Ford Maverick (1970–1977)

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Ford Maverick
1972 Ford Maverick Sprint (616806978).jpg
1972 Maverick Sprint
Also calledFord Falcon Maverick
Production1969–1977 (North America)
1973–1979 (Brazil)
1970–1977 (Venezuela)
Body and chassis
Body style2-door sedan
4-door sedan
LayoutFR layout
RelatedFord Granada (North America)
Lincoln Versailles
Mercury Comet
Mercury Monarch
TransmissionFord C4 transmission in automatic models
Wheelbase103 in (2,616 mm) (2-door)
109.9 in (2,791 mm) (4-door)
Length179.4 in (4,557 mm) (2-door) (1970–1972)
187 in (4,750 mm) (2-door) (1974–1977)
193.9 in (4,925 mm) (4-door)
Width70.5 in (1,791 mm)
Height53.5 in (1,359 mm) (2-door)
53.4 in (1,356 mm) (4-door)
Curb weight2,909 lb (1,320 kg) (2-door)
3,011 lb (1,366 kg) (sedan)
PredecessorFord Falcon (North America)
SuccessorFord Fairmont

The Ford Maverick is a compact car manufactured and marketed by Ford for model years 1970–1977 in the United States, originally as a two-door sedan employing a rear-wheel drive platform original to the 1960 Falcon — and subsequently as a four-door sedan on the same platform.

The Maverick was also manufactured in Venezuela, Canada, Mexico, and from 1970 to 1979, in Brazil.

The name "maverick" was derived from the word for unbranded range animals, and the car's nameplate was stylized to resemble the head of Longhorn cattle.[4]


The Maverick was introduced on April 17, 1969, as a 1970 model at a very competitive price point of $1,995 ($13,921 in 2021 dollars [5]).[6][7] It was originally conceived and marketed as a subcompact "import fighter",[6] intended to compete against the newer Japanese rivals for North America, then primarily from Datsun and Toyota. The Falcon, Ford's compact offering since 1960 and main rival to the Chevrolet Nova and Dodge Dart, 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 motor-vehicle standards that would come into effect on January 1, 1970. Consequently, the Falcon was discontinued midway through the 1970 model year,[8] and the Maverick repositioned as Ford's compact entry, giving the Nova and Dart a new rival. A bigger Falcon was a rebranded low-trim version of the Fairlane for the second half of the model year,[9][10] then went away.

The Maverick's styling featured the long hood, fastback roof, and short deck popularized by the Mustang,[11] on a 103-inch (2,616 mm) wheelbase — and featured pop-out rear side windows.

Nearly 579,000 Mavericks were produced in its first year,[12] approaching 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] Total North American Maverick production (1969-1977) reached 2.1 million units.[15]

Jumping gas prices and increasing demand for smaller cars resulting from the 1973 oil crisis caused the Maverick to grow in popularity. Maverick production continued for 1975 with the release of its intended replacement the Granada as a more European-style luxury compact (the Granada and Maverick shared the same basic chassis).

Trim packages and variants[edit]

Ford Maverick emblem

Initially available only as a two-door sedan, early models lacked a glove compartment, which was added during the model year 1973 (early 1973 models still lacked a glove compartment). A four-door sedan on a 109.9-inch (2.791 m) wheelbase was introduced for 1971.[16]

At introduction, exterior paint colors were named with puns, including "Anti-Establish Mint", "Hulla Blue", "Original Cinnamon", "Freudian Gilt", and "Thanks Vermillion" — along with more typical 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, two engine options were available, a 105 hp (78 kW) 170 cu in (2,800 cc) straight-six and a 120 hp (89 kW) 200 cu in (3,300 cc) straight-six. A 250 cu in (4,100 cc) straight-six was added mid-year.

For the 1970 model only the 170 cu in (2,800 cc) straight-six had an option for a 3 speed semi-automatic gearbox.[17]

Commercials and advertising compared the Maverick, at $1,995, to the smaller Volkswagen Beetle, which was about $500 less in price.[11][18] The Pinto was later Ford's primary competitor to the Beetle in the subcompact class, while also competing in that segment with the Chevrolet Vega and AMC Gremlin subcompacts new to the market at that time.

The earliest Mavericks featured two-spoke steering wheels with partial horn rings, also found on other 1969 Fords, while late 1969 production was changed to revised steering wheels with no horn rings. Also, the early models located the ignition switch in the instrument panel, while the cars built after September 1, 1969, had the ignition switches mounted on locking steering columns, as did all other 1970 Fords in compliance with a new federal safety mandate that took effect with the 1970 model year.[19]

A four-door model was introduced for 1971, available with a vinyl roof. Mercury also revived the Comet as a rebadged variant of the Maverick. Also for 1971, an optional 210 hp (160 kW) 302 CID V8 was introduced for both the Comet and the Maverick. The Comet was distinguished from the Maverick by using a different grille, taillights, trim, and hood.

The Maverick Grabber trim package was introduced in mid-1970. In addition to larger tire fitment, the package included 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 "sprint" package offered for 1972 featured white and blue two-toned paint with red pinstripes and a special color-coordinated interior. The rear quarter panels included a stylized U.S.A. flag shield. This trim package acknowledged the 1972 Olympics and was available for only one year.[20][21][22]

A "luxury decor option" (LDO) trim level introduced late in the 1972 model year included reclining bucket seats in a soft vinyl material, plush carpeting, wood-grained instrument panel trim, radial tires with body-color deluxe wheel covers, and a vinyl roof.[16] The Maverick LDO option was one of the first American compacts to be marketed as a lower-priced (and domestic) alternative to the more expensive European luxury and touring sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and others.[citation needed]

1973 Ford Maverick interior

Minor changes were made from 1973 to 1975. For 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 slightly larger front bumper to comply with federal 5 MPH regulations were also standard. In 1974, the Maverick was unchanged except for new larger federally required 5 MPH bumpers for both front and rear, which required new rear quarter panel end caps.

The Maverick received minor trim changes for 1975 that included new grilles and the replacement of nameplates on the hood and trunk lid with Ford nameplates, in block letters.

In 1976, the Grabber was dropped, and a "Stallion" package was introduced. The Stallion option came with special paint and trim. Standard Mavericks received new grilles and gained front disc brakes as standard equipment along with new foot-operated parking brakes that replaced the old under-dash T-handle units. Sales continued to drop.[citation needed]

In its final year, the Maverick remained unchanged for 1977 except for a police package, which was not sufficiently upgraded for police work and sold less than 400 units. The Maverick was produced in Brazil until 1979. The Maverick's place in the North American Ford lineup was essentially taken by the 1978 Fairmont. The Maverick had no significant changes towards the end of its lifespan, since it was originally meant to be replaced in 1975 by the Granada. However, Ford decided to keep selling both lines until the 1978 model year introduction of the Fairmont.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1971 Ford Falcon Maverick (Mexico) p1". 8 January 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Facilities | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". Archived from the original on 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  3. ^ "Facilities | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". Archived from the original on 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  4. ^ "Ford Maverick". Brands of the World. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  5. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Woodward, Don C. (March 31, 1969). "Maverick unveiled". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B11.
  7. ^ Lewis, McCarville & Sorensen (1983). FORD 1903 TO 1984 By The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. Skokie, IL: Publications International Ltd. pp. 243, 256. ISBN 0-88176-151-6.
  8. ^ "Ford drops Falcon, keeps Maverick". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. September 4, 1969. p. 31.
  9. ^ "Ford models". Schenectady Gazette. (advertisement). February 23, 1970. p. 31.
  10. ^ "Ford to bring out bigger Falcon". Milwaukee Sentinel. December 9, 1969. p. 6, part 2.
  11. ^ a b "Ford Maverick". Toledo Blade. (advertisement). November 4, 1969. p. 9.
  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. ^ "Hemings Article, Maverick turns 50 | Maverick/Comet Forums".
  16. ^ a b "1973 Ford Maverick". Milwaukee Journal. (advertisement). September 21, 1972.
  17. ^ Niedermeyer, Paul (2019-06-15). "Ford's Torque-Drive Copy-Cat 1970 Maverick Semi-Automatic Transmission – Is There One Left In The World? – Update: Several, As It Turns Out". Curbside Classic. Retrieved 2022-07-08.
  18. ^ Lewis, McCarville & Sorensen (1983). Ford 1903 to 1984. Skokie, Illinois: The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide, Publications International, Ltd. pp. 256, 273. ISBN 0-88176-151-6.
  19. ^ ""1969½" Ford Maverick". Ford Maverick. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "Barnfinds: 1972 Ford Maverick Sprint". 19 October 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "1972 Ford Sprint USA Shield Decal". Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  22. ^ "The 1972 Sprints". Ford Maverick. Retrieved March 15, 2019.

External links[edit]