By the summer of 1974 my family's beloved '68 Ford Ranch Wagon was in real bad shape. She was rusting, the vinyl interior was ripped up real bad and to add insult to injury, the seemingly bullet proof 302 V-8 engine starting gulping oil.
The Long Island summer humidty was heavy and dense the evening my father announced over boiled hot dogs at the dinner table that he was going to test drive "the new Ford Grenade" that coming weekend. "If I like it we're getting it!" he bellowed. My younger brother was giddy with excitment over the possbility of having a car with air conditioning. My dad was excited about six cylinder fuel economy. I felt nauseas.
Even at 10 years of age I was a car nerd and I knew a "bad car" from a "good car". Torino? Good. Ok. Kind of. Especially tricked out like Starsky and Hutch's bad boy. Yes. That was a (Gran) Torino. The Granada? Oh, dear, father, please. No. I beg you. I warned him. "Dad, it's a Maverick underneath!" I pleaded, "and Mavericks...SUCK!"
My father took advice from no one and in partucular his puckish 10 year old car crazy son.
I don't like the Ford Granada in any shape, matter or form. Even in two door guise. That's saying a lot because I can usually find any two door car to be somewhat appealing. Not so the Granada. Ugh.
Anyhoo, off we went on a test drive in a dark blue six cylinder coupe one rainy mid summer Saturday long, long ago. One stab of the unresponsive gas pedal and my father looked over at my totally unbuckled in self and said, "You're right! This car DOES suck!"
A test drive of a V-8 powered model did little to impress my father on "The Grenade".
My father had the Ranch Wagon repainted, the engine rebuilt, and even had the front seats reupholstered. We kept it another five years.