24,400 Miles: 1977 Ford Granada Ghia

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

“Quality is Job 1” had a different meaning in the 1970s and early-80s than it does today. As imported vehicles started finding more homes with US consumers, American car companies like Ford started getting serious again. They had a lock on the biggest car market for decades and things were a’changin’. This 1977 Ford Granada Ghia was probably never meant to compete with fancier cars and even imports, but it was a heck of a marketing campaign. I don’t know if they were actually meant to compete with Mercedes-Benz, but they took a few styling cues from them and even touted the similarities in ads. This Granada Ghia is located in Spring Hill, Tennessee and is on Craigslist with an asking price of $2,400.

The Ghia was about as fancy as it got for the Granada in 1977. The ESS (European Sport Sedan) would have been a step up but it wasn’t available until the 1978 model year. The man who brought us the Granada and so many other cars was none other than Lee Iacocca. Most of you knew that already.

There are a few dings on this car and some scary rust stains under the vinyl top above the rear window. That could be the biggest glitch with this one, body-wise, or it could be nothing. This car only has 24,400 miles on it according to the seller.

As with most Craigslist ads, there are no engine photos (sigh), but there are a few interior photos and they show a good looking interior. It’s always strange not seeing power windows on what was supposed to be a fancy car. The back seat looks great and with only 24,400 miles on this car who knows how many times it’s been occupied. This car has a 302 V8 which should have had around 122 hp. The seller has done a lot of maintenance to keep this one on the road, including “new freeze plugs, thermostat and gasket, battery and terminals, solenoid, coil and ignition module. Also has newer gas tank, front shocks, plugs, and 2 new tires.” Thoughts on this ’77 Ghia? Or, would you rather have a Seville or Mercedes-Benz?…

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  1. Blyndgesser

    They tried to sell it as a bargain Benz alternative, but it’s more accurate to call it a shrunken LTD. Not bad if that’s what you wanted, but a bad joke if you were expecting Mercedes levels of ride, handling, assembly quality, safety, comfort, etc.

    • Tim Rusling

      I worked at a Benz dealer and was appalled at the crap quality of the beautiful engineering of Mercedes cars. Yeah, I know they’re better now, but I’d rather have this Grenade than a Benz. Looks cool and won’t kill you on repairs. You can take it to car shows and meet real down to earth people too. Show the kiddies how cars’ windows open and close when the battery is dead.

      • grant

        This looks cool to you? This is my grandpa’s car…

  2. Jim B

    What was the Ford ad featuring (I think) ex-Hogan’s Heroes actors like General Burkhalter saying “Bettah to PUUULL a cah than to PUUSH eeet” – introducing FWD for some new platform.

    Yeah, those were the days, indeed! Bad cars and worse marketing.

  3. Fred W.

    When I was a teenager about this time my parents subscribed to consumer reports and I read the frequency of repair charts religiously. I remember the full sized Fords of the era having top notch reliability, equal to Mercedes of the time. The smaller Fords were pretty good too, but Chrysler products were terrible. The parents had a Granada Ghia with a 302, loaded, and I thought it was a nice driving car.

  4. James Hall

    Ive always been a lover of the American stuff but compare the style of this to the Granada we got in the UK back in 1977 I would rather the UK one..

    • Miguel

      The back end looks like a Toyota Corona to me.

  5. James Hall

    heres the UK styled Granada coupe

  6. James Hall

    we also got the little brother of the Granada which was the cortina these came in 2 door, 4 door or as a station wagon. I did prefer the 2 door version of this over the Granada coupe

  7. Mark Manero Member

    U.K. Granada looks like a bulked up Capri

    • James Hall

      I preferred the Capri over the Granada coupe.
      I owned a few Granada’s but never owned the coupe. there used to be a really tidy one near where I lived but ive not seen it in a few years.

      • St. Ramone de V8

        Thanks for the pics and info, John. Can you imagine how the massive bumpers mandated here would have destroyed those clean lines?

      • St. Ramone de V8

        James. Sorry….

  8. Chris

    When my wife and I were right out of college we did not have a lot of money and we bought a 1977 Granada from the original owner in 1996 for $600. I changed the master cylinder, and proceeded to put 20,000 miles on it in 10 months. Even the air conditioning still worked. It had the 6 cylinder and it was a pretty reliable car even thru a crappy Chicago winter. I donated it to charity in 1997 when I had enough money to buy a used Intrepid.

    • Miguel

      Would you say now that the Intrepid was a step or down from the Granada?

      • Chris

        Yes. I actually liked the Granada. My daily driver is a Tesla P85 now, so they are both a distant memory when I crush Porsche’s and M5s from a stop light. A ZL1 was a close race, but I ran out of guts and he took off. We caught up later and had a good laugh.

  9. Walt

    I had the Mercury version of this car, a 1978 Monarch. I drove the car 70,000 miles in three years. It was trouble free.

  10. glenn merithew

    Hey guys I must agree with james that the English fords do look cooler but give me American muscle any time. How ever when it comes to marketing G.M. and Chrysler have it all over ford, I have said this before and I will say it again ford has the worst car comercials that I have seen and I am a ford guy. You guys at ford need to steel who ever dose the chevy ads the new one about the Camaro is great the ford coiercials make me want to go out and buy something else.

    • Blyndgesser

      Muscle? It’s a Granada. No muscle here.

  11. JJS

    In 1981 I drove a Granada company car daily. It started and stopped every time. Very comfortable boulevard ride. But its long nose, short trunk style, which Ford introduced in the late 70’s with the restyled LTD, makes it less than practical. The other problem is the 70’s maintenance routine. Lots to do every 12000 miles. But, for someone who needs a car and doesn’t have a lot to spend, this would be a good buy.

    • Loco Mikado

      Then you probably would have been not too happy driving 40’s, 50’s or even 60’s cars with their maintenance routines. How spoiled people are today.

      • Tim Rusling

        It’s true the oldies required a lot of maintenance, but at least it made you pay close attention to your vehicle and the maintaining aspect seemed like a hobby rather than drudgery. You felt closer to your car than the dependable appliances of today – many of which have no character.

      • JJS

        Tesla owners are really spoiled. No maintenance!

  12. CMARV Member

    My Mother bought one new in 77 it had the 302 with 27 horsepower . I was 16 , with a brand new licence . When she brought it home I asked to take it for a ride , the car was the most powerless pile of junk I had or have ever had the misfortune of driving . Mom kept it 3 months and traded it on a 78 Accord . I got her old car for my first car , a 69 Olds 442 , 400 , 350hp , 400 turbo and fully loaded . I kept it 3 months , it met up with a utility pole . C’est la vie .

    • Steve

      Sounds like you would have been better served by her “27 horsepower” Granada… I had similar tales of destruction in my teen years…

  13. Kris



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