Plus-Sized Malaise Muscle: 1978 Ford Granada 302 / 4-speed
The Ford Granada was one of those Malaise-era downsized cars that still managed to look huge while being marketed as a “compact.” Although the first-gen Granada was derived from the Maverick and was the great-great-grandson of the Falcon, it managed to be larger than a late ’90s E38 BMW 7 Series (ok – yeah, the short wheelbase E38, not the long one). The Granada isn’t anyone’s first choice for a muscle or pony car, but with more popular V8 performance machinery steadily appreciating, there might be some value in getting your burnout fix from a 302 & 4-speed equipped Malaisemobile. Find this 1978 Ford Granada for sale in Sun City, AZ for $8,900 via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Styling on the Granada isn’t terrible; it’s a bit tall and boxy for any real performance intentions, but doesn’t have any egregious features that stand out from the complete design. The slender rear quarterlight windows are awkward and do evoke a bit of an opera light vibe, and the Granada was inevitably offered with a half-vinyl Landau top. But there’s nothing here to deeply offend. This one some chrome 5-spoke wheels that definitely didn’t roll out of the Ford factory, but add a bit of flair to an otherwise bland package.
Two inline sixes and two V8 engines were offered in the Granada. The 351 Windsor was top dog for the lineup, but this 2-door sedan has the 140hp 302 c.i. (5.0L) Windsor V8. Stock this would’ve had a 2-barrel carb and emissions choked valvetrain, but the seller says it now has rebuilt heads and a mild cam, with Flowmaster exhaust. It could be making over 200hp now but no doubt would be easily woken up further with an application of the Edelbrock (or similar) catalog.
The real oddity with this one is the 4-speed manual transmission, which was an option from the factory. With a curb weight of around 3,300 lb it’s not too heavy for a late ’70s RWD car, so the makings of a fun machine are here – it’s just up to the next owner to kick it up a notch in the horsepower department.
From the seller:
Super rare 1978 Ford Granada. Ordered with a 302 cu in, factory 4 speed, factory AC. This car was also ordered with heavy duty suspension, sway bars front and rear. One of only 1400 made in 78 with this combination. It is completely original inside and out. Super nice paint and interior is in fantastic condition.A Marti report comes with the car showing how rare it really is. Power steering, brakes. The motor has had the heads rebuilt and has a mild cam so it runs great. Dual flowmasters with a exhaust system tucked into the frame so very nice you cant see any exhaust hanging down. 86000 mile, a life long AZ car it is a super nice original car. How many are left ??? Comes with brand new American wheels and tires and also the original tires and wheels with hub caps. Tires also are new.
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CFlo is Daily Turismo’s Technical Editor and co-founder. He recognizes that V8s with manuals are gooood.
I was not aware that the Gen 1 Granada was a descendant of the Maverick (and hence Mustang and Falcon). I found that the Granada felt large and heavy, sort of boulevard cruiser-style. The successor (Fox Fairmont) was a much nicer car to toss around.
Nonetheless, this particular example is nicely equipped and looks very clean. Price seems strong for an un-wanted model. It is only missing the nice thick leather sport steering wheel that I used to scavenge from junked Granadas to substitute onto my Fairmonts. I still have one of those wheels waiting on the garage wall, they were that nice.
p.s. Hey DT, is that "1878 Ford Grenada" headline Freudian or an attempt to be funny?
It was a Freudian slip of the typing fingers. Fixed it, although the error will be forever etched into the internet via the url!
At 1878, the Granada is the great great grandfather of the Model T!
If this is not the crappiest dashboard layout in the world, I do not know what is….
Boy is this weird….pretend youre driving a Boss Mustang while in reality your'e throwing Grandmas car around the corners………….the ways things are going somebody who wasnn't old enough to know how badly the seventies sucked from top to bottom, will glom onto this and think its great,
I thought all Grenada's had reported to salvage yards years ago, where 90% of them are still at rest after having given up their front disc brakes to first gen Mustang owners looking for better stopping power?
This may literally be the last one left. Weird to think that this big refrigerator of a car shares a common ancestor with the original Mustang and that they are very similar under the skin.