Fancy Granada: 1979 Mercury Monarch Coupe

In 1975, Ford rolled out the Granada as the more civilized successor to the aging Maverick. Not to be outdone, Mercury got its version of the same car and badged it as the Monarch. Ford sold two million Granada’s through 1982, whereas the Monarch called it quits after 1980 with a half-million copies sold. You don’t see that many of these cars today mainly because they were built to be used and then discarded. This one is a 40,000-mile exception, a 1979 Monarch that’s out in Bellevue, Nebraska and available here on eBay where the going bid is $2,925 but there’s still a reserve to be met.

When it premiered in ’75, the Monarch was positioned between the Comet (Maverick) and the Montego and saw a single generation of production. The concept behind the auto was to offer a premium-content compact in the aftermath of the OPEC oil embargo that drove up gas prices. The Monarch and Granada were the end of the line for the platform that began with the Ford Falcon in 1960. The seller’s 1979 Monarch looks to be a competent survivor. When compared to today’s cars, it comes off as a bit austere, but that wasn’t the case in the ‘70s when compacts weren’t supposed to be fancy.

You would think a 41-year-old car that’s basically covered just 1,000 miles a year would have a story to be shared, but it does not. It appears to be completely original with no mention of past or lingering problems. The body looks good as does the paint, although a good wax job would likely perk it up a bit. The seller tells us there is no rust anywhere and the frame is solid, so we don’t see any places to argue on those points. We see no issues with the landau vinyl top, either.

The red/burgundy interior looks nice and inviting for the days when bench seats ruled. The carpet may be a little worn in a couple of places, but nothing to fret over. When you punch the gas pedal, you’re not likely to get whiplash with a six-cylinder used to make the car move. The motor could be either a 200 or 250 cubic inch unit because we don’t see any markings to identify which one. We’re told it runs great and the factory air seems to be doing its job. It wouldn’t hurt to detail the engine compartment a bit so it matches appearance with the rest of the car.

We’re curious about what the reserve must be for this car because these aren’t sought out by collectors. They’re still considered used cars and, as such, the current bid of nearly $3,000 seems to be at the high end of what they’re trading for. But since it’s a low-mileage vehicle, it’s probably worth a few bucks more. For someone looking for an affordable second car, this one might be the ticket.

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  1. Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice Monarch. I like the white/burgundy theme. To me the Granada/Monarch came across as nicely trimmed, attractive, and reasonable cars for their era. Though adding emissions equipment to the early-60’s-technology straight six was tough, it sapped what performance they had and ruined driveability. Ford sure did get their money’s worth out of the platform.

    This is a good example. It won’t go for big bucks but it would make a fun Cars & Coffee car, as you won’t see yourself,

    Like 8
  2. Skorzeny

    Since it will never really be worth anything, and to make it road worthy in this era, at least put a 302 in it, maybe a 5.0 out of a wrecked Fox body. I didn’t used to like these but a guy could have a little fun with it for this kind of money.

    Like 6
    • Jim

      NO NO NO NO! Why does everyone want to swap out any car with a 6 and put in an 8???? Leave it alone and let someone who can appreciate it for what it is have it.

      Like 32
      • Robert Eddins

        Jim.s right, leave it alone.
        6 cylinders are

        Like 3
    • James S Oliver Sr

      I bought a 1976 All SILVER Paint Job with Same Interior & Original 302 V8, rebuilt/modified with CAM/Intake & 4xBarrel EDELBROCK with Dual Exhaust & rebuilt tranny. Steel wheels/Raised Letter tires.
      Paid only $4,000 one year ago in E/Central KY. Great driver….

      Like 1
      • PatrickM

        I’d love to get in on the bidding on this one. It’s a great looking car and that 6 should do pretty well on the by-ways (not the highways). Not much get-up-and-go, but the mpg should be good. I especially love the color combo. I can’t begin to think of getting another car as our HOA has resorted to all reserved parking and there are no spaces left. Dang, man!!

  3. Mark

    My dad worked at a Ford dealership and he had a Granada as a company car for a while.
    Having driven it, I was surprised at how tight and quiet it was, having the smoother ride of a larger car. You could do a lot worse in the 2 door looks department. The Magnum 500 style wheels completes the look. Not many left so dare to be different.

    Like 13
  4. Autoworker

    Had a buddy that had a 4 door Monarch factory 302, 3 speed floor shift, and bucket seats! Baby blue with dark blue vinyl interior. Fresh out of high school, He beat that car to death. Definitely a odd combination.

    Like 6
  5. Kev

    Wow, what a nice car – I’ll be interested to see what it bids up to – that could be a bargain daily driver

    Like 7
  6. Blyndgesser

    If the engine is original then it’s a 250. The 200 was discontinued from the Granada/Monarch after the 1977 model year.

    Like 7
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    Another car with “Rostyle” wheels! I wonder what was the first car (presumably in the ’60s) to use the Rostyle wheel? Rover? MGB?

    Like 2
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Rex, these wheels are referred to as Magnum 500 or M500 and not Ro-style. M500s were used on AMC, Ford and Chrysler and very similar wheels were used on GM intermediates. What you call Rostyle ended up on Triumphs, MGBs and Midgets and a similar style ended up on Opels and Capris. A Rostyle wheelcover appears on Triumph GT-6s. As far as who was the first…my guess would be any progeny of the British Leyland BMC acquisition sometime in the mid 60s.

      • Rex Kahrs Member

        Same diff….look at Wikipedia

  8. Troy s

    The way it looks now would make for an interesting ride, minus the ho hum six. Actually one of the better looking ones that I can remember. Imagine it with a 5.0 and manual, it would be pretty cool.

    Like 2
  9. Jim

    Love it….just as it is….6 and all!

    Like 13
  10. Lou Tripper

    The old Grenade! What a bomb.

    Like 1
  11. NSGray

    I had an almost exact duplicate of this car as a 1976 Granada 2-door. White & burgundy with the 1/2 vinyl top in red. Mine had the “flight bench” seat (w/fold down armrest.) I never found the straight-6 to be lacking. Drove from west L.A. to Orange County daily for 3 years without ever having a problem. It was leased, so after 36 months, it went back to the dealership and I never gave it another thought until seeing its “identical twin” this morning. Good memories.

    Like 1
  12. gerardfrederick

    Wasn´t the Ford 6 cylinder a gas guzzler?

    Like 1
    • NSGray

      I averaged 18-20 in mostly freeway driving. (About the same as my 4.3 liter Toyota does today.)

      Like 1
  13. Joe

    Looks like it has been repainted.

  14. Charles D. Schultz

    I had a 1977 Granada with the 250 inch six and a 4 speed. It was an awesome highway car for 9 months a year; in snow it was a different kind of thrill ride. Could achieve 27 mpg on the highway if you stayed below 70 mph. I think about getting another one. If this was closer I would be a bidder up to maybe $4500.

  15. bob allen

    Back in early 80’s after my grandmother passed, and my Mom gave me her Mercury Monarch same color combo. I was a young father, and to supplement my income, I used to deliver newsparers in this car. I put my daughter on top of the folded papers in the back seat, and my son helped throw the pappers.We’d come home with both covered in ink. Wife would get upset. Both are over 40 now.

    Like 1
    • NSGray

      I remember real, multi-section newspapers. Used to read all the auto advertisements. Miss ’em.

      Like 2
      • Robert Eddins

        Me too.

        Like 1
  16. K. R. V.

    Hello there! Ok I was on leave and with my awesome Dad in 1976, when we went to the local Ford dealer, that was owned by an old family friend called Tasca Ford in R.I., yea that Tasca Ford owned by Bob Tasca senior. We anyway we were there together to buy my sister a new Granada, or Monarch for her graduation present! That ended up being the lowest priced Granada on the lot at if I remember correctly was just under 4K! That was a silver four door with dark red interior that looked just like the above, that I do remember was very comfy. But SLOW! With a 200 six, and three on the tree! That I ended up swapping in a nice Hurst floor shifter with my Dads mechanic. I remember driving it home and couldn’t help but notice how utterly powerless it was! The idea was to surprise her and she was very surprised!! I remember going over the options and stuff and remember the sales manager telling us in order to get AC, you had to get the 250 or 302, with automatic, but Dad stuck to his cash budget of 4K! So they rolled out the stripper that had only one option package, that was called appearance and sound, that came with bright trim and wood trim, with a decent AM/FM radio with 4 speakers. She lived it! Owned it for about 5 years!

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      You converted it to a floor shifter as a new car KRV? Bold move, brother. I’ve always wondered with cars that had column shift manual transmissions — when you convert to the floor does the sleeve on the steering column still move where the lever USED to be? I’ve only owned one 3 on the tree and I desperately wanted to shift gears from the floor. Used to see the conversion kits on the shelf at K Mart and through JC Whitney.

      • Robert Lacey

        No, the sleeve doesn’t move, as the linkage is no longer connected to it. The scary idea is cutting a hole in the floor under warranty. Giving Ford an excuse to not make any warranty repairs. Good question though.

      • K. R. V.

        Remember Little Cars: that was back when there were no computers and crap! Regular ol carb, the only newness was the catalyst and air pump, with a snakes nest of hoses! See I was able to get a steering column from a wreaked Monarch, so no issues there. The only real problem was cutting the whole in the floor in the correct placement. But she loved it! She called it her cool sports sedan! I have to agree, that added a certain feeling a way to the car, took the old grandmother feeling right out! Especially after I talked her into nicer wheels, that she was able to get for free off a former boyfriend, off his 69 Mustang! The car looked great! Drove very well, but was almost as slow as a Mercedes Diesel Sedan!

        Like 1
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      I would think that would VOID the drivetrain warranty, if there was much of one from Ford.

      • K. R. V.

        With the decades long family relationship our families had, with buying cars an trucks, over many many years I don’t believe there would ever be an issue over a floor shifter, added to her car, especially with the stock 200 six.

  17. EMC66

    Wow – You just do not see Granada’s or Monarch’s any more! I had a 77 Granada I purchased from my Grandmother in 1984. The quality of all cars built in the 70’s was a train wreck! Anyway mine had a straight six 200 I believe, what a dog it was!

    With in six months I bought a 78 Granada parts car with a 302 for dirt cheap, we pulled the motor, rebuilt it and added a hotter cam, intake and 4 barrel carb. Dropped it in then, sold the parts car for what I paid for it. Putting duel exhaust on it was a nightmare! The underside of the Granada was not built for duels! The finished product ran great! However, about 8 months later a girl ran a red light and tee boned me totaling the Granada! Luckly I was ok but the Granada was totaled! Moved back to Mustang’s after that!

    • K. R. V.

      Moving back to a Mustang is only a subjective gain. But loss of room and comfort. Not to mention not seeing yourself on almost any corner.

  18. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Not sure why they did this, but Mercury sold stripped versions of the Monarch.

    In the mid-80’s my girlfriend had one she had bought in Texas while in college and brought to Massachusetts.

    By then, it was primer gray (maybe the paint had fallen off, can’t remember), 2 door, 3 speed manual on the floor, not a single option.

  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This was bid up to a mere $3,025 and did not meet Reserve.

  20. chrlsful

    yep has 2B the 4.1/250. The ‘falcon’ or ThriftPower’s largest B4 the 240/300/4.9 (“the gasser that’s a diesel”). The 3.3 was stroked to 250 so is actually more peppy than the Tq monster 4.1. And all of them stroked from the initial 1960 the 144 (produced to be a “Bug” beater as it was decimating the usa auto industry like the Japanese did 12, 15 yrs later…

    My fav motors (i or slanty, Jag’n Beemer) outside of the straight 8. Now there wuz a motor !

  21. K. R. V.

    I still believe that due to the rarity and the fact it’s coupe, it’s either worth saving as is, or. A nice radical suspension update, with coil-overs and braces underneath, with a good set of four wheel disk brakes. But most importantly a nice Coyote engine with mods! All while keeping the stock parts.

    • Robert Lacey

      The Lincoln Versaille (same basic car) came with 4 wheel discs, so the parts are out there.

      Like 1
      • K. R. V.

        That’s true, along with advertising about the “matched an balanced drivetrain” with everything assembled with quality control. Plus low friction suspension parts Plus a very nice leather interior! With lots of sound deadening materials, plus special body mounts. With 14” allow wheels with Michelin X radial tires. Also some early models were powered by 351’s that were rated with 135 hp instead of 133, plus 275 lbs ft, instead of 243, granted not much difference, but the power came on earlier, plus was sent to a 9” rear end, with disk brakes, not to mention better springs an shocks. Finally they were the first vehicle with clear coat paint! Outsold by the Cadillac Seville by like 4-1! In my personal opinion, swing as how a close family member owned one, with the 351, that ran great compared to other cars in the day, looked like a small Town Car from the front at any angle, but from the rear? Looked cheesy with the “Continental kit” on the truck lid!

  22. Robt

    A floor mounted 3 spd would be nice with this car. Pull the air pump and cat and then massage the engine a bit. A good breathing cylinder head, upgraded carb and a nice cam would go along way to making a nice runner. Learned how to drive a stick in my dad’s 3 spd 70 or 71 2 dr Fairlane with a straight 6. Learned how to keep that motor in it’s happy zone pretty quick. Lots of fun for a teenager on the back roads.

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