The Truth About Cars » ford granada http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:33:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » ford granada http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1979 Ford Granada http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1979-ford-granada/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1979-ford-granada/#comments Fri, 19 Oct 2012 13:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=464212 Thanks to rental-car companies, the Granada was once seen in great numbers on American roads. The Granada remained a fairly common sight well into the 1990s, but they’re just about all gone now. We saw this Crusher-bound ’77 Granada Ghia in California last month, and I found today’s Junkyard Find in a nearby East Bay […]

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Thanks to rental-car companies, the Granada was once seen in great numbers on American roads. The Granada remained a fairly common sight well into the 1990s, but they’re just about all gone now. We saw this Crusher-bound ’77 Granada Ghia in California last month, and I found today’s Junkyard Find in a nearby East Bay wrecking yard on the same trip.
One thing about junkyard Granadas (and Monarchs) is that the front brake parts always get grabbed by the first person to spot the car. That’s because everyone knows that Mustang guys will pay good money for these bolt-on-to-1960s-Mustangs parts.
The original purchaser of this car (probably Hertz) splurged and bought the optional AM radio. I still have vivid memories of frustrated spinning of tuning knobs on this type of radio, from driving my parents’ “extra car” Granada as a yoot; it was always a challenge to find something good on AM in the early 1980s. About as good as you were going to get was maybe Joan Jett, Blondie, or Ace Frehley. Still, it could have been worse— plenty of cars back then came with zero audio system.
Yes, the 250-cubic-inch six was as gutless as it looks.
Cruise control was a fairly uncommon option in 1979, so maybe this Granada didn’t start its career as a rental. In this era, cruise-control systems used a big vacuum motor to control the throttle and weren’t particularly steady.
One good thing about cars from the darkest days of the Malaise Era— and 1979 was about as dark as it got— was that designers weren’t afraid to use vivid interior colors. This interior is a symphony in brown and red vinyl and faux woodgrain.

01 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1979 Ford Granada Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Ford Granada Ghia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1977-ford-granada-ghia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/junkyard-find-1977-ford-granada-ghia/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2012 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=460120 I took my first driver’s-license test in a 1979 Ford Granada, and so I always notice Granadas (and Monarchs) when I see them on the street (very rarely) and in the junkyard (slightly more frequently). The Granada Ghia was the version with the top trim level, using the name of Ford-purchased Carrozzeria Ghia. Since you […]

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I took my first driver’s-license test in a 1979 Ford Granada, and so I always notice Granadas (and Monarchs) when I see them on the street (very rarely) and in the junkyard (slightly more frequently).
The Granada Ghia was the version with the top trim level, using the name of Ford-purchased Carrozzeria Ghia. Since you could also buy a Fiesta Ghia, there was a certain amount of 70s-style designer-label brand-cheapening involved.
This car has the 302-cubic-inch V8 instead of the standard, miserably low-powered 250 L6. The V8 Granadas weren’t quick, but they managed to avoid being dangerously slow.
Riding as a passenger in my parents’ Granada, I would get a little bit freaked out by the Faces of Tormented Souls In Hell™ pattern on the faux woodgrain interior panels.
Like every Granada that shows up in a junkyard, this one had its front brake components yanked immediately. That’s because the Granada is a member of the same chassis family that produced the 1964-73 Mustang, which means that Granada brakes can be used as a bolt-on disc upgrade for old Mustangs.
I collect old car clocks, but I’ve learned that exactly zero percent of these mechanical digital Ford clocks of the 1980s are in working condition.

You don’t see many cultural references to the Granada, but here’s about the only reference I can find in popular culture.

18 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 16 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 17 - 1977 Ford Granada Ghia Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: Guess the Ghia! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-guess-the-ghia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-guess-the-ghia/#comments Fri, 30 Sep 2011 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=413021 Carrozzeria Ghia and Ford go way back, with the Ghia name getting slapped on everything from the Fiesta to the Barchetta. A few days back, I snapped this photograph in a Denver junkyard. What sort of car do you think we’re looking at here? What else could it be but a Granada? And not the […]

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Carrozzeria Ghia and Ford go way back, with the Ghia name getting slapped on everything from the Fiesta to the Barchetta. A few days back, I snapped this photograph in a Denver junkyard. What sort of car do you think we’re looking at here?
What else could it be but a Granada? And not the effete European Granada; this is the type of Granada that taught me everything I needed to know about the Malaise Era.
Such luxury! It’s too bad that Ford never made a Cartier Continental Ghia.

DOTJ-GhiaGranada-Car DOTJ-GhiaGranada-Emblem DOTJ-GhiaGranada-Interior Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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And the Real Winner Is… http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/and-the-real-winner-is-19/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/and-the-real-winner-is-19/#comments Sun, 14 Aug 2011 18:02:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=407176 In the LeMons world, the Index of Effluency is the Holy Grail, the elusive prize that makes teams ditch their RX-7s and E30s and install cages in the likes of Hillman Minxes and Pontiac Executive wagons. You get the IOE by turning many, many more laps than anyone ever imagined your car could do, and […]

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In the LeMons world, the Index of Effluency is the Holy Grail, the elusive prize that makes teams ditch their RX-7s and E30s and install cages in the likes of Hillman Minxes and Pontiac Executive wagons. You get the IOE by turning many, many more laps than anyone ever imagined your car could do, and we’ve never had an easier IOE decision than the selection of today’s winner: the Swamp Thang 1978 Ford Granada coupe.
My personal history with the Granada taught me that this is one of the worst cars that Detroit grunted out during the Malaise Era (despite being the direct descendant of the reasonably reliable early-60s Fairlane), and the Swamp Thang’s 302-cubic-inch V8 wasn’t really much of an upgrade over the base 250 six. This Granada ran fine from green to checkered, knocking out slow-but-steady laps all night long. Every bushing in the suspension was completely shot, calls to the engine room for more power produced zero results, and the rock-hard tires never found any purchase on Circuit Grand Bayou’s racing surface… but in the end, the old Ford won both its class (C) and the top prize of the race.
Adding a note of extra drama to the proceedings, Unununium Legend of LeMons Spank was an arrive-and-drive member of the team, which gives him an all-time-LeMons-record four Index of Effluency awards. Spank himself feels that, since he didn’t help build the car, he doesn’t deserve IOE honors, but I disagree. Either way, an impressive accomplishment for the team. Congratulations, Swamp Thangs!

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What About the Malaise Era? More Specifically, What About This 1979 Ford Granada? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/what-about-the-malaise-era-more-specifically-what-about-this-1979-ford-granada/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/what-about-the-malaise-era-more-specifically-what-about-this-1979-ford-granada/#comments Thu, 05 May 2011 15:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=383337 The Malaise Era of American automotive history refers to the period of model-year 1973 through model-year 1983; it takes its name from the commonly accepted shorthand name for President Jimmy Carter’s notorious “Crisis of Confidence” speech of July 15, 1979 (interestingly, Carter did not use the word “Malaise” in his speech).   Carter dared to […]

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The Malaise Era of American automotive history refers to the period of model-year 1973 through model-year 1983; it takes its name from the commonly accepted shorthand name for President Jimmy Carter’s notorious “Crisis of Confidence” speech of July 15, 1979 (interestingly, Carter did not use the word “Malaise” in his speech).

 

Carter dared to suggest that Americans couldn’t always have everything they wanted, cheap, and for this— plus his reluctance to turn the residents of Tehran into clicks on a Geiger counter after a bunch of beardo Islamo-loons took advantage of the power vacuum resulting from the CIA’s man losing control of our oil-soaked real estate and taking US embassy personnel hostage— conventional American wisdom regards him as The Worst President Of All Time, Except For Maybe That Guy That Did The Teapot Dome Thing. The idea that things were always going to get worse took root in America sometime between Walter Cronkite revealing himself as a paid agent of Vo Nguyen Giap and a Georgia preacher getting whacked by some asshole while supporting a bunch of Memphis trash collectors; the inflation resulting from the Vietnam War’s endless kidney-shots to the federal government’s budget (and Nixon’s resulting desperation moves) coupled with the Saudis finally figuring out that they were the pushermen feeding the West’s oil jones and that witholding the sweet black horse gave them power, and Southern Californians getting sick of several hundred “shelter in place” Stage 1 Smog Alerts per year meant that, by the early 1970s, the era of cheap horsepower, chrome-and-Naugahyde-slathered luxury, and general automotive optimism was deader’n Jimi Hendrix. The muscle cars of the late 1960s were essentially marketing creations— their symbolism as mighty-fisted avengers of perceived slights against the American Way Of Life came later, during the period of Southeast Asian Conflict historical revisionism that got rolling in the mid-1980s, and if you think there’s a link between the auction value of the ’70 Chevelle SS 454 and the level of certainty of the Silent Majority that we were stabbed in the back by the media in Vietnam, you’re right— and the once-vaunted quality of Chrysler, Lincoln, and Cadillac had already begun its long drop off a cliff long before the insurance companies, the NHTSA, and the State of California ended the cheap-horsepower-and-chrome party. At this point, I think it’s time to cue up the Merle Haggard; Merle expresses the “rolling downhill like a snowball headed for hell” sense of the country’s direction at that time better (and in way fewer words) than I ever could.
So, the Malaise Era: I’m defining its span as the 1973-1983 model years and defining its origins with such certitude because I invented the term during my first few months at Jalopnik, as a semi-ironic reference to Jimmy’s speech and the general sense that the future would suck permeating the formative years of my generation. When Eddie Alterman dropped it in a New York Times piece, its usage really took off. Hey, no problem— it’s my gift to the car-writing world— but it’s still exasperating when I get a bunch of static about how 1972 has always been considered to be the first year of the Malaise Era (because of the gross-versus-net horsepower changeover) or that the Malaise Era ended in 1981 (when Ronald Reagan took office and erased those shameful memories of helicopters on the embassy roof and a Dilantin-addled Orange County lawyer trying to rat-fuck the already helplessly disorganized opposition. I invented the term and I say it extends from the year of 5 MPH crash bumpers to the year the Fox Mustang became properly quick, and that’s that!

No vehicle better sums up the pluses and minuses of Malaise Era Detroit machinery to me— yes, there were pluses— than the 1979 Ford Granada that my parents bought in 1980 from Hertz. It served as my dad’s daily driver for a year or two, until he upgraded to a new Bonneville, and then it became the unloved “extra car,” driven only when the A-list car was in the shop or doled out to the teenage offspring to ensure humiliation at the hands of their Celica-driving peers. I took my first driver’s-license test in this car— dubbed “The Ramada” by my well-traveled salesman dad— and drove it whenever I couldn’t fire up a single one of my wretched personal fleet (including, at one point, a $50 ’69 Corona, a $113 ’67 GTO, and the world’s most terrible ’58 Beetle; you can see the Competition Orange ’68 Mercury Cyclone that succeeded these cars in the photo above). In many ways, the Ramada was a truly miserable car to drive; I struggle to come up with an adjective that does justice to its 250-cubic-inch six-banger’s performance. Dreary? Lackluster? Punitive?

Not many cars are so underpowered as to be genuinely unsafe, but the Ramada makes the list (the dual-control ’78 Rabbit Diesel in which I took my driver-training classes in 1982 is the only car that beats the six-cylinder ’79 Granada in my personal Dangerously Underpowered Cars Hall of Fame voting). From a standing start, you’d mash on the gas and the car would hesitate for a second or two, seemingly gathering its thoughts, and then there’d be this grooooooaaan sound from under the hood and the car would ooze forward. No amount of water or bleach on the rear tires could make it perform any sort of a burnout— hey, I was a teenager in a street-racing town in which only revving big-blocks could drown out the incessant Randy Rhoads solos and low-flying A7s— and even the most vicious, C4-annihilating neutral-drop couldn’t get more than a pathetic chirp out of the Ramada’s tires. This wouldn’t have been so bad if the car had sipped gas through a cocktail straw, what with fuel prices being pretty brutal in the early 1980s, but the Ramada gulped the stuff like a Delta 88 towing a cement truck uphill with three flat tires and five pulled plug wires. As I recall, it never managed to top 20 MPG in super-stingy highway driving (cue the enraged comments from readers whose Granadas habitually knocked off 38 MPG with the air-conditioning on), and nobody in my family wanted to know what its city mileage really was (cue the enraged comments from readers whose Granadas beat Honda Insights in city fuel economy).

At this point, I ought to break out the curb weight and horsepower figures, but I’m writing this while sweating out a 10-hour flight delay at Shadow Government World HQ and don’t have access to my reference library; I’m going to guess at a curb weight of 3,400 pounds and a horsepower rating of 92 (I checked later: turns out it’s 3,098 pounds and 97 horses).
The Ramada, as my family’s much-abused extra car, ended up as the “Phone Police Enforcermobile” in this 1984 Super 8 production I did for my first college scriptwriting class (the lack of a sound-enabled camera hampered the dialogue somewhat). My ’68 Cyclone and a buddy’s ska’d-out ’56 Bel Air also have cameos, but the Ramada is the star.

Thing is, the Ramada was ugly and slow and uncomfortable and leaked in the rain and wandered all over the highway and sucked gas, but it always ran. Well, to be more accurate, it could always be made to run, with enough coaxing and maybe 20 minutes of tinkering. Jump the starter relay with a screwdriver, or maybe hose down the carb with starter fluid. Some medium-grade hassle that got you pissed and dirty but always ended up with the 250 reluctantly coughing to life. The “automatic” parking brake release was vacuum-operated, and the driver would sometimes need to stick his or her head under the dash and suck on a vacuum line to disengage the brake. What really endeared it to my parents, however, was its crashing ability. More precisely, they loved its ability to get into non-injury wrecks with insured drivers who were always at fault, coupled with my ability to beat the thing back into some semblance of shape with junkyard parts and blue rattle-can spray paint. I wrecked it twice (once when a dude with a parked Farrah Fawcett-era Cougar popped his ten-foot-long driver’s door open as I drove by his parking spot; the Ramada tore the door completely off the Mercury, while sacrificing its grille and right fender in the process), each of my two sisters wrecked it twice apiece, and each of my sisters’ boyfriends wrecked it. The most dramatic wreck was a T-bone incident in which the driver of a Sedan de Ville passed out after a few too many gin rickeys at The 19th Hole and plowed into the Ramada. Each time, the insurance company kicked down at least five times the cost of the parts I needed from U-Pull-It to put the car back together, and I honed my sledgehammer-and-come-along bodywork skills. I think I went through four Granada and Monarch grilles, three hoods, and at least seven doors. I replaced every light on the car at least once, affixed the radiator using hundreds of zip ties, and bought Bondo in the extra-large economy-size buckets.
In a way, the Granada was emblematic of Malaise Era America: it lived in the past, suffered from a vast array of problems— many of its own making— and faced widespread scorn, but it just kept plowing ahead and got the job done. Ford’s marketers sank to a new, humiliating low with their claim that the Granada was just like the Mercedes-Benz W123. What’s next, putting lederhosen on the Statue of Liberty?
It’s too bad that the Coup’s “Me And Jesus The Pimp In A ’79 Granada Last Night” didn’t come out in 1980; Ford might have made the car into a favorite with the under-30 crowd.

The Granada’s chassis design can be traced back to the Falcons and Fairlanes of the early 1960s, and well before that time if you want to get really nit-picky. Obsolete before Eisenhower left the Oval Office, the Granada’s suspension was fairly sturdy and very cheap to manufacture. By the time Ford made a Fox Platform Granada in the early 1980s, the Granada name had become synonymous with “Malaise Rental Car Misery” and buyers avoided it all costs. While Ford may resurrect the Galaxie or even Maverick names from the grave, we can be sure that North Americans will never, ever have the opportunity to buy a new Granada (though it might be a different story in Europe).

What happened to my family’s Granada? Well, after so many wrecks and resulting amateur repairs, all the tape-measure alignments and chain-and-telephone-pole frame-straightening in the world couldn’t disguise the fact that the Ramada crabbed like a sumbitch, facing about 20 degrees away from its actual direction of travel, and the amount of time required to get it to start got past the half-hour mark at times. My mom eventually traded the car for a replacement door for her daily-driver Midget (yes, even a British Leyland product was more dependable than the Granada), and the Ramada was gone. Hmmm… maybe it was two Midget doors. Ramada, can’t say I miss you… but I respected you.

 

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Curbside Classic: 1977 Lincoln Versailles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/curbside-classic-1977-lincoln-versailles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/curbside-classic-1977-lincoln-versailles/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2010 19:01:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=345165 Deception (and self deception) is a very significant factor in the automobile business. Unless we buy a stripper Corolla (so conveniently parked here) or the like, we’re happy enough to pay more to feel like we’re not just getting transportation, but something that enhances our sense of well-being and social status. One of the biggest […]

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Deception (and self deception) is a very significant factor in the automobile business. Unless we buy a stripper Corolla (so conveniently parked here) or the like, we’re happy enough to pay more to feel like we’re not just getting transportation, but something that enhances our sense of well-being and social status. One of the biggest questions for automobile executives forever is how much of a premium folks are willing to pay for that. What’s the upper limit you can charge strictly for the sizzle when there’s little or no steak? It somehow seems fitting that we consider the most extreme real-world test of that question on Honest Abe’s birthday: the Versailles, the ultimate pig in a poke.

The Cadillac Cimarron is usually trotted out as the most egregious winner=loser of the category. But lets take a closer look: the Cimarron’s mark up over the price of a base Cavalier was almost exactly 100%. Same car and engine, except for a nicer interior and some exterior trim. At least the Cimarron was positioned at the bottom of the Cadillac line-up, a small and economical Caddy for those that felt so inclined/suckered. Still, a pretty rich markup (and price, $27k, adjusted) for a wheezy 1.8 liter econo-box with a leather interior. But the Versailles was decidedly more ambitious than that; in its pricing, that is.

Cadillac had rocked the luxury car market pretty hard with its Seville in 1975. For once, GM outfoxed Ford in identifying a new personal luxury car market niche, although with a four door. It seems that Ford’s biggest hits were always coupes. But the Seville was trying to recapture the magic of smaller but more expensive Caddys of the past; the brilliant 60 Special of 1938, and the Eldorado Brougham of 1957, especially in light of the onslaught of the more compact Mercedes sedans, which also were pushing the sizzle envelope in relation to what taxi drivers in Germany were paying for theirs. At least some real steak came with them.

The Seville was loosely based on the Nova platform of the times, which it shared with the Camaro. That was considered to be about the best handling domestic platform then. But that was just a jumping off point; the Seville had a longer wheelbase and a completely different body, tastefully designed for its intended mission. It also got a unique engine, an advanced fuel injected version of the Olds 350. And it was extensively engineered for a decent ride to handling relationship, as well as a completely unique and appropriately upscale interior.

Ford was caught napping with the Seville, which was priced about 20% higher than the most expensive big Fleetwood Brougham. And it did its intended job, selling some 43-55k units per year during its successful first incarnation. So what was Ford’s solution? A pig in a poke. (The derivation of that expression goes back to the Middle Ages, when unscrupulous folks would deceive unwary buyers by to selling a (non-existent) pig sewn into a poke (burlap bag)).

The 1977 Versailles is a 1977 Ford Granada (shown here with its proud Daddy), along with a borrowed Continental grille and fake spare-tire hump on its ass, and some leather thrown around inside.  I’m sure some softer suspension bushings and springs were part of that “notable engineering achievement”. The 132 hp carbureted 302 engine certainly wasn’t. Or the Granada’s notorious mediocre handling. Never mind the build quality.

If anyone could push the pricing frontier, it would be Lee Iacocca. And just how did he price his tarted-up Granada? Exactly three times higher than its lowly donor. $12,529 ($35k adjusted) was a piece of change back then, and like the Seville, the Versailles was the most expensive Lincoln money could buy. There really is a sucker born every minute.

Maybe not every minute, but enough  for Lincoln to move somewhere between 9k and 21k units the first three years. By 1980, the jig was up, there was no pig in the poke (or was there?) and sales collapsed. But there was a replacement in the wings, and this time the Fairmont would be the donor, although somewhat better disguised.

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