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The Sweeney

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Jack vs. Gene

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The most famous car in The Sweeney was the Ford Granada Consul GT in metallic bronze used by Regan and Carter in the first, second and part of the third series. The car was almost completely standard with the exception of a sump guard to protect the bottom end of the engine block during stunts.
 
The Granada itself was the replacement for the Ford Zodiac and Zephyr and was introduced in 1972. The car was produced in Ghia, GT and S variants with a high standard of trim and options included. The car was powered by the Essex 3.0 V6 engine that produced around 140 bhp, and was good for 115mph. A 2.0 and 2.3 litre version was also available. The car was offered as an automatic as standard, with the option of a four speed manual available. The car was mainly bought by company execs, managers and was used extensively as a company car. Very reliable, with excellent performance and good build quality, the Granada was extremely popular. It was available throughout Europe, Australia and South Africa and is now seen as a desirable classic car.
 
The Mk II that followed in 1977 was based on the same chassis and engine configuration with a larger, more squared off body. Seen as a rival to the Rover 3500 SD1 and Vauxhall Senator, the Mk II was up against stern opposition, but the Rover's lack of build quality and the Senator's reliability made the Granada it's class leader.
 
The Granada was further updated in 1985 with a completely new shape based on the contemporary Ford Sierra. The 2.8 Injection engine was enlarged to 2.9 litres and the interior was even more spacious. Gone was the saloon look however, with a hatchback bodyshell adopted.  The Granada Mk III was rebadged as the Scorpio in the early 1990's, before being completely replaced by a new look Scorpio in 1997.
 
Always a top of the line executive car, early Granadas if well kept make for a very worthy collectors' item. The 'jelly mould' shape Mk. III on the other hand can be bought for a few hundred quid.
 
The Sweeney Granada is currently undergoing restoration work, and is the only major car used in the series known to survive today. The Granada Ghia used in S3 is believed to have been scrapped many years ago. That car had a bigger carbouretter fitted (listen to the engine note during the episodes!). The Mk. II featured in S4 and Sweeney 2 was a 2.8 Injection model. The car was exported out of the UK just after filming on the series ended in summer of 1978. 

The Sweeney relied heavily on Ford for their vehicles, and also for behind the scenes work, as the crew used various trucks and vans to move the filming equipment around.
 
Various stunt cars were used, for instance in Stoppo Driver and Big Spender a replacement Granada was used to prevent damage to the original NHK295M car.
 
The Sweeney set the trend for TV productions to rely on Ford, and everything from The Professionals to Shoestring used their vehicles.
 
It's unknown why the original NHK295M car was replaced during season 3, especially as the replacement Granada was only seen in a handful of episodes and the first film. Similarly, the Mk. II Granada was introduced in Sweeney 2 and used throughout the rest of the series, but that make of Granada had been available since mid 1977, just before the final season started filming around October of that year, so the reasons for using a Mk. I Granny in the early episodes is a mystery. 
 
Ford also supplied it's latest Cortina Mk.III to the production team. Euston were supplied a 2.0 XL model, NHK296M to The Sweeney's film unit, and was seen as the backup car to the Granada in many episodes. It was also used as a villain's car from time to time. Like the Granada Consul, the Cortina was used throughout the first and second series, before being replaced by another 2.0 Cortina halfway through the third series. For the final season a Mk. IV Cortina was used.   
 
In addition to the various Granadas and Cortinas, Regan was seen driving a bottle green Ford Capri 3.0 Ghia in Abduction, and in a later episode a 3.0 GT. The GT was later phased out to be replaced by the faster, leaner 3.0 S model.

Car
Driver
Series
Ford Granada Consul GT 3.0 V6, Metallic Bronze NHK295M
Regan
Season 1, 2 and 6 episodes of Season 3
Ford Cortina Mk. III 2.0 XL Dark Blue NHK296M
Carter
Season 1, 2 and 6 episodes of Season 3
Ford Granada Ghia 3.0 V6, Metallic Silver, NWC301P 
Regan
Season 3 and Sweeney! film
Ford Cortina Mk. III 2.0 GT, White, NWC300P
Carter
Season 3
Ford Granada Ghia X 3.0 V6, Bronze, RHJ997R
Regan & Carter
7 episodes of Season 4

Ford Granada Mk. II 2.8iS, Silver, VHK491S

Regan

Season 4 and Sweeney 2 film

Ford Cortina Mk. IV 2.0 GL, Silver, PNO548R

Carter

Season 4