The Ford Maverick was introduced in mid-1969, exactly five years to the day after the original Mustang appeared. Basically an economy sports coupe, it was built on the Falcon chassis and used the Falcon’s 170-cid straight-six engine. The Maverick was advertised at 22 mpg, weighed 2,411 pounds, and sold for $1,995. In the first partial year 127,833 were sold.
The Maverick returned unchanged for 1970 and a staggering 451,081 found homes. Buyers had the option of the 105-hp, 170-cid six or the larger 200-cid six-cylinder with 120 hp. Transmission choices were automatic or three-speed.
The Maverick gained a four-door sibling in 1971 and a sporty “Grabber” version with a 210-hp, 302-cid V-8. Also available was a 145-hp, 250-cid six-cylinder engine. Sales dipped to 271,697, with 38,963 opting for the Grabber package and 73,208 buying four-door sedans.
Once again, the 1972 Ford Maverick was unchanged and sales stayed steady. The 302-cid V-8 was offered on all three models instead of being unique to the Grabber. The 1973 model year saw the first stirrings of safety bumpers, and a slight horsepower slip, now down to 135 for the 302. For 1974 hefty bumpers were added at both ends while trim was upgraded.
The Maverick was supposed to be replaced by the Granada in 1975, but gas worries kept it in the lineup, and 162,572 were sold. Catalytic converters made their appearance, which dropped the 302’s output to 129 hp, which was still nearly double the six-cylinder’s output. Power disc brakes became optional.
The 1976 model year marked the appearance of the Maverick Stallion dress-up package, which is quite rare today. There was also a luxury decor sedan. Little changed in the Maverick’s last year, before it was replaced by the Fox body Ford Fairmont in 1978.
Ford Mavericks are often remembered nostalgically as the first car of an entire generation, and their survival is therefore assured. Running examples can be found for next to nothing, and some of the wilder 1970s appearance packages and off-the-wall colors make them stand out against modern cars.