Junkyard Find: 1979 Ford Granada

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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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  • Neilljuilfs Neilljuilfs on Mar 15, 2013

    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

    • Parkwood60 Parkwood60 on Mar 15, 2013

      They are worthless. Get it running and it will still only be worth between the scrap value of the metal and whatever you can sell the front spindles & disc brakes for to someone with a Mustang or a Falcon.

  • Laserwizard Laserwizard on Dec 28, 2015

    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.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...