the exception of the slightly restyled full size Fords, the 1975 models were,
once again, basically the same as the year before. The big Fords were
attractively facelifted with the addition of a larger, Mercedes style grille and
new taillights. The most significant change occurred with the two door hardtop
model. The true pillarless hardtop was replaced by a coupe with fixed quarter
windows and large 'opera' windows. The 1975 Torinos were unchanged from the
previous year. In an effort to segregate the very popular Elite from the rest of
the line, the Gran Torino name was dropped and this car was now called the
Elite. Once again, the Maverick and Pinto were unchanged, except for some very
minor grille updating in each line. The big news for 1975 was the addition of
the new Granada Series. The Granada was a new intermediate size car, offered in
four door sedan and two door sedan. As Ford was very proud to point out, the
four door bore more than a passing resemblance to the Mercedes Benz. Granadas
could be fitted with options that created anything from a taxi to a mini
limosine. They came powered by engines ranging from the very sedate 250 cubic
inch six cylinder, up to the 351 Windsor V8. The latter motor produced not so
sedate performance and these Granadas were, in fact, among the fastest of the
1975 Fords. The Thunderbird was exactly the same car as produced in 1974, with
one small exception. The steering wheel had slightly different spokes (as did
the steering wheel on all new Fords, except the Pinto). Pollution standards were
stiffened once again and, in 1975, all cars were required to burn unleaded
gasoline. The majority of the new models came with catalytic converters on the
exhaust systems, to help reduce emissions and contaminates.
The Ford line
was introduced Sept. 27, 1974. Model year sales, by United States dealers,
included 282,130 Pintos; 142,964 Mavericks; 241,297 Granadas; 158,798 Torinos;
102,402 Elites; 297,655 LTDs and 37,216 Thunderbirds. The production of 1975
models, in U.S. factories, hit 1,302,205 cars. Calender year production of
Fords, in this country, peaked 1,302,644 units. Top executives influencing Ford
Division policy were Henry Ford II, Lee Iacocca and B.E. Bidwell. It was the
final season for the long-lasting Custom 500 nameplate.
Changes to the Pinto were also of the minor type this year. There
was little reason to go any further, since good fuel economy was helping sell
the car. The optional V6 was available only with Cruise O Matic attachments and
only in the station wagon, but wasn't very popular. Only 16 percent of all
buyers added optional six cylinder motors. Some other new accessories included
power steering, power front disc brakes and a fuel economy warning light.
Standard motivation came from a US built 2.3 liter L4 equipped with either four
speed manual or three speed automatic transmission.
cars install catalytic converters to cut emissions.
away, except at Cadillac.
Production of Imperials cease, being brought
back into Chrysler under the model name Brougham.
Kia begins exporting
their B-100 Brisa pickup model.