Junkyard Find: 1979 Ford Granada
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.
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I came across a 1976 Granada with around 125K miles. It ran great until it was parked 3 years ago, and in immaculate condition. Any idea of value once I get it running? Neill in Eugene, OR
I had a 250 inline six in my 1969 Mustang and I can assure you that engine is not gutless. It had great torque and was no slug off the line.