Junkyard Find: 1981 Ford Granada L, Beige Fox-Body Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1981 ford granada l beige fox body edition
The first-generation Ford Granada was based on the aging platform that debuted with the 1960 Falcon, and we have seen this ’77, this ’79, and this ’79 so far in the Junkyard Find series. For the 1981 model year, the Granada moved to the Fox Platform, and very few were sold for the two short years of the Fox Granada.Here’s a rare ’81 sedan that I found recently in a Denver-area self-service wrecking yard.
L was the base trim level in 1981, and the MSRP on a four-door L sedan was $6,633. That’s about $17,500 in inflation-adjusted 2016 dollars, so this car was very affordable.
The real cheapskates opted for the “Pinto” 2300 four-cylinder engine, but this car has the optional 200-cubic-inch straight-six, good for 88 horsepower. Fortunately, this car weighed only 2,750 pounds, or a bit less than a 2017 Honda Civic. It was slow, but not quite as slow as the depressing power numbers might suggest.
How about a nice pink-and-beige interior, made from the finest velour and vinyl (that was available for cheap in Michigan)?
Sometimes it’s hard to say why a particular car ended up in a place like this. Not this time!
It’s completely rust-free, as one would expect from a car sold in bone-dry New Mexico and driven in nearly-as-bone-dry Colorado. It would have been sleeperific fun (and easy) to take this car and apply all the standard go-fast tricks used by the Fox Mustang guys, as just about all the mechanical stuff interchanges between the various Foxes.
38 different inspectors examine every … single … car. Note the 1958-style theme music in this ad.
This dealership promotional video shows you everything you need to know about the Fox Granada.
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  • New2000car New2000car on Mar 10, 2017

    The ads were right on about the quality. I wonder how much more it cost to drive home in one of these as compared to a K car of the day? Notice how it was still running probably 30 years later? It lasted 3x as long as an Aries/Reliant would have.

  • Shiv91 Shiv91 on Jul 25, 2017

    This was one of the earliest cars I can remember seeing on the road. These were relatively common in Buffalo NY, in fact there was one driving around the Southern part of the city as late as 2011. My grandpa had a white early 1980s Fairmont, he held onto it until about 1996.

  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.