• May 7th 2008 at 11:02AM
  • 85
There can be absolutely no doubt that Detroit automakers created some horrendous products over the years. The '70s was a particularly low point, as the Big 3 struggled to cope with new safety, emissions and fuel economy standards. This past weekend, U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama was pontificating as politicians are wont to do, and he declared to an Indianappolis radio station that the car in which he learned to drive, a Ford Granada, was the worst car ever to emerge from Motown. The 1975-82 Ford Granada was an absolutely awful car from its baroque styling to its awful build quality. As I entered college in the mid-'80s, I was looking for a used car and a friend's dad had a '79 Granada for sale. I took it for a test drive and after the high beam switch went through the rust hole in the floor, I determined that even $750 was way too much for this hunk. As bad as the Granada was, in an era of Pacers, Cordobas, Vegas and Ford's own Mustang II, can we truly call the Granada the worst of all? You tell us in the comments.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 70's were a mess, period. And Obama picked a Granada. Does that foretell something about our future? He can't even bowl...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The most craptastic autos (including trucks) I've ever driven - they were rentals (for various geology projects) since the first post 60's car I bought was a new '82 Scirocco.

      Late 70's Suburban: We had two, and later three, rented for this project. No kidding, we needed the extras because there was always one in the garage for transmission problems the entire summer. As soon as one was fixed, another went in - on rotation for four months., no exaggeration.

      Chevette - 1979 or '80: We had to rent one for a couple of weeks as a grocery getter. Absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Luckily the car was almost destroyed after two weeks, the final insult being a large rock, kicked up by a truck on a gravel road, that almost went through the windshield. Good riddance.

      Honourable mention goes to a '79 Ford pickup rental. Almost brand new, we were stranded on the Trans Canada highway when we ran out of gas. Mea culpa? Not quite since one of the tanks in the dual gas tank set-up hadn't been connected. We were running on both tanks knowing the second was almost full. Too bad some bozo hadn't bothered to connect the gas line. After opening the hood, we also found that one of the front shock absorbers hadn't been bolted and was wobbling away.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The worst vehicle I ever owned was a 1988 nissan van. Close runner-up was a 1991 toyota pickup. My vote for the worst cars ever are all japanese.
      The best? My current 1995 Chevrolet Pickup. I had both a Vega (1972) and a Monza (1975)- both competent, reliable, fun little cars. Loads of fun to mess with the timing and carb settings and watch the much larger cars try to keep up. I also have fond memories of a 1974 Nova with the 350 V-8 and the THM 400 transmission. Hot Rod magazine called that trans a "bang-screech" transmission because of the way you could light the tires when you held WOT while shifting to second.
      • 7 Years Ago
      All I remember about the Granada was every one I saw on the road was missing its gas-cap door cover.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And the award for ugliest car ever goes to...

      Scion xB2.

      Here we go...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes true, so what's your pick?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ignore that, the reply button is acting up again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      AMC Matador tied with Pacer,man those cars were a piece of work..Mercury Bobcat are up there too,the Oldsmobile Cutlass with the chopped off/slanted back..but any import were far worse,hell they looked like crap and did not move....

      But I do like.....
      The Chrysler Cordoba's,I had several and a few Dodge Magnums (78-79)especially black with black leather and the girls do love those cars..yes even today...Hell they are b-body mopars(charger roadrunner underpinnings)With Chryslers of that era you take the lean burn computer off and replace the carb with a non smog carb(silky smooth idle and the engine totally sounds meaner a great induction roar) and you have a good 14-low 15 second 1/4 mile car with the 2.45 rear gear ratio and the 360 .I had a 75 400 4bbl Cordoba,it was a low 14 sec car 1/4 mi car with 2.76 gears,add 3.55 and even better. I had one with the 150 mph speedo I got up to 140 ish before I had to slow down,yeah they stop from 60 mph in 127 feet ,and handle real good,probably one of the best handling cars of the 70's....and they look better than any Monte Carlo..

      Oh yeah Obama is a politician he is full of CRAP !! like them all..I do respect Mccain though for his service..
      • 7 Years Ago
      Funny thing is, I learned to drive on a 1979 Granada it was pale green from the Arizona sunshine. We called it the "green machine" and it survived quite a bit of abuse. My parents had a hard time getting rid of it since they bought it the year I was born!
      • 7 Years Ago
      First off can you folks cut the American Politics. This is a car site. I don't get how you folks always seem to be on the verge of civil war whenever you have to pick a new leader. There are enough sites on the internet where you can tear each other apart. I really don't want to read about it here.

      I would pick the first generation Cadillac Cimarron.


      The year was 1981 and GM was taking a shot at FWD with their new J bodies. Unfortunately it would take them years to get FWD right and their customers would pay the cost in constant repairs. Build quality was at an all time low and the early J bodies punished anyone brave enough to buy. So why not take some of those Cavaliers and dress them up as Cadillacs and sell them for double the price. A Caddy with an Inline 4 and a 4 speed manual or 3 speed auto. It was the biggest badge engineering crime ever committed on the car buying public.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agree on the Caddy, but my pick is the 4-6-8 version of the deVille's.

        My neighbor had one but rarely drove it as it saw more time going up and down on the lift @ the dealer than it did moving down the parkway.
        • 7 Years Ago
        How about the Lincoln Versailles?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Granada would look great today all pimped out. Talk about a novelty, even the junkyards don't have any left.
      Ben K.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Detroit might have been guilty of producing the worst cars during the seventies, but let's not forget Toyota, Nissan and Honda were putting out low quality cars also! Foreign brands didn't set any standard for mileage or quality at the time. Better gas mileage was achieved because Asian brands built smaller cars for their domestic market. The oil embargo of the 70's resulted in Japanes brands taking advantage of the opportunity. During the past decade Japanese rivals have expanded the size and power to accomodate American tastes. Thus, they are guilty of being out of step during the latest rise in oil prices and consumption. Foreign brands have copied domestic brands, offering fullsize trucks and SUV's. Other than Toyota's Prius, they no longer offer advantages over domestic brands. Politicians and the media seem to have forgotten the importance of a strong domestic industry. American coporations don't enjoy access to foreign markets, making it difficult to compete on a level playing field. I haven't seen very many Asian brand vehicles still on the road, that are older than ten years old. The Ford Granada was not the reason Detroit failed to be competive, government regulations like the NHTSA, EPA and CAFE. The lack of trade legislation plays a bigger role in the current situation. Lobbyists and NAFTA have made the odds almost unsurmountable for the domestics. Yet, the recent drop in the dollar value now gives American industry a much needed advantage, lower labor cost. Maybe if politicians were more aware of industry needs, investment in infastructure for alternative fuels, etc. CAFE punishes industry, no incentive to develope new technology. CAFE hasn't worked in the past, it takes too long to improve consumption. Japan and Europe don't have CAFE standards, they have paid much more for fuel in the past. The Smart4Two didn't sell well in Europe despite high gas prices. Unless everyone starts driveing a Tata, demand isn't going to go down enough to help anytime soon. Maybe if politicians quit flying across the country in campaign jets or armored Suburbans their example on fuel consumption might start to rub off.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hands down the worse car was the Chevy Vega. The aluminum sleeves in the engine and inadequate cooling system caused massive oil burning and plug fouling. The car was okay looking total junk. The Pinto Ganada, Volare, Pacer were all better than the Vega. Its a miracle for GM that the Vega isn`t #1 on everyones list.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think the tales of people that had good luck with car's in the 70's and 80's are rare, well American cars anyway. Japanese cars always seemed to run well but rusted away almost as fast as Fiats did. I dont think any brand was immune from bad quality. It was accepted back then and to some extent, by fan boys, still is accepted. I can relate stories about something with a lot of different cars. Vega's were pretty much junk by everyone i knew that had them. rust and engine warping. Pinto's always ended up blowing oil when they got older. AMC cars seemed to have rear end problems and electronic ignition problems . one family member had a 77 Buick Century with a V6, it ate timing chains about ever 10 thousand miles. I can remember it clacking into the driveway sounding like a diesel. Mid seventies Chrysler products, well they didnt almost go bankrupt for no reason. Volare was probably a prime example of lack of quality control. I thought they were very good looking cars but what a nightmare. I remember being in a show room with my grand father when a torsion bar broke on a really nice looking light green two door. It sounded like a canon going of as the car hit the floor. that should have been a warning not to buy one, but no, one was purchased and spent many days of its life in the service bay.
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