After driving a Chevy wagon for six years or so, just enough to pay it off and for the shitty American engineering begin breaking down, my dad bought a Ford Grenada. My guess is the year 1976, give or take a few. I don't remember what I felt about the wagon going away, but I do remember being excited by the new car. What's not to get excited about?
What my father bought was a green Grenada, which looked remarkably like the picture below. It even had the same icky white roof and uninspired interior. (There were designs that the 70's strove to forget, and this was among them.) At the time, they were pretty normal, so it all seemed spiffy. As the roof was this textured vinyl stuff, dirt got into it, so keeping the top clean actually took a fair amount of scrubbing. If it wasn't for these pictures, I would be hard pressed to sketch a picture of this car.
The image below is from the Gia variant, but the dashboard is pretty much the same. I don't know what kind of wood the dashboard was trying to imitate, and to this day, I remain befuddled.
There are many details that I've forgotten, like that arm rest in the middle and the cushiony looking doors.
I partly learned to drive on the car. It had power steering, so it was pretty easy to turn the wheel. (At least, I think that I learned to drive with this. Memory is funny that way. I may just remember sitting behind the wheel and pretending.) The thing had no power to talk about, it being a family car and all that. Ours was an automatic, of course, because mom did not drive stick.
I was in this car when we had its only accident. My mother was taking a carload of kids to school in a car pool when someone pulled out in from of her while she was going 25 mph. I was sitting in the middle of the front seat for the ride. I saw the hood crumple as I bent over. Before I could sit back up, my mother pulled me up in a complete panic, horrified that I might be hurt. If that had been true, she would have done more damage to me than the collisions. I'm happy to say that the car survived with just a bit of love and money.
This car ultimately met its end on the beltway while I was in high school. My dad was driving home when the engine decided to catch fire. He got out and watched it burn. After that, he bought a used Chevy.