.
He came from a ‘73 Comet. I’d say I had made a better move into the Futura (pun intended).
This parallel continued for us as he bought Cougars while I went for T-Birds. Last time I saw him, he was piloting a black Marauder. He stayed with his Broughemium ways, while I had moved on. LOL.
“There would be no cutting of diamonds in the back of my car.”
Or cutting of other things…
A fantastic SNL parody of the cars of the time
Excellent article, and a great find Paul. This one is in outstanding condition. Given how much the Granada represented ‘faux’ luxury, It’s funny to not see the floor shift more dressed up, with even a basic plastic shift console (likely with false wood inserts).
I remember being impressed as a kid at the time, by Ford’s attempt to give the bucket seats an additional European feel, with the ‘appearance’ of side bolstering. I did like certain Granada interior detailing at the time. Like how the vertical pleating pattern from the door panels was repeated under the glove box. Did not like that cheap looking standard Ford steering wheel of the 70s.
I’ve said this at CC before, in spite of the Granada’s ancient mechanicals and underpinnings, it was one of the first compact sized cars in North America, to get many thousands of buyers out of unnecessarily oversized and behemoth sedans for good. In many ways it laid the groundwork for the successful 1977 downsized GM full sized cars in this regard. You could still have much of the luxury feel of a full sized American car, in a more rationally sized package. Luxury Mavericks and Valiants may have proceeded it, but the Granada really made small luxury popular in North America.
Even if the gas mileage was only marginally better, it made smaller scaled luxury cars palatable to the masses. For that, it is to be credited. Its Mercedes aspirations may have been fake marketing, but its scale was a step in the right direction.
Agreed. It represented a major turning point. Fortunately, GM didn’t put their new ’77 B Bodies on their 1960 x-Frame and suspension. 🙂
Thank you for your positive comment, The negative comments, unbelievable. The car was from the 70’s what do you expect? It was a much different time. Stop comparing the specs from cars from that era to present day cars. I had a 1978 Granada Ghia. I found it fairly attractive, comfortable ride. A definite step up from the 1972 Maverick I had.
My first car was a ‘77 Granada 2 dr with two options: the 250 six and an engine block heater. Bought it in ‘81 with 50k miles from a Buick/Olds dealer in Catskill, NY. It handled like a schooner in rough seas and Fred Flintstone had better brakes. Parking was a chore with no power accessories and the stick and living in Brooklyn, NY. I put 25k miles on it in a year but mechanical issues crept up (steering box, cooling system) and a minor accident my Dad had with it which led to a multi million dollar lawsuit being filed against both of us left a bad taste in my mouth and it was jettisoned. I haven’t seen a Granada of any kind in probably 20 years.
Makes you wonder how many were built with a 302 and 4 speed stick.
I’ve seen at least one Futura coupe set up that way, it was an original stick shift car but was hot rodded by the time I saw it with a fuel injected 5.0 salvaged from a Mustang under the hood.
That has always been the appeal of the Fox platform cars to me, the fact that so many Mustang parts can be used to make something pedestrian into a real sleeper.
There is at least one still around. I can’t remember the year, but its green with green interior, 302 and 4speed.
They guy may be the original owner and I’ve seen it at several car shows in the Indy area.
He has a nice display with the original window sticker and whatnot. I believe it’s an all original car.
Its actually nice to see something different like that at a car show, after seeing the 20th restomod Camaro/Chevelle in a row it gets a bit old….
Have to agree on the Fox platform. My dream Fox would be a 83-88 T-Bird with a Coyote swap 🙂
We moved to jacksonville,fl in 1977 and a family had a brand new Granada with a 302 and 4 speed overdrive.it was special ordered without powersteering,but otherwise fully equipped,ac,stereo.his father was asked if he wanted a 6 or 8 cyl.he said 6 cyl.his son goes “dad,get a v8,”,,,so he did.that combo would be super rare
This Grey-nah-duh may hail from the era loathed by most automotive enthusiasts, but at least it has clean and uninterrupted styling going for it. If I were somehow alive and able to order a new American car in 1977, it would be either the Mercury Grand Marquis for its road couch ability or the AMC Matador simply because it’s so very out there in the best possible way!
I haven’t owned AMCs, but if I did it would be the Matador(coupe). It is the most interesting car in the world.
Fake marble dashboard? Fake wood is bad enough, but marble has never been associated with carriages or yachts.
That is supposed to be burled walnut. The sun has faded this one quite a bit.
Chrysler did something similar with their 4-speed A-833 in 1976.
The third gearset, which was a 1.40:1, got changed to an 0.73:1 (later, an 0.71:1).
They flipped the linkage around, so while the shift pattern looked and felt normal, the driver was effectively shifting 1-2-4-3.
Second gear was raised some to fill the gap. Ratios were 3.09-1.67-1.00-0.73(or 0.71).
It’s amazing what the manufacturers would do to eke out another MPG or two without having to spend the money to develop an actual 5-speed.
lol the Vega’s original 3 speed manual was described as one automotive writer as feeling like a 5 speed with 2nd and 4th missing. The ratio spread was such that it felt like you were shifting 1 – 3 – 5.
The Vega four speed wasn’t much better, at least not the one used in 1973. I could wind my Vega out to the redline in first, power shift to second, and it would still bog down due to RPM drop. I always thought there should have been another gear between first and second. Modern transmissions with multiple overdrive gears play a huge part (along with fuel injection) in achieving today’s MPG numbers.
The 3 speed Vega truly was an irritating, gutless “Penalty Box” to drive in traffic.
I drove my mechanic’s base engine/3 speed manual Vega for two days; when he was installing a new clutch in my fuel injected ’75 Opel Manta.
I could not BELIEVE the difference! Truly the Opel 1900/Manta was the car the Vega should had been.
The mid 70s Aussie 250 four speed Falcon wasnt a bad car to drive they went ok, no strangling with pollution equipment helped I guess, But the 302 used less fuel in highway driving.
I drove almost the same exact car, a middle row used car lot special, around 1991.
It felt (and sounded) like I was in a 30 year time warp and was once again driving my Grandfather’s 1961 Falcon.
The salesman was desperate to close the deal, dropped from his $1200 asking price to $600 in about 2 minutes. “Nobody wants a stick shift Granada; I’ll sell it to YOU cheap today!”
I politely walked away.
In my entire life I never saw a fan belt attached to a smog pump. Thanks for keeping the streak going!
I love oddballs like this. I don’t think I have ever seen a stick shift Granada. This transmission would have been fun in Dad’s 351-powered Monarch.
These 2 door Granadas were terrible rusters in salt country. Every one I ever saw eventually developed a big hole high on each quarter panel under the opera window, the only car I ever saw do this.
The other night at work, I saw a 2 door Granada much like this, but black.
My “most-Malaise” ’75 with the 250 & 3-speed must have been rarer than I think. The Granada isn’t universally beloved on CC, but that’s OK with me. Mine was cheap to run and pulled a modest trailer cross-country several times without complaint, and is a beloved early-career memory.
Nice to see one of these soldiering on. Even here in Great Lakes salt country I occasionally seen one–or a Fairmont/Zephyr–quietly earning its keep.
Hmmm….I’ll think a bit about other low-production mid-is ’70s Fords…
I like how Ford literally copy/pasted GM’s formal collonade rooflines onto these, they even have the same bend in the rear glass!
Too bad they didn’t copy the frameless glass as well.
Country Classic Cars had one of these for sale a couple years ago with a 302 and a stick that looked like it was in pretty good shape. My sister’s first car back in 1982 was a dipped in red 76 4 door Monarch with a 302 automatic and all red interior, she had it for less than a year before it suffered an engine fire in the McDonald’s parking lot.
It always amazes me how many cars are on CC that I’ve had some kind of history with.
In ’75, Dad bought two new Buicks. Both had faults that the dealers could/would not repair, the gorgeous Estate Wagon particularly so. That, along with friends’ Vegas and Mom’s mediocre ’73 Caprice left my eyes straying far from my father’s GM traditions. The popularity of the Granadas has me looking toward them, but a dear friends ’75 with 250/auto (replacing a ’74 Maverick lemon) was soul sucking to drive and very troublesome, and her neighbor’s with a 302 was also troublesome. My grandfather had a sturdy Dart Sport and a decent D-100, both with 225s, and friends had a good Cordoba so i figured Mopar was the only decent US car of the day (no respect for post-Rambler AMCs in my community). The Volare/Aspen beta test and the travails of lean burn cured me of that notion. It amazes me how much better even the “bad” cars of today are compared to the average US cars of the mid to late 70s and the early 80s. Our family’s cars of the 60s were better in many respects as well. Malaise indeed!
Paul, I have no idea of its rarity, but in the 70’s a friend of mine had a Granada coupe with the 250 ci 6/THREE speed floor shift. I’ve not seen another one before or since.
…or it might have been one of these, now that I’m reading the article more fully. I do know he kept it for about a year (or less). He never liked it.
If it had the three speed, it must have been a ’75 or ’76, as this four speed/OD became standard in ’77.
It very likely was, then. I have no idea now.
So Ford thinks they can channel Benz with a cut rate mini-brougham underpinned by ancient mechanicals, stick a stand up grille on it and think that will do the trick… one has to wonder what Iacocca was on at the time, but go figure, it worked! The man was a genius.
+1 Your post makes me think of an old cliché: “We don’t have to make great cars; we have to make sellable cars!” And Granadas and Monarchs were sell-able.
I like the wheel covers on this Granada. They look good to my Luddite eyeballs.
I don’t mind having ancient mechanicals under the hood; I’m used to it. I’ll take a ’77 Granada with red paint and a white roof. I’ve got to have an automatic, though.
I’ve never seen a Granada with floor-mounted transmission controls. Fun stuff!
Paul, your ‘affinity’ for these mid-70s products from FoMoCo is what’s drawing them your way! If you start actually liking them you’ll probably never see one again!
My roommate at the time had a new 1977 Mercury Monarch with the 302V8 and the 4-speed stick. Maybe even more rare than the car in the article. The icing on the cake was the factory installed CB that was part of the audio package. Traveling across stretches of Arizona I recall it as a nice ride, even in the back seat (it was a 4-door).
And the back windows rolled down! 🙂
I sat in the Mercury equivalent of this car. It was an automatic. What I noticed was the width (lots) and lack of interior length despite the huge exterior dimensions. Cherishably bad about sums up these cars. There are so many better cars worth having over one of these. Still, I am glad someone is looking after this one.
“How was it a hit?” “People loved these cars in 1976 and thought they were great.”
We don’t look back from 2018 on 1978 and call these malaise cars unjustifiably. These WERE awful cars. Look at the CC that points to the Granada as the malaisiest car ever and points out it did 0-60 in something like 23 seconds and got rotten fuel economy by today’s standards to boot.
These cars were slow, wallowing, poorly built, rusting, wheezy, not very safe in accidents, polluting, not very durable, space inefficient, gas sucking horrible automobiles. There’s a reason that from the class of 1976, the only cars I can think of which made it past 1981 without major, substantial redesigns were the Rabbit, the Volvo 240, Mercedes 240, and the Aspen/Volare which lived on, although you can argue it did get a substantial redesign, as the Fifth Avenue until 1989. There WEREN’T very good cars anywhere in 1976. People knew this, and didn’t necessarily “love” the Granada so much as, whaddya gonna do, it’s the ’70’s, EVERYTHING sucks. The music sucked, earth tone home decor sucked, avocado green shag carpeting and appliances sucked, politics sucked, the Soviets were going to nuke us all into a wasteland or a Soylent Green dystopia or that world where everyone over 35 gets killed. We lost the Vietnam war, had an oil crisis, stagflation, and swine flu. We were going to run out of everything in the next 5 years and the Chevette would be the car of the future.
Why was the Granada a hit? It was slightly less slow, wallowing, poorly built, rusting, etc than its larger corporate cousins: The Torino wasn’t much larger inside but much larger on the outside. It was certainly more attractive and better trimmed than the Maverick and didn’t have a penalty box feeling while being reasonably comfortable inside with a reasonable size outside instead of having two foot empty space overhangs at each end. For two adults and two kids, it was pretty much as good as 1976-1977 got.
Japanese cars just didn’t exist in American family size then- really until the second gen Camry and were ugly, tinny, wheezy, and penalty boxes inside and out. VW had an almost acceptably sized alternative in the Rabbit, but anything above a cardboard door paneled, rubber matted Rabbit would have been the same price as the Granada, and the VW came with VW dealer service, European cost and reliability. The Granada was a predictably bad car made out of the same technology as dirt and any service station or teenager with a couple of wrenches could fool with it and get it to run badly for a while. They had an ok reputation and people liked them better or got a better deal on it than a Nova/Omega/Ventura/Apollo or Aspen/Volare.
We didn’t LOVE these cars then or now, like their predecessors; no one preserved them like even their ’60’s forebears.
What was Iacocca on at the time? Proven success and marketing brilliance. He probably learnt a lot from the Corvair going down in flames and all the other technological advances tried at GM which went absolutely nowhere. The Corvair was hugely different . . . and failed. Tempest rope drive came and went, the turbocharger came and went, the aluminum V8 was troublesome enough that Rover wanted it, the Toronado debuted FWD to no real advantage. What sold, and sold very profitably, was dressing up well established tech in new snazzy duds and giving the customer vinyl roofs and leather and putting a fancy grille on an LTD and calling it a Mark IV. What he did with the Pinto was better than any Vega ever made.
Do you guys remember “Marathon Man” with Dustin Hoffman? The baddies pursued him in a Granada. So it has that going for it. Hoffman was running and maybe the Grenade, I mean Granada, was too slow so the gunmen got out and ran.
I read a biography about Iacocca once and it gave him credit for the Mercury Bobcat. It was a flattering book and it was careful not to mention the Pinto. Success has may fathers; Failure is an orphan. The Pinto was both I guess, as was the Grenada.
Dustin Hoffman (Thomas Levy in the film) was pursued by a Mercury Monarch driven by William Devane (Peter Janeway in the film.) The first scene in which it was shown shows the car trying to peel out on wet Manhattan streets.
Ok thanks.Did they dub in high performance engine sounds during the faked rescue attempt?
Maybe the low take rate on the floor-shifted manuals can be explained in part by the availability of a column-shifted manual, too.
In the early 80s I was walking home from high school when a first-gen Granada stopped next to me and rolled down the window. It was my history teacher. She was a bit of an odd duck, so I wasn’t shocked to see that her car had three on the tree, which by that time was pretty rare on anything but a pickup truck.
So unless my memory is muddled and that wasn’t a Grenada, the column-shifted six is probably what the true skinflints bought. The four on the floor would have been an upgrade with a pretty narrow market.
There was no availability of a column-mounted manual too. This was the standard transmission starting in 1977.
So beige. So very, very beige…
Neat. Reminds me of the Aspen/Volares with the 3-on-the-floor option.
I learned to drive in a 1975 Granada 250 automatic. It was a bridge car between my mother’s LeSabre and her Volvo. Times were tough and my brothers were both in college. It was actually a lot better than it may appear in hindsight. Grenadas were heavily discounted and came decently equipped. Ours had bucket seats, a console shifter and sport wheels. It was cheaper than a Chevy Nova with a bench seat and a column shifter. it had more interior room than a corrolla and unlike the toyota the AC blew ice cold. It wasn’t horribly slow around town and it would cruise all day at 70mph. It was very reliable and my father sold it for decent money six years later.
Ive driven and ridden in lots of Granadas and Monarchs. Yes, they are slow and yes they wallow around the curves and no they are not a Mercedes alternative, but I think they are pretty good looking cars in their own right. My uncle had one, either a ’77 or a ’78, and it was a red coupe with a white top and interior and it looked pretty sharp.
Desmog one with a 5.0L/AOD with a little suspension work and now you have a car.
…and how is that not a four-speed? That’s the question that’s always come to mind, and sometimes to mouth or keyboard, on the bogglingly frequent occurrence when people refer to such a transmission as a “three speed plus overdrive” or “Well, they call it a 4-speed, but it’s really a 3-speed with an overdrive gear”.
It surely was a 4-speed since it was a regular toploader 4-speed with 3rd replaced by the O/D ratio and direct top untouched. Then the linkage was flipped, just like the aforementioned Chrysler unit.
It’s semantics. As the title “1977 Ford Granada Coupe With 250 Six and Four Speed Stick” and everything else in my text makes quite clear: it’s a four speed: Right?
I called it “a three-speed with an overdrive fourth” simply to clarify the fact that it had three gears in their typical ratios (for a three-speed) as well as an overdrive fourth. It was done on purpose to help folks understand that this was not a typical four speed. Got it?
A similar situation can arise with 5 speeds. Not all 5 speeds have an overdrive. In fact, that wasn’t common until the first energy crisis. It can be helpful to explain to folks the difference between the two, since folks are prone to making assumptions.
Keep in mind that these four speed overdrive transmission were something quite new at the time. So the terminology “a three-speed with an overdrive fourth” is instructive, and not technical.
Well, that makes sense. I imagine “three-speed with overdrive fourth” and the like is always going to grate on my ears where “Overdrive 4-speed” or “four-speed with overdrive fourth” won’t. Aw well, my ears stick out kinda far; I guess they could stand some grating.
My guess: the term “4 speed” seems to describe (for most car people) the gearbox common on British sports cars and American muscle cars up into the very early 70s. There is an understanding that the gear ratios are reasonably closely spaced and that 4th is direct. Any other kind of 4 speed needs a qualifier for most to understand what it is. Sort of like how “convertible” commonly means a soft top even though cars with foldong metal tops are, strictly speaking, convertibles too.
I thought that at least at one point Ford did market this or the SROD as a 3 speed +OD and the shift knob was marked 1,2,3,OD. This vehicle wasn’t that far removed from the time when the 3 speed with optional (external) OD was seen as the economy choice and the 4 speed was seen as the performance option. This transmission of course was intended as an boost to fuel economy and not performance.
My 06 F250 is marketed as having a close ratio 4sp with Low and Over Drive.
The shift knob pattern is
R 1 3 OD
L 2 4
As Paul mentioned 5speeds were not universally Over Drive transmissions. Big trucks often used 5 speed direct transmissions. IH offered those in their Light Line for many years and also offered an OD version that just like the one in this car swapped the gears on the least reduction positon with an Over Drive, only they didn’t mess with the linkage to fix the shift pattern so the knob was marked.
R 2 OD
1 3 4
I had wheel time in three of these, all V8 autos.
A ’75 Monarch 2-door 302 Driver Ed unit that ran horribly and had all manner of flat spots and stumbles.
A loaner ’76 Granada 2-door low option albeit with the 351 that could actually lay rubber, but
got worse highway mileage than the 460 Elite it temporarily replaced .
The dealer sold it on us and gave us a brand-new ’77 4-door 302 that actually
ran quite well due to changes made to the 302’s intake tract that year.
More on that here
Our ’72 Comet 4-door LDO with the same engine would have spanked it.
The six would have been a lost cause in these.
In conclusion, the 302 was the only logical choice for these, for better or worse.
Some rare Fords. 74 Q-code Torinos and Montegos. Ram air setups on the 72 Torino GT Sport and the 72-73 Montego GT. Granada Sport coupe and Monarch S with 351 in them. Pinto 2.8 v6 sedan. 77 T-Bird, XR_7 , Cougar, LTD II 400 4bbl California car. Fairmont / Zephyr 302 4 speed. Fairmont/Zephyr Turbo. LN7 HO. Escort GT/ Lynx RS turbo. 76 Starsky and Hutch Torino 460. Just to name a few
So about 20 years I was in Granada. Spain. I actually kept an eye out for any Ford Granadas. Not a one.
I once owned a ’75, 200 six, 3 speed, Granada. That was a great car. Manual everything and under-dash air.
Drove a 76 with a 250 automatic as a cab. It lasted 375000 miles with the last 10000 driven with a cracked head that allowed oil into the radiator. I paid 250$ for it at a junk yard with 260000 miles on it. It was marroon red which was color cab had to be and had a radio and tall old man style bumper guards. The car came from Norman Teitelbaum’s junkyard. It had to be red with a white top. Maroon was close enough. 3 cans of white Rust-Oleum did the roof and some trim off the back fenders of an 81 Oldsmobile 88 screwgunned to the back fenders fixed the rust holes. Norman’s wife lettered it and we overhauled the 2 barrel and was good to go. Had rather wallowly handling. The 250 was not that bad power wise. Similar to a carburated 3.8 Buick. Gas mileage was awful though around 12 miles to the gallon. It paid for itself in 2 days. I drove it over a year. It was grossly inferior to a LTD. It got so stuck in a mud puddle once had to call a wrecker,. Another time I skidded on black ice and knocked down a row of mail boxes and it didn’t damage it. One time a 400 pound woman rode in it and snapped the leaf spring and car sagged down about 6 inches. Drove it a week like that. Then it was left running to warm up and when I came out it had overheated badly. Head was cracked. For next 10000 miles it burned alot of oil and I had to put 10 quarts of oilin it as the oil went into the cooling system and past the rings. I would get milk jugs of used oil and fill it up when it overheated and puked oil milkshake water out the overflow. It would run smooth only if you used Amoco gas and 3 or 4 days later it would misfire and then you had to pull the 3 middle plugs and scrape them. Any other brand of gas it was every 2 hours and that was with anti foulers on every plug. This went on for 4 months. In the meantime it got sideswiped by a tall pick up, jumpped up and down on by an angry drunk and by this time had almost no compression. So I drove it to the junk yard. On the way it started to knock . I put it to the floor and I made it though I coasted the last 1/2 mile. It puked oil and water and sludge every where. The junk man told me 40$ $ take it or leave it. I left it and took the 40$.
Later moved far away and 5 years later i visited and surprisingly someone had rescued it and made a yellow cab out of it. It was there all fixed up but still had the olds trim and bumperguards and cow hood ornament. It must have cost more than a crown Vic in decent shape to fix. That was the smallest car I ever had and I did not like it not one little bit . I still wonder why it got resurrected a second time.
My first car was a 1980 Granada that my dad passed on. It had a 250 six with floor mounted four speed. It thought it drove decent for the time. The big issue was top speed was around 65-70 mph max given the final gear ratio.
I know there were not many made because there was a supplement to the owner’s manual to cover the manual transmission. About 10 pages that was stapled in the owner’s manual.
I won a 1978 Cougar in a raffle about a year after getting the Granada. Even its 302 seemed powerful in comparison to the Granada so it replaced the Granada.
My next car might be the rarest of all – a 1986 Ford Taurus MT-5. A 4 cylinder with 5 speed. Good handling and it provided over 200,000 miles of service but no power and I went through 7-8 alternators on it over the years.
Continuing the trend of rare manual transmission Fords, my current daily drive is 2014 Fusion SE 6 speed with the 1.6 Ecoboast. A sweet driving car.
I owned a 76 2-Door Grenada in this same color when I was 18 back in 1997. It was a very rare 3 speed Manual floor shift with 302 V8. It’s my understanding that most of the three speeds in this model were column shift. It was a special order that a local ford dealer bought for himself and then parked with 37k on it until I bought it in 97.
It had severe rust issues and I never did get it to pass state inspection Because of that but I drove it for about 3 months before finally scrapping it. Wish I had kept it and had it to restore today. I only paid $300 for it back then…..sigh
I have the VIN’s from both a 2dr and 4dr Granada’s with the 200. In a couple of months I’m going to get a Marti on both. Should be very rare. In 77 the 200 was even the base six on the Ghia’s. I really doubt if any were built though. The reason why it became base on even Ghia’s was because with overdrive the 200’s got a 3.40 rear gear.
Now, I may not be remembering the model right, but I’m pretty sure it WAS from a Granada…
In 85 or so, I had a 1971 Mustang Convertible with a 250ss/3spd. I had N50-14s left over from my 70 Mustang, and threw them on the 71, but they stuck out a bit. So I pulled the entire rear end from the 70 and tossed it in the 71. Voila, 12.5″ treadwidth fitting inside the stock fenders.
But even with the “massive” 300 ft-lbs of torque a 250ss put out at 2-3000rpm, those tires stressed the heck out of the 3 speed. To the point that one time I launched it hard, I shattered the tail shaft casing into 5 or 6 pieces.
So I went boneyarding for a replacement. I didn’t want another “glass” 3 speed, so I looked for a 4 speed. I found one in a boneyard, they said it was removed from a Granada. They said it was a “funny” 4 speed Toploader, in that it had the first 3 gears of a Toploader and an OD 4th. Then they showed me a regular Toploader (that they wanted double for) and this one next to each other, and the cases were exactly the same EXCEPT where the case casting was bumped out for the 4th gear. All the ribs lined up everywhere on the cases, even in that area, it was just bumped out for the larger gear.
I figured why not, and got it because it was cheap, I needed the car fixed quickly, and it was a supposed bolt-in in every way with its’ shifter included (which it was).
This was not a 1-2-4-3 tranny that I could tell. Maybe it was, but 1-2-3 were in the same pattern as my 3 speed, so to me, it was a 1-2-3-4. And that bump out for the gear was interesting. And the rpms and gaps between 1-2 and 2-3 were pretty much the same as my old 3 speed, but the leap to 4th was a stretch with a major rpm drop.
I had 3.00 gears in the rear from what I can remember. What a DOG in 4th gear! I threw 4.11s in, and reduced the stress on the tranny, clutch, and diff gears (but not the tires, they lost the battle), and my highway rpms were a little lower from the 3 speed 1:1 from what I can remember. Certainly a more pleasurable drive than the 3 speed and 3.00s!
I miss that car…
In 1985, I bought a ’77 Granada with the 250 & manual transmission. It was silver,( no paint remained on horizontal surfaces) with a blue landau roof and a bench seat.. In 4th, the shifter actually touched the seat. I bought it with 76K miles and sold it with 106K, never had to do anything with the clutch. I delivered pizzas 4 nights/week for a year and once, on a whim, drove to Florida from Conn. It was my first car, invisible to the police, would flood terribly every September (warm days, cool nights) a potential death trap, and 35 years later, I miss it…where are you Silver Streak?