1978 Ford Granada ESS Coupe

When things got weird in the 70’s with gas prices and emissions laws this little guy came around. It was one of the more luxurious compact cars around with the intent of easing people who were used to large cars into smaller cars. These first generation (1975-1980) Ford Granadas were based on the 4 door Maverick (the second generation Granada went on to ride on the Fox platform like every other Ford). There were 4 engine options, two I6 models, a 302, or a 351 Windsor. I don’t know too much about these cars and I wasn’t able to track down the owner (not sure if they work at the smoke shop, Goodwill, Kmart, or the pizza place.. but let’s not judge) so who knows what is going on under the hood. I’m not even certain what year this car is but they did switch to square headlights for the 1978-1980 model years, so it falls somewhere in there. 

This car is the ESS (European Sport Sedan) model, even though it’s obviously a coupe. The ESS trim level is basically just a couple of blacked out body parts, some fancy wheels (not pictured), buckets seats, and possibly a heavy duty suspension setup.

I like that this car is daily driven, I see it all the time. I also like that it is not beat to piss or modified in any sort of ridiculous way, although that hood scoop is pretty atrocious. It makes me happy to see an old car being driven around fulfilling the simple duty of just being an old car.

In an interview with AAA president Obama mentioned that his very first car was a Granada:

“The Ford Granada was not the peak of Detroit engineering .. It rattled and it shook, and I don’t think the girls were particularly impressed when I came to pick them up in a Ford Granada .. But you know what? It moved and so I have fond memories of the fact that it got me to where I needed to go. That’s about all I can say about the Ford Granada.”

I don’t have much to add to that, he summed everything up nicely.

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6 thoughts on “1978 Ford Granada ESS Coupe

  1. The Granada first had the square headlights in 1978, 75 – 77 were round. The ESS came out in 1978 and remained until 1980, when the entire Granada line was changed to a new body style. I owned 2, both 1977’s. Firs was a white/blue Ghia 2 door and the second was a Red Spring Sport edition. This one (I did not know it at the time) was a special car. It had a 302 V8, 4 speed manual, bucket seats with a full console, magnum 500 wheels and a chrome luggage rack on the trunk. Sure with I had that one back.

  2. I hate to say it, but Ford never put a V6 in an early Granada, they were inline (200 and 250 CID). As the current owner this Granada I can tell you that it’s got a 302 under the hood for the moment, but that will be replaced with a 351W as soon as I get the body fixed up. Will post pictures once I get her finished.

    • You are correct, I have updated the article.

      It’a pretty interesting car, glad to hear it has a good home. Can’t wait to see the pictures.

  3. Pingback: The 1st generation of Ford Granada (North America) – My Blog

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