25k Mile Survivor: 1970 Ford Maverick

One of the few downsides for Ford of the incredible sales success of the Mustang in the 1960s was that it took the wind out of the sail of the car it was based upon, the Falcon. And competition from the small imports was growing, so Ford needed a new vehicle to do battle. Enter the Maverick, introduced five years to the day after the Mustang came out. It was a simple compact car that could be had for as little as $1,995. This 1970 Maverick is part of an estate sale and may have just 25,000 miles on its odometer. Located in Greeneville, Tennessee, the automobile is available here on craigslist for $12,000 OBO. Thanks, Darrun, for finding this Maverick for us!

Besides being Ford’s new player in the compact car space, the Maverick was also intended to do battle with the Japanese or Germans. But it was bigger and cost more than a Beetle, so it only filled that role for about a year. The Pinto would come along for 1971 and was better suited for that role. For a brief period, Ford sold both the Maverick and Falcon, which would become rebranded as a low-trim version of the Fairlane for the second half of the 1970 model year, and then disappear into the history books.

The Maverick would enjoy first-year production like that of the first-year Mustang, 579,000 units vs. 619,000. And would ironically surpass the sales of the ‘70 Mustang, which saw less than 200,000 made. Over the course of the Maverick’s eight-year run, Ford would build 2.1 million of the cars. Despite those numbers, you don’t see many 50-year-old Mavericks running around today. Perhaps because they were built as econoboxes with minimal performance options, they have never achieved the collectability of the Mustang.

Painted in what appears to be its original Grabber Green, this ’70 Maverick looks to have held off what Mother Nature and Father Time can do to a car. It’s a one-owner being sold from an estate, so it looks to be Mom or Dad’s car that was little used over the years, although we’re told it didn’t sit for any long periods of time. The only flaw in the paint comes from some battery acid on the right front fender from the days when those weren’t sealed from the factory. The seller says that rust has not been a problem for this car, which suggests it never saw winter use from its roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The black interior may be good with no reported tears in the seats or carpeting (not much in the way of photos there). Mom or Dad weren’t smokers, so there should be no funny odors when opening the doors. This car does not have a glove compartment, something Ford didn’t give the Maverick until 1973, so a package tray will have to suffice for holding stuff. This Maverick was treated to factory air conditioning, although no reference is made as to whether it still works properly. This car comes with a 200 cubic inch I-6 that was good for 120 hp. We’re told it car runs great and the transmission shifts properly, another indication this car didn’t languish. The tires have all been replaced as the originals were old and cracked.

The seller says they don’t know the value of the car, so $12,000 is what they’re shooting for. If they had checked online pricing guides, they’d see that Hagerty puts that amount as the top value for one in Concours condition. Excellent is about $9,000 and Good is under $6,000. So, they’re certainly not in the same ballpark as the Mustang yet share the long hood/short deck styling theme. For someone looking for an entry-level vintage car, perhaps this Ford could be acquired for under five figures since they say, “the estate has to be settled.”

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    The Maverick was a staple at my small town Ford dealer in 1970. Given it was the typical blue-collar midwestern town, they were a main seller (along with other bread-and-butter vehicles such as four-door Torinos and work trucks). This straight-six automatic low-option example was very common. Though I recall that very few had a/c– that would have been considered unnecessary, too expensive, even frivolous.

    It’s good to see one in good shape. Might this color be Anti-Establishmint, one of those quirkily-named colors available in 1970? Simple, easy to keep running, lots of people had them and will want to look at it when you are out and about.

    Like 12
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    I believe that color was called “Anti Establish Mint”.
    Back when car companies had fun color names.
    When the Maverick came out on April 17,1969,
    It was my friend Rob’s birthday.His father drove us down
    to Harper Ford to see it.
    I’ve always liked the design of the Maverick –
    tasteful,but not overdone.

    Like 24
    • MorganW MorganW Member

      I agree with you on the color…sure doesn’t look like Grabber Green to me. It’s a nice looking car. I remember when they came out, the ads highlighted the $1,995 price.

      Like 7
      • ADM

        …with the cowboy saying “Yup” about ten times.

      • John Member

        I looked for a Ford 1970 color chip chart and this is the best I came up with. I do think this Maverick was Grabber Green.

        A friend had a Grabber Green Boss 302–not the best, another had a Grabber Orange (like Parnelli Jones) and other a Grabber Blue (like my 1971 Pinto).

        Anyway, it appears to be Grabber Green. Anti Establish Mint was a, well, mintier color.

  3. KC John

    Okay, I commented on the red Ltd before I even saw this. So……ditto. Lol

  4. Clement

    A cheap, homely looking car that I always hated when I was a kid at the time. But it did its job and met the needs of the market place.
    As mentioned, very few survived as most people don’t make it a priority to maintain low cost rides. And they rusted to pieces quickly as most everything did back then.
    This looks very good for what it is. 👍

    Like 4
    • Motorcityman Member

      Put some Cragar SS wheels on it and it looks great!
      Wheels MAKE any car.
      Most people like the lines of the Maverick, myself included, don’t see what’s “homely” about it?
      A Citreon, now THATS homely!

      Like 11
  5. Robert

    I owned one, same year, same colour, different interior … paid $200 for it, drove it a year or so and gave it to my uncle. Nice little car, not much power and very susceptible to rust … but I was a teenager and thought it was the greatest.

    Like 4
  6. Charlie28711

    These are junk cars by any standard, then or now. This, the Pinto and the Fairmount gave rise to the slogan FORD: Found On Road Dead.

    Like 1
    • James

      What an easy, lazy, no-thought-required comment. And then add in a joke that every car person in the world has heard dozens of times, and state it as if you are actually being clever, creative or funny (none of which is true). Some advice for you: Before commenting, make sure you have something that actually contributes something to the conversation.

      The Maverick was built for the masses, not the enthusiast. It was basic transportation in most of its’ forms. My mother had a yellow 2 door while we were growing up much like this one we called “Ricky”. It was a reasonably solid, dependable, small family hauler. Not fast or glamourous, but it got the job done.

      Like 13
  7. Paul Scheponik

    Not sure what “Haggerty’s’ they used since the Haggerty’s NADA Classic car pricing guide shows “High Retail” as $4320 for this car.

    Like 4
  8. 370zpp

    I suppose it’s only appropriate that this car is located in “Greenville”.

    Like 6
  9. MitchRoss Member

    Maveicks are on the rise, buy now

    Like 7
  10. mark uzzel

    This Maverick sold for around $2695….it has the larger engine, 14 inch wheels, pop out rear windows and a/c. What a slick little car she is!!

    Like 5
    • PatrickM

      I just wish it had power steering. And yet, I realize if it did, there would be more of a power drain. I’d really like to own something like this. They were great for the reasons they were built. You can hot rod them if you wish. But, that is not what I am looking for. Thank you, folks, and God bless you all.

  11. bone

    With that kind of generalization , you should include the Falcon and Mustang, as the Maverick shared the same platforms , and all Fox body Mustangs as the Fairmont was also a Fox platform .I’m not a Ford fanatic , but the total amount of the cars sold and the popularity of many of these designs would lead me to believe they were far from junk.

    Like 7
  12. Terry

    The last Fairlane-based Falcon would be worth more than a Maverick, as they are very rare.

  13. Lance Platt

    Looks nice considering it is 51 years old. The equipment is typical for a compact car of that era: 6 cylinder engine, automatic transmission and air conditioning. It appears that most readers want a big block V8, 4 speed on the floor and racing stripes. In other words, a vehicle that they lusted after in high school but couldn’t afford then but want as an older collector. A Maverick would be easy to drive on cruises, be unique at car shows and be a time capsule before Toyota and Honda totally dominated new car sales.

    Like 5
  14. Karl

    I remember when these cars were all over the place they were cheap in every way and not pleasant to look at I never liked at all. With that said they filled a piece of the market that obviously needed filling based on the sales. They seem to be one of a few early cheap almost disposable vehicles.

    Like 1
  15. Jeff

    Nice little car. Would make a good driver for a teenager or a second car for a family. Just hope it stays away from the rust belt.

    • John Member

      Nope. The family wouldn’t care for this. And a good driver for a teenager? Seriously, this is a virtual museum piece.

      With all due respect, anything that makes it on this site isn’t about a daily driver. Get a Camry for that. This Maverick has a carburetor and ignition that will require plugs, points and condensor every 12,000 miles.

      It will be fun for a local volunteer fire company car show or cars and coffee event where it will get more attention than probably most Mustangs, from the old guys who will say “Mom had one of those” to the kids who will say, “What IS that?”

      Incidentally, because it has air conditioning, wow. Most Maverick buyers were too frugal for such an extravagance.

      Like 4
      • Jeff

        As they say everyone has an opinion. Would be a great car for a teen who enjoys older cars and wants to learn basic maintenance. Pity the teen who is given a Camry that would get them ingrained into the car as an appliance world. Wow they would grow up and lease a new Toyota every three years. How encouraging can we get? BTW Growing up in a southern Oklahoma town with a strong Ford dealer I don’t think I ever saw a Maverick without AC.

        Like 2
      • Ray

        Pertronix Ignitors are a great replacement for points and condensors. Work great in my 1970 Cougar

        Like 4
      • John Member

        Jeff, I couldn’t reply directly to you for some reason, but “would make a good driver for a teenager” doesn’t say anything about learning to work on a car. If that was the intent, the Maverick would be an excellent choice. In fact, one of the selling points of the car way back then was that it was easy to do routine maintenance.

        And as to a/c, I grew up in southern Illinois, hardly a summertime icebox (average June-August high of 90 degrees), not the hottest locale but definitely worthy of air conditioning. Most economy cars–domestic or foreign–still did not have a/c, Mavericks included. That’s at least my observation. Your mileage may vary.

  16. Fred Koegel

    Bought one for the Wife in 1970 ! My Maverick was Extreemly RARE as it had a Semi Automatic Transmission ! NO CLUTCH, but you had to Shift it from 1 to 2 to 3 Speed, Manually !

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