Monday, March 06, 2006

Sink The Bismarck

My family once owned a 1979 Ford Granada. If you can remember that far back, this was the car with the advertisement about how people often mistake this car for a Mercedes Benz.

Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles were the only ones confusing this car with a Benz.


Ford also advertised that German, presumably Mercedes, Engineers compared this fine piece of American Engineering against a 450 SL.




I'm guessing these weren't the cream of the German Engineering crop.

My parents had needed a new car and went out to the Ford dealer and bought a stripped down 1979 version like ones that the Nuns used to buy. Austere. My family hated it and returned it for another Granada. This one was loaded.

This period of time was a trough in American Automotive Engineering, and brought us such vehicles as the AMC Pacer. This car represented it's era well.

Features:

  1. The drivers seat was sort of permanently stuck in this pseudo reclining position. It came from the factory this way. All you needed was a big bag of chips and a football game and you could have been in your den.
  2. The fastest power windows known to man. They were like a door on star trek. voooup! in 3.2 milliseconds that window was closed.
  3. Those "new" rectangular headlamps.
  4. A broken front center arm rest that was broken in some mysterious unnamed romantic adventure.
  5. The suspension of a 20 year old couch.
  6. And finally, a near deadly combination of a sloppy steering mechanism and a bad radio. Reach up out of the laz-e-boy recliner of a seat to better tune a station and you could find yourself in oncoming traffic. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

The power windows were fun. Since it was the 80's and everyone smoked with the window cracked a bit, it was a game of sorts to catch the cigarette in the window. My sister was usually the target of this game.Voooup. Crushed smoke.Eventually all us kids "owned" the Granada. We passed it from one sibling to another until we finally sold it.
Unbelievably, the Granada is still a well loved auto. These guys have dedicated a web page to the Granada.

Finally, my favorite Granada story is here. Apparently the Granada was almost named the Bismarck. I'll bet the Germans would have just loved that.











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