Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Given the incredible number of Ford Granadas sold to rental car companies American car buyers, you'd think we'd have seen quite a few of them in this series. Not so! We had a '77 Granada two-door last winter, and now we're on our second- also a '77 two-door. Ford was pretty unashamed about marketing these things as cut-rate Mercedes-Benz ripoffs, but it appears that they were a bit less reliable than their 280SE role models and very few survive today.
The Granada really wasn't a bad-looking car, though the huge bumpers and landau roof are as Malaise Era as you're going to get. Diminished expectations in the house!
The Granada was based on a chassis descended directly from the one used on Fairlanes of the 1960s, so you got 60s-style handling thanks to a leaf-spring rear suspension and all the understeer that engineers could design in. The standard engine was a 200-cube pushrod six that groaned out 96 horsepower; giving the Ford dealer extra money would get you a 135-horse 351 Windsor. If you opted for the Granada Ghia package, you'd get a mighty 161HP out of that 351.