Back To The 80s: Ford Granada/Scorpio

Fri 20th Sep 2019

When we think of the classic eras of motoring we might cast our mind back to stylish cars of the 1950s, the muscle cars of the 1960s or the super cars of the 1970s. What might not spring to mind however is the motors which were produced in the 1980s - an era which certainly favoured practicality over power, style and sophistication.

But the cars of today owe much to 80s, it was a decade which brought us turbochargers, multi-valve engines and hot hatchbacks, an era of the people-carrier and the rise of the SUV. Digital displays and electronic gadgetry, were the norm as designers pushed the boundaries of of what was capable in a production vehicle.

So let's celebrate the 80s, a period of huge change across Britain as a whole, and one which had incredible landmarks in the motor industry.

Ford Granada/Scorpio
The Granada had been Ford’s flagship large executive saloon since 1972 and was still highly regarded when the American company chose to give it a new look with their third generation in 1985.

Though the jury was still out on the jellymould Sierra in the mid-1980s, this didn’t stop Ford’s designers taking the Sierra’s styling to the established Granada, replacing straight lines with aerodynamic and sleek shapes. Whereas Ford has completely replaced the Cortina lock, stock and barrel with the Sierra at the beginning of the 80s, the marketing team hedged their bets a little with the Granada, retaining the famous name in the UK and Ireland market, though it did get a new name, the Scorpio, on the continent.

The new-look Granada shared much with the Sierra, which was to be expected baring in mind it used a stretched version of Sierra’s floorplan. The Granada also swapped the four-door saloon for the five door hatchback which meant that there was loads of space in that rather excessive tailgate, so much that some tradesman even used the Mk3 Granada as a replacement for their van.

The Granada was big in every sense and with the ageing Pinto and Cologne engines struggling to carry the frame, it was often given the unfortunate nickname of ‘Grandad’. Ford did make-up for this towards the end of the 1980s when they installed Cosworth technology under the bonnet, creating a luxury saloon which offered a cut-price alternative to the beefier BMW and Mercedes of the era.

There’s no argument that the Mk3 Granada was a hit, and an innovator, being the first European car to have antilock brakes fitted as standard across its range. 

The all-new Granada was also a hit with the critics, claiming the European Car of the Year in 1986.

Manufacturer: Ford
Class: Executive Car
Assembly: Dagenham, UK
Did You Know?: Ford changed the name to Scorpio in 1994 and production continued to 1998, when it was finally pulled from production after on 95,587 units were sold.