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Ford’s rare and rather large Granada Coupe epitomised 1970s cool… 

Available in the UK in July 1974, the Granada Coupe was the latest good thing to happen to Ford’s large-car range in the early 1970s. In previous years, let’s be honest, the Zephyr/Zodiac Mk IV had been an awful car, but the new Granada – launched in 1972 – had looked better, handled better, and was a much higher quality machine.

granada coupe

Original Granadas were four-door saloons or big estates, all built on a 109 inch wheelbase with all-independent suspension: they would soon become famous. Ford’s styling subsidiary, Ghia of Turin, then buckled down and produced a sleek two-door fastback coupe version of the car, which looked great. Somehow, and without destroying the looks, they had added larger doors, and rear seat headroom was only reduced by under an inch.

For sale in the UK, there were to be just two derivatives, both with top-of-the-range Ghia trim and furnishings, which included a vinyl roof, a slide-back sunshine roof, brushed nylon seat coverings, with power-assisted steering as standard, and with the option of the latest Ford-of-Europe automatic transmission. One engine option was a 2-litre Pinto type, with just 98bhp (and a 95mph top speed), the other (and more desirable) being the 138bhp/2994cc ‘Essex’ V6 – which enthusiasts already knew from its use in the Capri 3-litre.

The 3-litre was a 110mph car, could reach 60mph in 10.3-seconds, and it looked the part. Yet it didn’t sell at all well. Not only was the UK’s economy still struggling in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war and the Energy Crisis which followed, the steep and sudden rise in petrol prices and the fact that price inflation was heading for 20% and more (it would get worse before peaking at about 28%), but it was more expensive than the Ghia saloon. When launched, the 3-litre cost £3574, compared with £3157 for the equivalent saloon, and it never really recovered from that subdued launch. Ford kept it in the price lists until 1977, but when the sharper-styled Granada appeared in that year, it was dropped. 

Words Graham Robson

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