Ford Maverick (Americas)

Ford Maverick (Americas)

Ford Maverick
1973 Ford Maverick Grabber
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Ford Falcon Maverick
Production 1970–1977 (North America)
1973–1979 (Brazil)
Assembly Claycomo, Missouri, U.S.
Milpitas, California, U.S.
Wayne, Michigan, U.S.[2]
Talbotville, Ontario, Canada
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
São Bernardo do Campo,
São Paulo, Brazil[3]
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 2-door sedan
4-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Related Ford Granada
Mercury Comet
Mercury Monarch
Engine 170 cu in (2.8 L)
Thriftpower Six I6
200 cu in (3.3 L)
Thriftpower Six I6
250 cu in (4.1 L)
Thriftpower Six I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) V8
Transmission Ford C4 transmission in automatic models
Wheelbase 103 in (2.616 m) (2-Door)
109.9 in (2.791 m) (4-Door)
Length 179.4 in (4.557 m) (2-Door) (1970-1972)
187 in (4.750 m) (2-Door) (1974-1977)
193.9 in (4.925 m) (4-Door)
Width 70.5 in (1.791 m)
Height 53.5 in (1.359 m) (2-Door)
53.4 in (1.356 m) (4-Door)
Curb weight 2,909 lb (1,320 kg) (2-Door)
3,011 lb (1,366 kg) (sedan)
Predecessor Ford Falcon (North American)
Successor Ford Fairmont

The Ford Maverick was a compact car manufactured from April 1969 to 1977 in the United States, Venezuela (first country outside the States to produce them), Canada, Mexico, and, from 1973 to 1979, in Brazil — employing a rear wheel drive platform dating to the original 1960 Falcon. Originally marketed as a two-door sedan at a price of $1,995,[4][5] the Maverick was designed to be inexpensive to manufacture and maintain.[6][7][8][9]

The name "maverick" was derived from the word for unbranded range animals, and the car's nameplate was stylized to resemble a longhorned cow head.


The Maverick was originally conceived and marketed as a subcompact "import fighter", intended to do battle with the Volkswagen Beetle and newer Japanese rivals for North America. The Falcon, Ford's compact offering since 1960, had seen its sales decimated by the introduction of the Mustang in 1964, and despite a redesign in 1966, was unable to meet the then forthcoming U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) motor vehicle standards that would come into effect on January 1, 1970. Consequently, the Falcon was discontinued midway through the 1970 model year,[10] and the Maverick repositioned as Ford's compact entry. A bigger Falcon was a rebranded low-trim version of the Fairlane for the second half of the model year,[9][11] then went away. Ford chose not to sell the European Escort in North America due to slow demand for the Cortina. However, the Escort name was introduced to North America in 1980, replacing the Pinto and stop-gap European Fiesta.

The Maverick's styling featured the long hood, fastback roof and short deck popularized by the Mustang,[4] on a 103-inch (2.616 m) wheelbase — and featured simple and inexpensive to manufacture pop-out rear side windows rather than roll-down windows.

Nearly 579,000 Mavericks were produced in its first year.[12] This rivaled the record-setting first year of Mustang sales (nearly 619,000),[13] and easily outpaced the Mustang's sales of fewer than 200,000 in 1970.[14]

Trim packages and variants

Initially available only as a "2-Door Sedan", early models lacked a glove compartment, which was added during the 1973 production run. A 4-Door Sedan on a 109.9-inch (2.791 m) wheelbase was introduced in 1971 with more rear room and roll-down rear door windows.[15] A station wagon version of the Maverick was created in Brazil in 1978 by a local dealer who customized the four-door sedan.

At introduction, exterior paint carried distinctive names including Anti-Establish Mint, Hulla Blue, Original Cinnamon, Freudian Gilt, Thanks Vermillion — along with more pedestrian names, including Black Jade, Champagne Gold, Gulfstream Aqua, Meadowlark Yellow, Brittany Blue, Lime Gold, Dresden Blue, Raven Black, Wimbledon White, and Candyapple Red.

In the first half of production for the 1970 model, there were two available engine options, a 170 CID I6 and a 200 CID I6. A 250 CID I6 was added mid-year.

Commercials compared the Maverick to the smaller Volkswagen Beetle for $1,995,[4][6] although the Pinto was later Ford's primary competitor in the subcompact class.

Early 1970 models built from the introduction in April until August 1969 had a few interior features that the later 1970 models built from September 1969 onward did not. The earliest Mavericks featured a two-spoke steering wheel with horn ring that was also found on other 1969 Fords, while the cars built in the 1970 model year had a revised steering wheel with no horn ring. Also, the early models featured the ignition switch in the instrument panel while the cars built after September 1, 1969 had the ignition switch mounted on a locking steering column as did all other 1970 Fords in compliance with a new federal safety mandate that took effect with the 1970 model year.

The four-door model was introduced in 1971. Also available was a vinyl roof. Mercury also revived the Mercury Comet as a mechanical clone of the Maverick. A 210 hp (160 kW) 302 CID V8 was also introduced for both the Comet and the Maverick. The Comet featured a new grille, taillights borrowed from the Mercury Montego, trim, and hood.

The muscle car-themed Maverick Grabber trim package was introduced in mid-1970. The package included special graphics and trim, including a spoiler. It was offered from 1970 to 1975. In 1971 and 1972, the Grabber came with a special "Dual Dome" hood. A similar package for the Mercury Comet, the Comet GT, was also offered from 1971 to 1975 and had "muscle car" trim akin to the Maverick Grabber, plus its own distinctive hood scoop.

A Sprint package offered in 1972 featured a special red, white, and blue paint with matching interior. With similar packages offered on the Pinto and the Mustang, the trim package patriotically acknowledged the 1972 Olympics and was available for only one year. U.S. versions were given a stylized U.S. flag made into a rear quarter panel decal. The badge was very much in the vein of Olympic symbols, but without being too close, to avoid copyright infringement. Sprints sold in Canada were also red, white, and blue, but had a quarter badge styled from the Canadian flag.

A "Luxury Decor Option" (LDO) trim level was introduced late in the 1972 model year including reclining bucket seats in a soft vinyl material, plush carpeting, woodgrained instrument panel trim, radial tires with body-color deluxe wheel covers, and a vinyl roof.[15] The Maverick LDO option (also offered on the Mercury Comet) was one of the first American compacts to be marketed as a lower-priced (and domestic) alternative to the more expensive European luxury/touring sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and other makes.

Minor changes were made from 1973 to 1975. In 1973, the 170 CID engine was dropped, making the 200 CID I6 the standard engine. Additionally, improved brakes and a previously optional chrome grille became standard. An AM/FM stereo, aluminum wheels and a new front bumper were added (the latter to comply with new federal regulations). In 1974, the Maverick was unchanged except for rear federal bumpers and larger trunk with a higher deck. Jumping gas prices and increasing demand for smaller cars resulting from the Arab Oil embargo did cause the Maverick to grow in popularity, selling 10,000 more units than the year before. Production of the Maverick and Comet dropped in 1975 with the release of the Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch as true Euro-style luxury compacts. The Maverick received minor trim changes for 1975 that included new grilles and the replacement of Maverick nameplates on the hood and trunklid with FORD nameplates spelled out in block letters.

In 1976 the Grabber was dropped, and a Stallion package was introduced. The Stallion option came with special paint and trim. Like the Sprint package four years earlier, Ford offered the Stallion option on several models, this time including the Pinto and the new Mustang II. The Comet GT was also discontinued. Standard Mavericks received another new grille and gained front disc brakes as standard equipment along with a new foot-operated parking brake that replaced the old under-dash T-handle unit. Production continued to drop.

1977 was the final year for both the Maverick and Comet. Both cars remained unchanged except for a police package on the Maverick which was not sufficiently upgraded for police work and sold less than 400 units. The Maverick was produced in Brazil until 1979. Maverick's place in the North American Ford lineup was essentially taken by the 1978 Fairmont.

The Maverick and Comet saw no significant changes towards the end of their lifespan since they were originally meant to be replaced in 1975 by the Granada and Monarch. However, Ford decided to keep selling both sets of cars until the 1978 model year introduction of the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr, which were built on an all-new "Fox" platform that would serve as the basic platform for many Ford/Mercury/Lincoln designs through the early 1990s.

Production Numbers from 1969 to 1977

1969 1/2 Models----------------------------------------
   EARLY 1970 Models with dash-mounted ignition switches are considered 1969 1/2 Mavericks.
   A total of 578,914 1970 Mavericks were produced
       127,833 1969.5's

1970 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 578,914 1970 Mavericks were produced
       451,081 1970's

1971 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 271,897 1971 Mavericks were produced.
       73,208 4-Doors
       159,726 2-Doors
       38,963 Grabbers
   A total of 83,000 1971 Comets were produced.
       28,116 4-Doors
       54,884 2-Doors
           13,677 Comet GTs

1972 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 254,964 1972 Mavericks were produced.
       73,686 4-Doors
       145,931 2-Doors
       35,347 Grabbers
   A total of 82,359 1972 Comets were produced.
       29,092 4-Doors
       53,267 2-Doors
           12,221 Comet GTs

1973 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 291,675 1973 Mavericks were produced.
       110,382 4-Doors
       148,943 2-Doors
       32,350 Grabbers
   A total of 84,691 1973 Comets were produced.
       28,984 4-Doors
       55,707 2-Doors
           8,405 Comet GTs

1974 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 301,048 Mavericks were produced in 1974.
       137,728 4-Doors
       139,818 2-Doors
       23,502 Grabbers
   A total of 125,695 Comets were prodced in 1974.
       60,944 4-Doors
       64,751 2-Doors

1975 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 162,572 1975 Mavericks were produced.
       90,695 4-Doors
       63,404 2-Doors
       8,473 Grabbers
   A total of 53,848 1975 Comets were produced.
       31,080 4-Doors
       22,768 2-Doors

1976 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 139,687 1976 Mavericks were produced.
       79,076 4-Doors
       60,611 2-Doors
   A total of 36,074 1976 Comets were produced.
       21,006 4-Doors
       15,068 2-Doors

1977 Models--------------------------------------------
   A total of 98,506 1977 Mavericks were produced.
       58,420 4-Doors
       40,086 2-Doors
   A total of 21,545 1977 Comets were produced.
       12,436 4-Doors
       9,109 2-Doors

Mavericks in miniature

The Maverick has been produced in toy form by Hot Wheels as the "Mighty Maverick" and the "71 Ford Maverick Grabber", the latter a circa-2010 new tooling, and also by Lindberg for their Mini Lindy model kit line. In 2006, WalMart carried a new die cast line of small Fords including the Maverick (produced in 1/24 scale by MotorMax). Jo-Han models produced a promotional plastic model for Ford dealers for the popular 1970-1972 model years, providing the only true scale models of stock versions, while Revell offered a "Multi-Maverick" drag racer which could be built with stock or altered wheelbase. Small inexpensive plastic toys modeled on the '70-72 Maverick were made until at least the early 1980s. With the exception of hand-cast resin conversion kits, all miniatures thus far have been of the two-door model.

See also


  1. ^ "1971 Ford Falcon Maverick (Mexico) p1". Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Facilities | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  3. ^ "Facilities | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ford Maverick". Toledo Blade. (advertisement). November 4, 1969. p. 9. 
  5. ^ Fifty Years of American Automobiles. p. 539. 
  6. ^ a b Anzia, Ronald (April 11, 1969). "Ford Maverick leaves tradition in its wake". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 16, part 4. 
  7. ^ William, Allan (April 20, 1969). "Ford's Maverick is off and running - like a Mustang". Pittsburgh Press. p. 2, sec. 3. 
  8. ^ Cramer, Jerry (April 15, 1969). "Graham Ford will introduce Maverick in its showroom corral". Schenectady Gazette. p. 22. 
  9. ^ a b "Ford models". Schenectady Gazette. (advertisement). February 23, 1970. p. 31. 
  10. ^ "Ford drops Falcon, keeps Maverick". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. September 4, 1969. p. 31. 
  11. ^ "Ford to bring out bigger Falcon". Milwaukee Sentinel. December 9, 1969. p. 6, part 2. 
  12. ^ Fifty Years of American Automobiles. p. 189. 
  13. ^ "Ford to Increase Mustang Production to Meet Consumer Demand". Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. 
  14. ^ "Advance Auto Parts Mustang history page". Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. 
  15. ^ a b "1973 Ford Maverick". Milwaukee Journal. (advertisement). September 21, 1972. 
  • The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (1989). Fifty Years of American Automobiles 1939-1989. Beekman House.  

External links

  • Ford Maverick History
  • "Maverick: Ford's Big New Small Car." Popular Science, April 1969, pp. 83–85.