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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

1980 Ford Granada

The ESS model was the most expensive Ford Granada on the dealer’s show room floor in 1980.  
The 1980 selling season opened for Ford of Canada dealers with Pinto, Fairmont, Granada, LTD, Mustang and a redesigned, downsized Thunderbird.  The imported Granada was the only mid-sized Ford on showroom floors. The 2791-millimetre (109-inch) wheelbased automobile certainly hadn’t changed much from last year when it sold 13,984 units for the calendar year, or the year before that when sales reached 21,974 units, for that matter. 

Carrying classic lines, a simple rectangular grille accented with a stand-up hood ornament and squared up openings for the halogen headlamps set the standard. The Granada was a very attractive vehicle. Patterned after the timeless Mercedes-Benz, Ford clearly had a winner on its hands.  Advertising boldly made use of  photographs of the Granada with the Mercedes-Benz in the background, and wasn’t shy to bill the mid-sized Ford as “a modern classic.”

Under the hood was the 4.1-litre (250-cubic inch) “I” Six-cylinder engine with a four-speed manual transmission. An optional 5-litre (302-cubic inch) mill could be had with an optional automatic transmission. 

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The 1980 Ford Granada ESS sported a genuine leather-wrap 
steering wheel and faux woodgrain trim.
Elegance, class and style pervaded the cabins of the Ghia two-door and four-door sedans. Tasteful burled woodtone appliqu├ęs on door and instrument panels, sumptuous 18-ounce cut-pile carpeting underfoot that was continued on the lower portion of the doors, helped to set the tone for the five potential occupants. 

The deep-cushioned all-vinyl flight bench seat boasted a fold-down centre armrest. Handy map pockets could be had for the back of the front seat. The colour-keyed seat belt offered a “pleasant chime reminder to buckle up.” 

Positioned upwind of the Ghia, the ESS offered all the niceties of the Ghia plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual remote control mirrors, a dual-note horn, as well as exclusive, chain pattern vinyl upholstery and Euro-style adjustable headrests upholstered  in cloth and vinyl or leather and vinyl combinations. 

Even the base Granada cabin came with a luxurious box-weave cloth and vinyl or a pebble-grain vinyl upholstery. The handy fold-down centre armrest was included, too.

The “Vacation-Sized Trunk” appealed to owners 
of the 1980 Ford Granada. Use of a mini-spare provided
 42.5 litres (15 cubic feet) of space. 
Colours in the Granada palette included Candyapple Red, Dark Cordovan Metallic, Light Grey, Light Medium Blue, Pastel Sand, Silver Metallic, Midnight Metallic Blue and Polar White. Three new hues adorned Granadas this selling season: Chamois Glow, Sand Glow and Bittersweet Glow, all three Metallic based. These colour choices could all be further embellished with optional Bodyside and Decklid Accent Stripes. 

If solid colours with contrasting pinstripes didn’t cut the mustard, there were some very striking Tu-Tone combinations available including Dark Chamois Metallic over Chamois Glow and Sand Glow over Pastel Sand suitable for the most discerning of clients. 

Two vinyl roof treatments in a choice of eight colours were available. Half-roof applications could be ordered for certain two-door models.

Standard features found in the Granada included front disc brakes, a mini spare, two-speed windshield wipers, turn-signal wiper and washer mounted controls, an inside hood release, a lockable glove box, an electric rear window defroster, 

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Options for the Granda were as plentiful as oil wells in Alberta. One could order any of eight different radios, ranging from a simple AM model to an Electronic AM/FM Stereo Search model that could be had with eight-track or cassette deck. The SelectAire Conditioner with Automatic Temperature Control kept the car warm and toasty or icy cold and salesmen recommended that it be ordered with tinted glass. 

The Power Assists included power front disc brakes, power door locks, a power moon roof, power seats and power side windows. A 4-way Manual Driver’s Seat added “vertical comfort.” Individual Reclining Bucket Seats—in leather if one wished--were a classy touch. The Digital Clock, the centre console with its bank of special warning lights, the Illuminated Entry System, light groups, numerous wheel covers and tires, the Extended Service Plan, Fingertip Speed Control, Tilt Steering Wheel all added to comfort levels and the final price tag, too. 

The 1980 Ford Granada two-door sedan had a 67.7-litre (14.9 Imperial-gallon) 
gas tank. The filler door was concealed in the centre of the rear of the car.
None of the Big Four did well this year and Ford of Canada was no exception. Sales were down sharply from 204,821 units in the 1979 calendar year with 151,853 units delivered throughout the country in 1980. Fortunately the smaller number of units sold domestically was offset by Ford Canada's overseas subsidiaries, which turned a $36 million profit. 

The real drag on Ford of Canada was the lack of orders from the United States. Those were down considerably as a result of last summer’s oil embargo against the US by the consortium of oil-producing nations. Since Ford of Canada’s factories built out primarily big and mid-sized cars and Americans were scrambling for the smallest most economical wheels possible there was little call for the Canadian-built products. Losses for the company amounted to $50 million, a stark contrast to the $10 million profit for the previous year. 

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Small cars continued to capture consumers’ attention as their thriftiness appealed to Canadians sense of practicality. Sales of imports climbed to 21 percent in 1980.  Even the lowly Soviet-sourced Lada, now assembled in Halifax, nearly doubled in sales, jumping to 9,300 units from 5,300 units the year previous. 

To counter the adverse situation at Ford Canada, corporate belt tightening was the order of the day.  The foundry was closed in Windsor and the second shift at the Oakville plant was cancelled until the economic picture was less bleak.

On the bright side, plans moved right ahead with a $600 million aluminum foundry and V-6 engine plant in Essex County, Ontario and conversion of the St. Thomas, Ontario plant for the Ford Escort andMercury  Lynx models continued.

Activities at Ford of Canada were barely noticeable as the media put a microscope on the troubles at Chrysler Canada and the subsequent big bailout by Ottawa. Also getting major media attention was the nasty fight between the Federal Government and the Province of Alberta as to who had the rights to collect taxes on oil. 

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Copyright James C. Mays 2005 All rights reserved.


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