Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ranting Stan's Sunday Drive: Ford Granada Mk I

If you're old enough to remember "The Sweeney", you'll remember the Ford Granada. OK, the car in "The Sweeney" was actually a Ford Consul 3.0 - at least in the early series - but from 1975 all the models in the range were called Granada.

The Granada was Ford's replacement for the Zephyr/Zodiac range which had a firm following and was a hard act to follow, but the distinctive shape of the Granada soon became a familiar sight on the roads of Britain. Less familiar was the fastback style Ghia shape - a shame as it was a rather handsome car.

My first personal experience of the Granada would have been around the year they were released. Our next door neighbour got a promotion and, with it, a shiny new company car - a gleaming white Ford Granada 2.5 with black vinyl roof and luxury cloth interior (still quite rare in 1972). He'd barely arrived home with his pride and joy before me, my brother, my cousin, my neighbour's daughter and his son were ensconced in the cavernous rear being driven around the streets of Slough in this fabulous motor car. I loved it and I loved the looks it attracted.

My neighbour had this car for three years during which he travelled the length and breadth of Britain. By the time he got it replaced he had covered almost 150,000 trouble free miles. I remember this because his replacement car - a BMW 316 - broke down three times in the first three months and I remember my neighbour venting his frustration to my mum as she drove him (with me in the back) to the station after the Beemer had let him down for the third time. The BMW was replaced after two years with a Mk2 Granada which, unfortunately, proved as unreliable as the BMW. Mind you, the Mk 2 Granny was built in Germany.

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