Ford Granada 2.8i Ghia X | Spotted08/23/2022
Very 80s. Very cool. And very much a reminder of the simpler things in life…
By John Howell / Tuesday, 23 August 2022 / Loading comments
Here’s a big ol’ bruiser for you. And back in the 80s, they didn’t come much bigger or more bruising than a Mk2 Ford Granada. Especially when the Granny in question is represented in the top-of-the-line, Ghia X spec with a 2.8-litre V6 thrumming away under the bonnet. And yes, I know there was a Ghia X Executive, but I am trying to keep things simple.
That’s because this car epitomises a simpler time. It also just shouts of the 80s in so many ways. For a start, there’s the styling. Yes, Ford had just broken the mould with its jelly-mould Sierra’s super-slippery body, but that was far too radical. At least at the start of the decade. What was in vogue then was the left-over square-cut lines of the 70s with some ‘loads of money’ 80s additions.
This was a simple formula. Rubber and chrome. You took the chrome and shoved that around the windows, the door rubbing strips, the bumpers and the grille. Then you added spoilers. Spongy, black rubber spoilers. One, low down on the chin, and the other – to balance it aerodynamically, of course, for clearly the Mk2 Granada had seen many, many hours of wind-tunnel testing – on the boot. Top this off with some bronze tinted glass, some overriders and a couple of square fog lights and that was it. Job done.
Inside, it’s a similar story. Back then you didn’t need a huge amount to impress buyers. Again, stick to the simple stuff. Some wood, or ‘wood veneer appliqué’ as I recall the brochures called the sticky-backed, wood-coloured stuff inside, and lots velour trim. That’s all the plushness anyone could ever need.
In terms of toys, that was taken care of with all-round electric windows, central locking, a rev counter, some extra dials and a rheostat – to change the brightness of the dials. There was also a joystick, which you could use to magically move the sound around the cabin that was being produced by the high-fidelity Ford radio-cassette unit. But that wasn’t the high bar of high-tech. No sir.
When it came to the pinnacle of technology for the digital decade that was a trip computer. This measured things and did maths and showed you the results on an actual LCD display. It was basically science fiction. Apart from the fact it looked like something that had been bought as a kit from Tandy and soldered together by a child for a weekend project. Again, it didn’t matter. It was something highly unusual that would still wow people.
This car even has something that, unless I am mistaken, is quite rare on Mk2s. Something that even for the most luxurious of luxury cars didn’t necessarily have by default in the 80s: air conditioning. I’d love to know how many UK Granadas left the factory with that option ticked?
Nobody seemed to care that much that underneath its sharp styling the Mk2 was decidedly similar to the curvier Mk1 Granada, which the Mk2 had replaced in 1977. Things like that didn’t really seem to matter back then, either. Again, it was a simpler time. To be fair, it’s reported that Ford had invested £50m into the changes it made for the Mk2, which included revised suspension, brakes and its new dashboard. It also meant the 3.0-litre ‘Essex’ V6 was replaced at the top of the pecking order with the fuel-injected 2.8-litre ‘Cologne’ V6. That still drove through a three-speed auto and a live rear axle, though.
But what a thing. What a blast from the past. And to see a 2.8i Ghia X represented this well is such a pleasure, for sure. Okay, the original radio has been replaced with a Kenwood face-off unit, but otherwise the old gal is looking splendid. It needs an MOT, but I am sure the vendor will get that done for you. Looking at its test history, which goes back to 69,000 miles and 2006, ‘Pass’ comes up in the log far more commonly than ‘Fail’ does. And generally, the failures were very minor stuff like worn tyres and imperfect wipers. According to the advert it’s also had a lot of money spent on it, and that includes a full respray.
To me, it’s not just a great-looking car and a very cool thing. It reminds me that a simpler life can, indeed, be a better life. For £12,995.
Specification | Ford Granada 2.8i Ghia X (Mk2)
Engine: 2,792cc, six-cylinder, naturally aspirated
Transmission: Three-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 150 @ 5,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 159 @ 4,000rpm
Recorded mileage: 89,000
Year registered: 1983
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £12,995
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