Clean Californian: 1974 Ford Maverick

The Maverick was designed by Ford to be an affordable car that would steal sales from its Japanese rivals. It was a car that turned out to be a sales success for the company, and more than 301,000 of these found their way to new homes in 1974 alone. This is one of those cars, and the past 46-years have treated it fairly kindly. Barn Finder Pat L spotted it for us, and I have to say thank you for that. The Maverick is located in Los Angeles, California, and is listed for sale here on craigslist. The asking price has been set at $15,000 OBO.

The White Maverick presents well, and a life in California means that this is a rust-free survivor. The paint shines beautifully, and the panels appear to be straight. This model year marked the first for the Maverick to wear the 5mph bumpers at both ends, and you certainly can’t miss them. I accept that these were required by law, but I’m probably not alone in feeling that they didn’t do the car’s styling any favors. Regardless, they are in good condition. The same is true of the remaining exterior trim, while there are no visible flaws with the glass. The styling of the Maverick 2-Door has always interested me because I thought that it was a natural for Ford if they had ever considered a hatchback version. I doubt that this would have ever been a serious consideration because when the Maverick was released, the Pinto was waiting in the wings to fulfill that role. Still, a Maverick hatchback with fold-down rear seats could potentially have been another sales winner for the company.

The Blue interior of the Maverick generally appears to be very tidy and has survived the UV rays remarkably well. The front seat upholstery is badly worn, especially on the base. It looks like it might have already been replaced once, but a repeat performance wouldn’t go astray. I searched the internet for replacement covers, but I didn’t have a lot of luck on that score. Having said that, it wasn’t a particularly thorough search. A bit more time and effort might produce better results than I achieved. The dash and remaining interior trim seem to be in good condition, as does the carpet. If you were hoping for a lot of optional extras in this car, then the chances are that you will be disappointed. Given that it has spent its life in a warmer climate, I was surprised to find that it doesn’t feature air conditioning. The owner has recently fitted a Bluetooth stereo, so that will help to keep the owner relaxed on hotter days.

The owner doesn’t supply any engine photos, but we know that the Maverick comes equipped with a 250ci six-cylinder engine, which is coupled to a 3-speed automatic transmission. This was the biggest six available in the Maverick and produced 91hp. That isn’t bags of power, and when you combine this fact with a vehicle weight of 2,921lbs, it is no surprise that the journey down the ¼ mile took 20 seconds. What this car could do was cruise at 70mph on the freeway all day long. The news here all seems to be positive. The Ford has had a recent service, and the transmission was flushed at the same time. Not only aren’t there any fluid leaks anywhere, but the car starts the moment you hit the key. Until recently, the owner was using the Maverick as a daily driver. He states that there are no issues with this car.

When Ford introduced the Maverick in 1970, they intended to phase the model out by the end of 1975. However, it proved to be resilient enough to soldier on until the end of 1977. During that time, Ford managed to sell more than 2.1 million cars, which cemented its place as a sales success. My biggest concern with this car isn’t its condition, because that is undoubtedly above average. The asking price is a worry. This sort of money is not unprecedented for a six-cylinder Maverick, but those cars are usually faultless. The seat upholstery does hurt the vehicle and makes me wonder whether the seller will get his asking price. Still, he has put “OBO” next to it, so that is a question that might be worth asking.

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  1. Moparman Member

    Very overpriced (IMO), a base model, with limited options. The blacked out grille and worn seat bottom doesn’t help. Although I am a fan of the “premium” look of white wall tires, those fake ones in the last picture are horrible! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 26
  2. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    I owned a ’74 Grabber, white with lime green graphics color scheme and lime green interior. That was not a good car ownership experience.

    Like 6
  3. Steve R

    Way overpriced, even if it were a small bumper car. The seller is out of touch and on a fishing expedition.

    Steve R

    Like 19
  4. Vance

    Thats a whole lotta white, and 15 large is a whole lotta money. The term spartan interior is giving this car a lot of credit. My 1980 Pinto had a nicer interior. A 302, 4spd, Grabber wouldn’t merit that kind of cash, you can get a lot more car for that much money. Mavericks attained a new kind of cheapness in the build of this car, propped hood, no glove box. etc… Nice grocery getter but thats where the excitement ends.

    Like 12
  5. Bear

    Nice looking example for a Maverick.
    Yes, the BIG bumpers are Hideous!
    Nice car, & probably very little to no rust (…given that it is a CA car.)
    No A/C is a negative if someone wants to use this as a daily driver. (…unless it stays in CA, because the low humidity levels in most of CA make no A/C a viable option.) (I grew up in CA, and several of my long history of cars had no A/C.)
    But (IMHO) the asking price is very “optimistic”.
    Half of that would be an easy sale, maybe even around $10K, but not $15K.
    Then again, gotta start the price negotiation somewhere…….

    Like 8
  6. Calipag

    Big Bumperssssssss NOOOOOO!

    I would say the owner is asking about $10K too much!

    I wish I was a smarter man, I’d start a website of ridiculous car ads!!! If there is one out there please let me know. Some of the stuff you see on CL and other sites are just……..well insane!

    Unless they get the money; then I’m the fool, I guess!

    Like 11
  7. Engident

    Anyone who would give 15k for any Maverick in any condition is a fool that deserves to be separated from his money. Poorly built, poorly handling death traps with the constitution of a beer can. Survivor car my butt, *I’M* the survivor.

    Like 2
  8. Comet

    Are those Port-A-Walls?

    Like 3
    • Little_Cars

      They appear to be Port A Walls given the curling occurring on the front tire. That tells me everything I need to know about the mental state of the seller. That, and the asking price. No 1974 car except maybe a full size Caddy or Buick could pull off that look. In 74 or thereabouts my father purchased the last set of 13 inch porta-walls from Pep Boys and put them on our 61 Corvair which was appropriate (but painfully frugal).

  9. Bill

    Should bring around $7500. Looks very nice in photos but on site inspection is the only way to go with this maverick

  10. stan rakowski

    Had a 74—rusted away just sitting still

  11. Bunky

    ‘74 Mavericks could be purchased with a 200/6, 250/6, or a 302 V8. As for the asking price; it seems high to me, especially for a big bumper model that’s not a Grabber. I’m guessing it is equipped with one of the two available 6s. Thing is the seller states “OBO”- so offer away. It’s easy to come down in price, doesn’t really work out well the other way. Nice car, all considered.

    Like 1
  12. martinsane

    This is a nice car.

    However Im flummoxed.

    This is a bone stock 46 year old survivor that needs nothing and everyone is screeching overpriced???

    If this was a pond find mopar, Camaro or Mustang you’d all be throwing 10s of thousands of dollars at it just to hemorrhage another 75k in hopes of getting it back on the road. And once you did you’d tell the tale of what the car used to be even though its not that now cuz all the good pieces were robbed 50 years ago and your 80k car is a shadow of its original self.

    Makes zero sense.

    Like 4
  13. Rob

    I used to work at a service station in 1979 and these cars were in often. Complete junk, and a good example that being old and “rare” doesn’t equal valuable.

  14. PatrickM

    No engine bay pics. No underside pics Too much money. No thanks. Basically, I like good Mavericks. This one is very nice, but, way too expensive.

  15. George P

    As Far as I am concerned the car is over priced and I think they will be lucky to get between 5 to 7 Grand and if it was me I would get rid of the boat anchor bumpers and put some early ones on it and the front seat will have to be redone and not knowing what kind of condition the engine is in it may need to be completely gone through

    • Barney

      Question, will the early bumpers bolt on to these big bumper cars?

  16. Jim

    Even mint, 15 grand is too much. But it appears the front seat is torn. Have to wonder what else is wrong with it, if it was being used as a daily driver!!!

  17. chrlsful

    1 of my (if not ‘the’) fav motors – the largest of the ‘falcon’ or ThriftPower i6 ‘small blocks’ (2 big blocks too, the 240/300 or 4.9). This 4.1 is now in my ’66 bronk w/a 5 speed. The DSII in it and upgraded carb make nice w/ the off rd (tq is 240 @ 1500, perfect for grippy no spin tires).

    If it hasa hatch, I’d like it…

  18. Alan Volk

    Wow! $15,000. I owned a ’73 Comet, White with an Orange interior, 302, auto. It was only $3,200 Cdn. off the lot.

  19. richard b rebell

    way to much.

  20. Ray

    My mom had an orange one with a white vinyl top and beige interior. Had the 250 six and automatic. Nothing ever went wrong with the drivetrain, but it rusted out quickly up here exposed to New England winters and tons of road salt.

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