It flashed onscreen for just a moment and almost derailed my night. I reached for my phone before hesitantly putting it back. “I’m going to lose sleep over this” I said quietly, before convincing myself I knew what it was. A quick google this morning confirmed that I was, at least, right enough.
It popped up in one of the new electric car ads that try to tell us how good we will all be when we thoughtlessly swap over to electric cars without changing any of our attitudes about over-consumption. We will all be patting ourselves on the back in our Hummer EVs and Audi E-Tron crossovers, clogging roads as single-person commuters. In any case, Audi told us to “let it go” so long as the “it” doesn’t mean “leasing a brand new car every few minutes.”
In it, we are presented with a traffic jam full clogged full of wheezing, gas-burning, smog-belching vehicles. Every last one of these things is cool as hell, from 1970s custom vans, to a Mercury Cougar, to, oh shit, is that a Ford Granada?
To be clear, this could be a Ford Granada or it might just be a Mercury Monarch. The two cars were nearly identical, particularly taking into account optional trim on high levels of the Ford versus low level trims on the Merc. It was a real low point for the Ford Motor Company, churning out not only boring car designs, but assembling them poorly as well. They made these things up in Mahwah, New Jersey, probably most famous for being the setting of that one Bruce Springsteen song where a factory worker gets drunk and murders someone.
These are the early Granada/Monarchs, the 1975-1977 cars, before they changed the look a bit. The similar Lincoln Versailles had a tire hump on the trunk, a mock continental kit, as they were called.
These Granada/Monarchs are hard to find nowadays, given how few people bothered to preserve them, and that they were never really built to last. Still, it’s a joy to see one still on the road, probably accounting for less emissions than if the owner had cycled through a new car every few years, electric or not.