Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Two-Tone Mystery Maverick

Recently my buddy Robin of Omaha sent in these shots. He is the only person I know of who claims the Ford Grenada as the Greatest Car Ever Built. Since that's where his heart lies in the automotive world who better to introduce us to another '70s Ford?
This is a Ford Maverick from (I think) 1976 in Light Blue. I said "I think" on the vintage because this thing is littered with mixed signals and has obviously had a storied life. That front bumper with the 2 openings instead of one debuted in '76. However starting in 1975 the letters F O R D were spelled out across the front of the hood which it obviously isn't here. To confuse things further this has the older style *grill from '70-'72 that doesn't have turn signals built into it.
*Let's take a moment to appreciate the **Thundercats logo in the grill though!
**It's actually from a late '90s Mercury Cougar but who cares? Thunder-thunder-thunder-thunderCATS!
The Maverick was introduced in 1970 as an import fighter. The popularity of the VW Beetle continued unabated while Datsun, Toyota, and Honda were all making headway in the US subcompact market. The timing couldn't have been better with the Maverick becoming Fords best selling car ever in a single year, even beating out the launch of the mighty Mustang.
The side stripe that goes over the wheel wells mimics that of the sporty Grabber option package for the Maverick. If this were a real Grabber it would have either 1 or 2 hood scoops in addition to having the word Grabber on the side. 
These exact taillights were used on the Ford Pinto as well.
This massive rear bumper arrived with the federal safety mandates in 1974. Try as I might I can't find any reference to this stripe arrangement. It might have been available from either Ford or the dealership but I'm guessing it's an aftermarket addition.
In the 2 door body style I think these things look great. There were 3 different "Thriftpower" inline 6 cylinder and one 302 V8 available. I wouldn't suggest buying a stock Maverick for the performance but their big engine bay lends itself well to engine swaps.
Well that's where we'll leave this mystery machine with its odd hood/roof/trunk/rear valance striping.
The Maverick was preceded by the Falcon and replaced by the Fairmont; both no frills dependable cars. In many ways this is the extension of the Model T. This was a light, reliable, efficient piece of transportation that just about everyone could own. The original base price for the '70 Maverick was $1,995 which was VW Beetle territory. For that price you got a traditional front engine rear wheel drive car built in America.
I'll close with a couple special edition Mavericks that are still celebrated today.

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