Rolling back the years – Ford Granada
"We're The Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner – you kept us waiting".
That's one of the most familiar lines from the most famous police drama series on British TV and without doubt, the most famous car in The Sweeney was the Ford Granada Consul GT. The car was almost completely standard with the exception of a sump guard to protect the bottom end of the engine block during stunts.
In metallic bronze, it was used by Regan and Carter in the first and second series, as well as part of the third.
Although most people are unaware of the fact, at first, lower models in the range were called the Ford Consul. This may have been because of a lawsuit by the Granada Group, a major British conglomerate of the time, whose application for an injunction failed at appeal and they could not prevent Ford registering the name Granada as a trademark, thus from 1975 on they were all called Granada.
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The Granada was the replacement for the Ford Zodiac and Zephyr and was introduced in 1972, being produced in Ghia, GT and S variants with a high standard of trim and options included.
The car was powered by the Essex 3.0 V6 engine that produced around 140 bhp, and was good for 115mph. A 2.0 and 2.3 litre version was also available.
The car was offered as an automatic as standard, with the option of a four-speed manual available.
The car was mainly bought by company execs, managers and was used extensively as a company car. Very reliable, with excellent performance and good build quality, the Granada was extremely popular.
It was available throughout Europe, Australia and South Africa and is now seen as a desirable classic car.
When launched, the car had a price tag of £1,416 (£29,350 in today's dosh) and could manage 0-60mph in 10.4secs with a top speed of 109mph.
If cars had jobs, the three-litre V6 Consul (Mk1 Granada) would be a nightclub bouncer – brutish at times, but usually dependable.
Regan never drove himself, but would always laconically laze in the front seat and occasionally, the back. Needless to say, in those days, he never wore a seatbelt and often chain-smoked.
"Get yer trahsers on, you're nicked"!