1985 Ford Granada 2.5DL Mk2
Ford Heritage: Diesel-engined Mk2 Granadas haven’t tended to be looked after, let alone saved in excellent condition but this 1985 example is a rare exception!
Photos Adrian Brannan
HERITAGE: 1985 Ford Granada 2.5DL Survivor Mk2 is a sight for sore eyes.
The Americans have a name for cars like this, they call them ‘survivor’ cars. Older vehicles that have somehow made it through the decades in largely original condition and without the need for major restoration or numerous replacement parts. However, this 1985 Granada is an excellent example of a survivor, and even better, it’s a model of a Granada that is almost extinct — a 2.5 DL. The Granada was bought by the current owner back in July 2016 and driven back home to Norfolk. It was bought as the prices of these were starting to rise rapidly and being a diesel was certainly of interest as these are affordable to use as a daily car. Although certainly no speed demon of the mark (0-60 mph in 18.6 seconds...), once rolling the Mk2 will happily cruise at motorway speeds all day long.
There wasn’t an extensive history with the car but a stack of old MoTs verified the mileage and it was believed to have been first supplied by Whites of Taunton in Somerset, which was a main Ford dealer in the area at the time. The car began its life in the west country and then it’s believed to have moved to Bristol, where it had a private numberplate fitted (A15 SAB) in the late 2000s, before moving onto Southampton and returning to its original registration mark.
The current owner has kept the car in excellent condition; being regularly serviced and having received a complete respray in recent years. This included the doors off, wings off, glass out and a total stripdown before it was then repainted in its original Cedar Green. The bodywork was already in excellent condition, but the paint had gone flat in some areas and the owner felt that some fresh paint would give it a new lease of life. The car has been Waxoyled from new which has really protected the underside with the sills and valances all being original and floorpans never been welded.
2.5-litre diesel Mk2s were rare as hen’s teeth when they were new, let alone now. They only ran from 1982–1985 — replacing the less capable 2.1-litre diesel in the-pre facelift model. Ford already had a Perkins diesel engine available in their Transits and from 1972 their own York Diesels. These engines were considered to be unrefined for use in passenger cars and Ford intended to develop a range for the Mk2 Granada. However, with such growing demand for diesel cars in Europe, they turned to Peugeot to supply their Indenor (a subsidiary of Peugeot) XD3 four-cylinder units. These were far superior to anything Ford could produce at that time and already having an excellent reputation in the Peugeot 504 and 505 models.
Initially, a diesel engine was introduced into the 1978 Granada in 1900cc form and it was almost instantly replaced with a 2.1-litre engine. For the 1982 model, the engine was upgraded to the much more capable 2.5 which continued into the early Mk3s. This engine in slightly different forms continued on in many vehicles including the Sierra.
With a typical output of 68 bhp at 4200 rpm and 108 lb.ft at 2000 rpm, these diesels made a large car such as the Granada a reliable choice typically driven by those who chose economy over performance. With the Mk2 averaging 35 mpg, many if not most of the very limited amount made found themselves in the hands of taxi companies. As there was little on the road at that time that could deliver on the high mileage and heavy usage and comfort necessary for the long life of a cab. Unfortunately this would explain why so few remain today.
“2.5 LITRE DIESEL VERSIONS OF THE MK2 WERE AS A RARE AS HEN’S TEETH WHEN THEY WERE NEW LET ALONE NOW”
Interior of the Mk2 is in fine fettle. Note obligatory 1980s Feu Orange air freshener...
This Mk2 remained in the west country for the majority of its life.
Ford sourced the now-legendary XD3 2.5-litre diesel from Peugeot.