The Carchive: A 1987 Ford Accessories catalogue

It’s time for our weekly trip into the sewers in which the dirty dishwater of yesterdays memories ebb and flow. With so much history swept into our drains every day, it’s up to some of us to get busy with the sieves and see if we can strain out one or two tasty morsels. Welcome back to The Carchive.
In a change to the nature of our usual programming, today we’re not looking at a car. We’re looking at what Ford could offer those who already owned a product of the Blue Oval to make their car even more special to them. Welcome to the Ford Accessories catalogue, 1987.

The catalogue starts with the Audio section, with its enticing selection of suspiciously Blaupunkt-derived black boxes. The thing I find the most intriguing 0ut of the four pages of musical treats on offer, is that, while the ECU2 system is recognisable from the actual Ford car range – offered in the Sierra and Granada Ghia as well as the Scorpio – there are several other units that were only offered as accessories through your Ford dealer.
You could even choose the P21 MW/LW mono radio, if your car was that poverty-specced as to have no entertainment on board at all.
You could buy electrically operated telescopic antennas, a feature that my father’s Sierra Ghia had and which lasted about two thirds of the way through his ownership of the car, until one day it went TATATATATA and retracted one final time. My own Saab 9000 had an electric antenna mast, too, and it would usually retract to about a third of its full length.
If you were a high roller and owned a post ’85 Granada you could choose a rear seat entertainment system, with twin headphone outlets and individual volume controls. As a child weaned on the pleasures of Ghia trim, I thought this was unassailably cool.
There are people, good, upstanding people, who are more interested in safety than music. For them, page eight offers a pair of additional brake lights. I’ve seen two sets of these in my entire life, one – memorably – was in the back of a Pontiac Grand Prix. The other was in the back of a Fiesta driven by a behatted gentleman who was presumably rear ended once too often.
You could also buy a pair of additional rear seat reading lights (Granada only) and a key with a built in torch. This latter item was also standard equipment for several ’80s Fords, including the Sierra Ghia from the beginning in 1982. Ford was, like, living in the future.

Let’s get back to looking, and staying cool. A little sweaty during the twelve minutes of time the average British summer provides? Why not avail yourself on the ‘Pepperpot’ design as seen on the Fiesta XR2 and Ford Capri Injection, the ‘Other Pepperpot’ design as seen on the Sierra Ghia and Orion Ghia Injection, or the ‘Cloverleaf’ design as seen on the Escort XR3.
Or if you’re sticking with steelies, a set of chrome wheel rim embellishers lends that touch of class. As seen on virtually every MK4 Cortina GL sold.
Spoiler alert! After something a little racy for your Escort 1.6 L? How about a big black rubber spoiler? Spoilers of the rubbery black plastic type so popular in the ’80s had absolutely no function other than stating that you’ve spent some money in your local Ford accessories department.
Other peculiarly ’80s styling touches that were inexplicably popular were rear ‘applique’ panels which ran between the rear lights. Unlike in America, where even cars as utterly unspectacular as the Buick Century had full-width rear lighting panels, these applique panels weren’t illuminated, unless you were an enterprising sort and rigged up a few bulbs.

Excuse the blurriness: Let the glory shine through. Ford would sell you, in 1987, a complete set of plastic components with which you could transform your 1985 Ford Granada into a 1985 Ford Granada weighed down by several hundredweight of plastic.
It seems hard to believe that these deep chin extensions or side skirts were designed by the same people who styled the cars they would later find themselves bolted to, particularly in the case of the Granada Mk3. However the Ford RS seven-spoke alloy wheels are an enduring, classic design.
(All images are of original manufacturer publicity materials, photographed by me with a phone camera that used to be spot on but appears to have turned into a potato. Copyright remains property of Ford Motor Company)

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10 responses to “The Carchive: A 1987 Ford Accessories catalogue”

  1. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    CHMSLs that aren’t centre mounted and placed to blind the driver with a foggy rear screen who uses his brakes.
    Yes, I suppose I’d classify that under ‘Lighting and Vision’

  2. Jaap Avatar

    These spoilers and hubcaps are of a cynical poverty. Checking out the audio, they all has FM, MW and LW waverbands. Did somebody ever listened to LW or MW?

    1. theskitter Avatar

      On the other hand, the RS Accessories…
      That is some hotness.
      Yes, I am that old.

      1. theskig Avatar

        If it’s still available I will order that gorgeous graphic equalizer for the stereo 🙂

    2. theskig Avatar

      At least here in italy MW band were used a lot from truck drivers because they don’t need to change frequency every 30 km like FM radio. But in last years there were only one channel and now I think is not working anymore.
      I remember in 1992 I was on holyday in a Greek island with my parents and we can listen to the Italian news at dinner with my old ghetto blaster with AM radio (we were 250 km far from the nearest Italian cost).

    3. outback_ute Avatar

      Isn’t MW radio basically AM?
      That definitely has its place, I remember a few years ago listening to the football on the radio in my ute from a station which was 550 miles away as the crow flies.

  3. dukeisduke Avatar

    I have the 1987 Ford brochure that this would have accompanied. A friend went on vacation to England (he had dual US/UK citizenship, being born in the US to British subjects), and brought it back for me.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      I loved those ‘whole range’ brochures with 126 pages. We’ll never see the like of them again.

      1. Monkey10is Avatar

        Oh I am sure that if BMW limited themselves to just one page for each model in their range they might just squeeze it into 126 pages…

  4. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    This still doesn’t top my favorite item form the 1989 Land Rover accessory catalog, which was a cat guard to keep the furry creatures out of the radiator fan of your Ninety or One Ten.
    PS: if you are Interested I can try and dig that out of the the garage. I have the 1989 accessory catalog a 1989 Ninety/One Ten catalog and a 1990 Discovery. I also have a 1997 US Defender catalog and in the non Land Rover section some 1980s and 90s Ford and Austin-Rover full line stuff, some Transit and Sherpa stuff and some TVR from 1998.