Tuesday November 5, 2019
‘A lot of people mention The Sweeney, and most assume it is the 3-litre - despite the badging on the wings’.
But his splendid Ford is actually a 2-Litre G and, as it dates from April 1977, it is one of the last of examples of the Mk. I before the launch of the Mk. II.
Andrew Bell has owned this magnificent car ‘for 21 years’, and the adventures of Regan and Carter did influence his choice of classic car.
‘When I came by the Granada, it was in pretty good condition, and there were only 20,000 miles on the clock. The main challenge has been keeping rust at bay. My car was restored ten years ago, and it had to be refreshed about two years ago. I like to keep it looking original’.
One of the many advantages of Granada ownership was the extensive combination of engine and trim options.
The later Mk. Is could be specified as a 3000L or even a 2-Litre Ghia; Andrew points out the latter is now very rare.
By October 1975, the Ford dropped the Consul badge for the less expensive versions in favour of a single model name, with the GL representing the penultimate member of the line-up.
By now all models now boasted cloth upholstery, a carpeted floor, hazard flashers and reversing lamps as part of Ford’s ‘Value for Money’ campaign
The base model still featured acres of blank spaces on the fascia they served as an inspiration to work harder and finally gain the keys to the L: a rear folding armrest, head restraints, a clock and a dipping mirror.
The S was the replacement for the Consul GT, and as for the GL, this was the car for those who wished to ‘travel first class’.
It was indeed well-appointed with its fog lamps, sunroof, a remote control door mirror (still a talking point in the mid-1970s) and ‘push button radio’.
The flagship Granada was, of course, the Ghia – ‘the last word in luxury’.
The engine choices for the pristine GL owner were the “Essex” 3-Litre V6 and the 1,998cc OHC plant which had replaced the old V4 unit in early 1975.
The likes of Andrew’s car would have been a very strong rival to the likes to the Princess 2200HL, the Chrysler 2-Litre and the Fiat 132.
Mr. Bell finds the driving experience to be ‘pretty good. I prefer the manual box on the 2-Litre Granada, and on long journeys you actually forget you are in a 42-year-old car’.
The Bell Granada is regularly used – ‘in summer we try to get out about but obviously less so in the winter’.
Whenever Andrew visits a supermarket car park or filling station, he often meets people whose father/mother/grandparents once owned a similar car.
When on the road ‘everybody takes a second look. When I’ve been on the motorway, one or two people have overtaken me slowly so that their passenger can take a photograph’. One of the duties of the Bell Ford is to tow ‘our matching Viking Trailer caravan’.
Just fill the cool box with cartons of UHT milk and tins of Frey Bentos pies, and you would be fully prepared for an uber-1977 holiday.
Preferably with Brotherhood Of Man’s Angelo playing on Medium Wave.
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