A lot of people malign American cars from the ’70s, and for good reason. What most people might not realize however is that this was the decade when it hit the Big Three that the concept of both luxury and performance was being redefined by European and Japanese manufacturers.
Ships of industry are hard to turn and so small measures were put in place to make the America products more palatable to this new breed of car buyer, who expected tauter handling, less ostentation, and more compact dimensions. The result were a series of “Euro” models from both Ford and GM. These featured black trim in place of bright work, black sidewall tires and maybe even alloy wheels in front of their “heavy duty”suspensions. In case that was all too subtle, they even took the step to literally name them Euro models.
Here we see the Ford Granada ESS or Euro Sport Sedan being compared to a far more expensive but according to Ford almost indistinguishable Mercedes. Tell the truth, can you see the difference? What’s even goofier, Ford had a Granada on sale at the time that actually was a Euro model, and a car that likely could have been compared favorably to one of the smaller Mercedes models.
Since it’s Monday, lets look back on what’s now a very silly-seeming ad and wonder what might have happened if the reversed had occurred. Could you picture a European car with an ALS (American Luxury Sedan) package?