66 Mile Time Capsule Find! 1974 Ford Maverick

A few weeks back, I wrote an article about a Ford Maverick. A good friend of mine during our late teenage years had one and we had a lot of adventures with it. I seriously doubted I write another Maverick article until I found this one this morning, a 1974, Ford Maverick, four-door sedan, located in Portland, Oregon and for sale here on Bring-A-Trailer for a current bid of $10,750. What so special about this one? It has only 66 miles on its odometer!

I won’t replay the origins of the Maverick; I’d prefer to just delve into this one. It’s honestly ugly in my estimation, mostly by virtue of the five MPH, federally mandated bumpers; the color and the four-door sedan body style (I think it wore the two-door coupe design much better). It reminds me of a taxicab. I have practically killed this poor car before I have barely started but if you examine the accompanying images, you will be transported back to a Ford dealership showroom in 1974.

Typical for power is the 250 CI in-line six-cylinder engine, though it was an option over the standard 200 CI in-line six. Power is approximately 88 net HP which I imagine would make for less than thrilling acceleration but that’s pretty much how things rolled in those days. There is an embedded video of the engine running in the listing so you hear it start and run briefly. I remember working for a Chevrolet dealership in ’74 and repairing and driving 105 net HP Chevy Novas with a 250 CI six-cylinder engine, they were adequate but barely. This Maverick is probably more of a challenge in the motivation department. Backing up the six is a three-speed automatic transmission.

If I had to find a photo image that best represented ’74, here it is, this Maverick’s interior. Of course, it’s perfect, it’s essentially new and really not used other than for 66 miles. And speaking of 66 miles, how were they acquired? Maybe from brief demonstration use and then shuttling this car off to wherever it spent its 45-year slumber? Hard to say.

The underside looks as it did when new including the lack of undercoating which is appreciated if you live in the type of climate where salt is not an issue. I imagine this is how it looked as it passed by on the assembly line near the end of its construction.

So, where has this Maverick been for the last 45 years and why? You’d have to ask the current owner who is the second to posses this very original example. The seller, who I gather is an agent for the owner, says it is baffling! There is a brief entry describing the circumstances around the car’s original acquisition but it’s vague as to why the owner, who didn’t drive, just let it sit without moving it on. You can see this sort of behavior with a rare or exulted model of Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, Boss 429 Mustang, Hemi something, etc, but a Maverick? That’s as basic a commodity car as ever existed. The listing states that the fluids were swapped out about five years ago and the fuel tank was cleaned at that time so there shouldn’t be issues there with degradation. One cautionary item, if you read all of the accompanying comments on the listing, there is a statement that this car has no title – potentially problematic. Anyway, I guess the question is, what would you do with this Maverick? It’s another case of having your cake and eating it too. Do you keep it hermetically sealed for another 45 years or just go for it and drive it? When is the next time you’ll ever encounter a situation like this again?


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  1. Gaspumpchas

    No title?? Starting to smell bad. Check with your DMV first. In many states, no title=no laundry. Sure is a time capsule. zero to sixty measured with an hourglass. All the rubber parts will probably be shot, for sure valve seals. Good luck.

    Like 9
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I like Mavericks, but I’d have to agree this one is…. not particularly attractive. The color, the first year of front and rear big bumpers, the lack of trim and the base hub caps. Though maybe, that is its attraction ?? I do like the period-correct striped upholstery. Sure wish we had the whole story on why it went straight to storage. Must have been high-quality storage, the engine compartment normally will have tarnished finishes after 45 years but this one looks very good. Frankly I’m not sure what I would do with it.

    Like 10
    • Don

      Show me a less attractive Maverik….
      That thing is purely repulsive.

  3. tompepper

    I would be leary of the mileage claim.If you look at the odometer the digits are not straight across, and it is no where near turning over.Being a 70 year old mechanic I can tell you that is what happens when one is turned back. I got to agree it is a fantastic looking car but the odometer kinda throws me.

    Like 12
  4. PaulG

    That’s one shiny turd…

    Like 16
    • Mike

      4 doors, baby s*** yellow and big bumpers. Ugh….

      Like 10
  5. Mark M.

    Exactly, someone fiddled with odometer. I like the color, not the drivetrain. But who ever selling this is a scammer.numbers should align, not look up and down like this.

    Like 9
  6. Tom Curtin

    Agree that the odometer looks a little wonky for a car that is only supposed to have 66 miles on it. And if you take that away, how much is it really worth?

    Like 6
  7. Superdessucke

    This thing is absolutely fantastic. I love it!!

    Like 1
  8. art

    The odometer never got much time to roll but regardless, that is an extremely low mileage vehicle. One cannot fake that condition.
    The big issue is a lack of title. If as is suspected, this car was a demonstrator and that accounts for the low miles, the dealer had the MSO which was essentially the vehicles’ birth certificate. That document along with the sales documents are generally sent to the DMV in the state where it was purchased and was to be titled. If someone acquired the car with the MSO and failed to title it in their state and that MSO is now missing, I believe it falls to a Bill of Sale situation. I guess it will depend on the state where it will finally be registered. The buyer should request and receive full information about all of the owners as they will probably be needed in the end to resolve the questions that will be coming from the buyers’ DMV. BUT, I see Washington license plates on the car. What gives?
    Count on several headaches with this mustard Ford.

    Like 8
  9. Troy s

    Base line budget transportation car, the kind of car for drivers training maybe. Highly visible too.

    Like 1
  10. Vegaman Dan

    Demonstrator car, possibly a mechanic sample sent to a regional location for mechanics to learn on. It would never gain mileage or usage, and be kept as stick as possible for training. By the time the model is discontinued, it has no title, no real worth and is never sold at retail. Push it in back with a tarp in the corner, give it to someone, whatever. Can never be used for transportation.

    My high school had several new GM and Ford vehicles like that. Big signs or stickers on the windows, no title, cannot be used on roads, never insured, etc. Training use only.

    This one, however it happened, would be a good one for a Ford dealership to put in the show room. Saw a Toyota dealer do that with an 85 Celica that was stone stock. It got a lot of favorable attention sitting next to the 20 year newer model being sold.

    Like 5
    • JoeNYWF64

      I bet they took the window sticker off especially if it was a base car that today’s younger buyers would have no idea what that meant back then. & seeing the price here i bet they would be very very mad!!!

      Even worse would be if the above car was a 1971 base car …

      Looks like the ’74 mexican or brazilian maverick got a lighter ’73? bumper up front.

      • Little_Cars

        I like the close up of the lady in that Mexican Maverick print ad, she looks like she’s ready for some fun. But the fella driving the car looks like he would do you harm if you spoke to his lady! Car in the ad appears to be the same ugly shade of mustard, baby poop orange-brown.

    • Miguel

      Vegaman, the documents shown with the BAT ad, show that the owner died and a document was included to apply for a lost title, so it does look like it was owned by somebody.

      The car does have the old Washington plates on it, so I would bet a title was issued at one time.

  11. sluggo

    I live in Oregon and its not hard at all to get a title, All you negative Nancys without on the ground local experience pronouncing this as a terminal case are grossly wrong. A NOTARIZED Bill of sale and a DMV Vin inspection is $7.00. Title app transfer fee is currently $93 but is going up in January 2020. Same as a 2 year registration The fee for renewing a 2-year vehicle registration will go from $86 to $112, If you dont have plates, you can buy retro Pacific Wonderland Blue & Yellow plates or std current style.
    **IF you are a disabled veteran you can apply & With documentation can get one time-life time Veterans plates, no re-reg needed. If you are a collector you can also, ANYONE get Special purpose plates but you have to promise to only drive it to special events and displays, but no one checks.

    I had many friends with Mavericks of this vintage, Both 2 door V8 Hot rods and were very respectable Hotrods that competed with the Chevy Nova, But a few with the Straight 6, some with 3 on the tree, some with Auto slush box. I got one for free and traded it you a young couple from NY for some shop grunt labor and they LOVED it. “So retro” It even had a 8 track tape player. They thought it was the coolest thing on wheels and said nothing like that exists in Buffalo where they were from. Good cheap econoboxs. Now a time capsule. ( I am just outside Portland, Hipsters would MOB you for pix for their instagram. You could get your money back doing photo sessions)

    Like 7
    • Miguel

      sluggo, while you may be right about this, the car is from Washington, so the Oregon DMV rules would not apply.

      • sluggo

        Miguel, read the auction again, Its being sold in Portland Oregon. I also LIVE just outside Portland Oregon so answered in the context of what an Oregonian would deal with at the Oregon DMV, I believe the seller is a broker or reseller of some sort listing it, So personally I would bypass the entire WaDot issue. Oregon & Wash. both purge docs from the DMV after X amount of years of Disuse, In rate cases your case might be shelved as a DMV minion in Salem does a hand search of archives but only rarely, but seeing the WaDot would have dropped the paperwork it out of the system it wont pop in the Or, cross state vin check. I would probably just avoid the Washington Tangent as its not relavant since there is no title. And ANY notarized Bill of Sale is a legal Doc, So you simply have the seller provide you with a new BOS and your credit union, Bank, Atty or any notary can notarize a new one. Oregon provides Oregon Bills of sale forms on the DMV website. Easy,

  12. Dave

    If someone is filming a movie about the latter stages of Watergate you’re going to need a car like this one for background shots. If you watch “Hidden Figures” you’ll get aggravated because they didn’t have anyone who knew anything about cars on board and they used period-incorrect cars and used the same cars in several scenes.

    Like 5
  13. Bear

    WHO stashes away a 4-door Maverick?!?
    & WHY?!?
    Definitely a head-scratcher…………….
    The one positive worth noting is that AT LEAST it doesn’t have an 85MPH speedometer! :-P
    & that interior IS SO 70’s!! (Thank God that style didn’t persist beyond that decade!)
    Bidding is currently at $11.5K, which is WAY MORE than I’d be willing to pay for this.

    Like 4
  14. Howard A Member

    As self appointed mileage guru, I think ( leaning forward in anticipation),,it’s the real deal for a couple reasons. Like ray sez, I doubt it’s 66 miles, but they detailed the heck out of a very low mileage car. Maybe couple grand is more plausible. Why they chose to roll back the speedo to 66 is anyones guess. Maybe that’s where the reversible drill quit.There is some use, and Ford didn’t use a gas filter like that, but it does have a painted oil filter, that was usually like that from the factory. The Maverick was a good car, not great, it did what it was supposed to do, carry 6 adults economically with as little fanfare as possible. I too am shocked it’s 5 figures, it’s not like it’s a Maverick Grabber or anything,,,

    Like 4
  15. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    I’m not sure I believe the 66 mile claim but judging by the car’s condition, it sure doesn’t have a ton of miles on it. As the owner of a low mileage vintage four door, I’m happy to see the prices of four doors increasing. They’re still a bargain as compared to the two doors, but clean ones are bringing decent money but still affordable to the average Joe. This Maverick is in astonishing condition and while it’s a little homely, it would be a hit at your local Cars & Coffee.

    Like 2
  16. Charley

    I had a ‘74 Comet four door with the 250. Horrible car.

    Like 3
  17. AnalogMan

    I think some of the drugs I did back in college must be kicking in, I’m still trying to get my head around a 1974 4-door Maverick with 66 miles. Of all the cars in the world, why squirrel this one away? Was someone thinking it was an “investment” and would be a future ‘collectible’? If they were, then they did much better drugs than I did.

    But then, BaT also recently had a 1978 Ford Pinto with 1,779 miles:


    Like 4
  18. Little_Cars

    Throw a set of M500 wheels on it with new, wider profile tires. Retro the front and rear bumpers to earlier Maverick. Drive it (slowly) like you stole it. It will never look better than it does now. My college buddy had the Comet version of this sedan in the same color. There are a few plausible explanations for why there is no title. If it was in the same owners hands until recently, truly bonehead move not to stash that vital record somewhere where you can find it on sale day. Best of luck to the new owner.

    • Frank

      Those bumpers!!! Had a 73 Mercury with a similar front battering ram, but in 74 the rear got the same treatment. I agree with what someone above said…retrofit a set of pre-battering ram bumpers and it would look 100% better!

      Like 2
  19. Oberon

    If any of you guys had bothered to read the comment thread on BAT, you would have seen that the explanation for the mileage is repeated several times by the seller. It is certainly a highly unusual situation, but it is impossible to fake the condition of a specimen like this. It was stored in a dark, dry garage in Richland, WA, (a very dry place) after delivery from the dealer.

    Furthermore, even if it were possible to fake this condition, why choose this car? Wouldn’t one apply his skills in the fakery department to a vehicle that has some reasonable value?

    I have to chuckle at those trying to ascribe validity or invalidity to the mileage by the alignment of the digits in the sloppy, mechanical odometer. I think the overall condition and presentation of the vehicle is a far better indicator of the vehicle’s history than the perceived “problem” with a $2 odometer. Recall the dismal quality control and cheapness of almost every car of this era, especially on an inexpensive car like this.

    Beyond that, this is an incredible oddity but also one of the least desirable older cars one could conceive of.

  20. KSwheatfarmer

    This is also listed on Bring a Trailer,ton of comments there,seller has addressed all questions,lot of good reading.

    Like 3
  21. Joe Btfsplk

    Put some stripes on it and call it a “Boss 200”.

    Like 4
  22. Mark

    Although I hate the color & interior, I’d gladly buy this car. I had a 75 Maverick 4 door, dark blue with blue all vinyl interior & 250 inline 6 & I loved that car. It always ran no matter what (typical Ford :-) ) Terrible MPG of course but it was a tank, unstoppable.

    Like 2
  23. IkeyHeyman

    I believe the mileage is correct, the seller (repeatedly) explains why it only has 66 miles and the story seems legit to me. The question is, why would you want it? I think it ought to be put in a museum so people in 2074 can see what basic transportation looked like 100 years earlier.

    Like 4
  24. JagManBill

    I would think you could find an NOS set of upgrade period hubcaps that would be worth it to toss on this and put the dog dishes in the trunk. Cut down on the homely just a bit…

    • Miguel

      I like homely for one of these cars. That is what is so attractive for me about something like this.

  25. KevinLee

    A 120 mph speedometer in this is wishful thinking.

  26. Ikeyheyman

    Sold for $18,250

    • AnalogMan

      $18,250?! Plus a 5% buyers premium = $19,162.50?!?! Either –

      1) The Ford museum bought it (which is the only logical place this car belongs), or

      2) The home-made acid I did back in the 70’s really is still kicking in, or

      3) There are a lot of fools (= tech bros, hedgies, and VCs) on BaT with a LOT more money than common sense, and that they know what to do with.

      • Ralph

        Its around the price if a base new cheap Ford, maybe less, whats an Escape/Focus/Freestyle/Freeloader going for these days?

        But yeah near $20g’s is nuts for a Maverick…..

  27. Dave

    Took a test ride and never went back?
    … hahaha.. so what’s with the tags??

  28. Ken Cwrney

    Had a ’73 fordor almost like it. But mine
    must’ve been a program car as it was
    loaded to the gills with nearly every option you could get get that year–
    including leather seats. It ran a 200 HP
    302 that made it run like a raped ape.
    The only thing I did to it other maintaining
    it was to replace the factory radio (which
    was kaput) with a Kraco AM/FM stereo
    with casette. Had no real problems with
    it except the front end bushings which
    needed to be redone. Cost me about
    $400 in 1980s money to get it done.I
    had the technician install a set of Zerk
    fittings in the shock towers to make
    lubing the upper units much easier to
    do. After all that work, I let our local
    Ford dealer talk me into trading it for
    an ’86 Escort wagon. Big mistake!
    The damned thing spent more time in
    the shop than it did my driveway! As
    for this car, the seller tested P.T. Barnam’s
    theory about a sucker being born every
    minute. He may have won this time, but
    odds are he’ll lose on the next go round.
    In short, show me the paperwork and
    maybe, just maybe, I might believe him.
    Merry Christmas to all!

    Like 1
  29. Mitch Ross Member

    This would be a perfect candidate for my “Museum of the Ordinary Car” that I have a fantasy of building. If you don’t see the appeal of this car , you need to question weather you are a real “Car Guy”

    Like 2
    • AnalogMan

      I totally see the appeal of a car like this. I’ve owned many similar pedestrian machines. One of my favorite cars of the more than 100 I’ve owned was a 1965 Plymouth Valiant 4 door (V100) that I bought with 9,000 miles (from the proverbial little old lady original owner). I drove it for 10 years and put another 50,000 miles on it, and absolutely loved it. All the usual ‘muscle cars’, exotics, and impress-your-neighbors BMWs and Porsches are a dime a dozen at any Cars & Coffee, but you’ll never see another car like this. The only thing I’m perplexed about is the price – nearly $20k???

  30. chrlsful

    very easy to hop up (ford six dot com, The Ford…Performance Handbook). 1st step advance timing w/a lill turn of the dizzy. One local (see Autocrafter’s mag – Mike’s Mad Mav) took a stock 300, turboed (I think) gets 9 sec 1/4s…
    4.2L’s got a stout bottom end, an alu head’n intake has been fitted to them, here’s a dyno of 200/250 engines:
    $18250 seems about right to me, don’t 4get “a deal’ is what works for both parties – or no deal will B made. The net can stretch both ends of that…

  31. Miguel

    It looks like there is a legal document from the state of Washington to get the lost title issued, however, the “person” that listed the VIN on the document, put the F at the beginning and the end of the VIN.

    They will never find a record of the car with that VIN, and if they issue the new title with that VIN, you wil not be able to get the car registered in any other state.

    Can anybody see what year the registration tag on the Washington plate?

    • sluggo

      Miguel you are over thinking it, Oregon does a VIN inspection, thats why you never rely on paperwork as typos happen, So In Oregon as you might take note, the vehicle is being sold in, You have to trailer or get a temp reg to drive it to a DMV, Any out of state or lost titles will have to do the physical VIN inspection. I did not inspect the Notarized BOS on the BAT site, but it would be typical at point of sale, You have the seller generate a NEW Notarized bill of sale, Any number of places can do the Notary. My credit union does them for free. Heres a second reason. Oregon requires title changes in so many days (90 IIRC) otherwise there is a late fee. There is a waiver for compelling reasons. Copies of the auction or online sale helps in establishing issuance of title, But the weird Washington tangent only complicates things. Oregon might tell you to go title it first in Washington and they can do a TPO, Title Purposes Only and as an Oregon resident you can likely bypass WaDot taxes. But with a lost title I would removed all references to another state, to avoid the hassles

  32. Gaspumpchas

    I bought a car that belonged to a person that was killed in a fire. We had to get the death certificate. Got that and went to a small NYS DMV office, and they wanted more paperwork. Took same paperwork to a larger regional DMV and they registered it no questions asked. so I’m sure states have ways to get your paperwork. Thing is, you would want to get this cleared before you plunk down the coin. Good luck to the new owner. Amazing the car was in such shape; usually on a cheap@$$ car like this everything deteriorates regardless.

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