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What’s the most special special edition?

‘Special edition’ can mean many, many things, and just how special they are tends to depend on whether we’re looking at a supercar or a shopping car. The Bugatti Veyron Vitesse SE, for example, was conceived to give the ultra rich a reason to buy another Veyron that’s somehow more special than the bog-standard version they already have tucked away in the hangar. A little more down to earth, the Mercedes CLS Final Edition is just that – kindly folk would call it a last hurrah, while cynical types would say it’s a last ditch attempt to drum up interest in an obsolescent model.

There are certain special editions that become all-time classics, though, and my favourite comes from just briefly before I was born. Celebrating – or cashing in – on the 1980 Olympics, I bring you the Ford Granada Chasseur.

The Chasseur is easy to like. For a start it’s based on the Mk2 Ford Granada – the European one, not the Maverick/Comet-based American faux-Mercedes (although FoMoCo of Europe did ape the German marque’s slatted rear light clusters) – which is generally agreed as one of the most cleanly styled, well balanced sedans to have ever graced the highway. The Estate was just as well proportioned.

The next plus is the engine, the creamy 2.8-litre Cologne V6. Running carburettors and not the Bosch Jetronic injection of the 2.8i, it only had 135bhp to its name, but they were effortless, smooth and willing. The Granada was always a very comfortable car to travel in, and the Chasseur was more lavish than most, boosting the GL trim it was based on to something approaching Ghia levels of swish – and more distinctive thanks to near-lumberjack ‘Chatham’ cloth seat inserts.

It also had Ghia-style TRX alloy wheels and a snazzy two-tone Roman Bronze and Tuscan Beige paint job, but so far, it’s just a pretty far-reaching trim and baubles kit like every other special edition of all time. What sets it apart, though, is that Ford actually bothered to make it something special. They equipped it with four custom-fitted holdalls in the luggage compartment, superbly crafted from, er, simulated leather.

It’s these that make the Chasseur such a sought-after machine today. Since Granadas of all types are pretty keen on returning to the ground from which they came, very few Chasseurs remain extant, let alone roadworthy. And of those, even fewer retain their precious holdalls. The lede image above is from Wikipedia – I’ve never seen one in the flesh myself.

So, sought-after for curiosity value if not actual merit. But I don’t think that matters. I dig it. What’s your favourite special edition?

(Lede image from Wikipedia, brochure image via eBay (not, shockingly, from The Carchive).