Three Or Four-Speed: 1979 Ford Granada 46K Mile Survivor – SOLD!

Sep 2020 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

September 12th Update – While updating our database, we confirmed the seller of this survivor-quality Granada deleted their Craigslist ad, so we’re calling this one “Sold!”

Throughout the late seventies, Ford tried to pitch their Granada as a lower-cost alternative to the very similar looking Mercedes-Benz W123 they tried to mimic.  While history proved the latter to be one of the best-built cars of all time, low mileage survivor Granadas such as this 46K original mile example recently listed on Craigslist in Waymart, Pennsylvania are now a rare sight. With an asking price of $6,500, the private seller hopes the next caretaker is willing to pay a premium for originality, as Hagerty Insurance currently does not provide values for these cars and the NADA Guides Classic Car Valuation Tool lists their “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range at only $450, $945, $1,238, respectively.

Ford produced the first generation it’s North American Granada from 1975 through 1982 and marketed the car as a luxury compact vehicle.  While originally intended to replace the Ford Maverick, design work for the Ford Granada predated the 1973 fuel crisis.  In 1969, Ford began research predicting the emergence of the luxury compact segment, driven by gasoline prices, multiple-vehicle families, and urban traffic. In 1970, Ford began design work on a prototype vehicle, later becoming the production Granada. In what would later become a central theme of the marketing of the Granada, Ford benchmarked the Mercedes-Benz 280 (W114), using it as a basis for styling and dimensions. As an alternative, Ford considered importing its European Granada, however that idea was too cost-prohibitive.

Following the 1973 U.S. Oil Embargo, Ford delayed the Granada’s introduction and redeveloped the car before its launch, becoming an additional compact model line. While not intended as a direct competitor for European luxury sedans (such as Mercedes-Benz or BMW), Ford intended for the Granada to be sold to buyers either downsizing from a larger intermediate or full-size car while wanting to retain the same comfort and convenience features along with buyers seeking to upgrade from a lower-content compact car.

In its most basic form, the Ford Granada offered few standard features over the Maverick (including manual steering, non-power brakes, and a column-shifted manual transmission). To allow for a high degree of owner customization, the options list for the Granada was long, adding many features traditionally included on the Ford Gran Torino and Ford LTD.

The Ford Granada relied on the 1960–1965 Ford Falcon rear-wheel-drive chassis that retained unibody construction combined with a coil-spring front suspension and a leaf-sprung live rear axle.  Both versions of the Ford Granada have a 109.9-inch wheelbase, derived from the four-door Ford Maverick.

Ford equipped Granadas with a 200 cubic-inch inline-six engine as standard and a 250 cubic-inch inline-six as an optional engine. Shared with the Maverick, the 302 Windsor V8 was offered as an option; the 351 Windsor V8 was an option solely for the Granada.  A three-speed manual (column-shifted or floor shifted) was standard, with a three-speed automatic offered as an option (standard on the 351 V8). A four-speed manual was introduced in 1976.

For 1978, the exterior of the Ford Granada underwent a mid-cycle revision, concentrating on the front fascia. In addition to a revised grille design, the round headlamps were replaced by rectangular units stacked above the turn signal lenses (to more closely match the design of the Ford LTD II and the Mercedes-Benz W114). The rear fascia was given revised taillamp lenses and revised center panel trim if optionally equipped. In the interest of aerodynamics, the side view mirrors were changed from rectangular to oval.

Here’s a YouTube link to one of Ford’s infamous commercials comparing how similar the Granada was to the Mercedes-Benz of the day:

If you’re looking for a very original, no-frills Granada this example fits the bill.  Unfortunately, the biggest question we have is whether the floor-shifted transmission is the standard three-speed or the more desirable four-speed.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1979 Ford with just 45816 miles. Very clean and ready to drive. I have just put new belts, water pump, all hoses. Also a new battery. There is no rust and the car has been maintained seen new.

Do you have a Ford Granada story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

4 Comments
  1. Adam Re

    LOL Rudy! I had one just like this. Black with red interior, bucket seats, a 3 speed on the floor and if remember correctly, a console. Mine had a landau 1/2 vinyl roof and some kind of Ford 5 spoke wheels(kinda like the magnum 500 wheels) Never thought I’d see another one.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      LOL Adam – I’ll bet you’re even more shocked at the asking price!

      Reply
  2. Jeff Lavery

    Before my father started driving slightly-used Mercedes, he had a Granada sedan, followed by a brown Buick. I rode in the Buick; the Granada I just remember from family photo albums due to the somewhat memorable taillights. I have an affinity for them, but not this much!

    Reply
  3. Analog Man

    If the mileage was really 46k, and the condition went along with it, with a manual transmission I probably would have been interested at somewhere around that price. This is another one of those cars that’s now almost certainly a one-of-a-kind. While being rare absolutely does not equal being valuable, you have to admit it’s interesting. A mid-size 2-door coupe with a floor mounted manual transmission? And that classic all-red malaise-era interior? I think it would be fun to tool around in. You’d never see another one at any Cars & Coffee. Besides, if the mileage was genuine, this should be reasonably reliable for as long as anyone is likely to own it. Squint and it almost looks like a Mercedes Coupe!

    Cal me crazy (and many people have), but I would have been in on this one.

    Reply

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