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Grabber Package: 1971 Ford Maverick

If you want a Ford Maverick, most blue oval shoppers would tell you to look for a Grabber package model. Trouble is, it’s sometimes hard to determine whether you’re looking at the real-deal Grabber or a car with an aftermarket hood and a 302 swap. The seller contends this example is the genuine article and used to wear one of the best colors – Grabber Blue. It’s since been repainted black, and while it looks decent, this car will hopefully return to its factory hue with the next owner. The seller notes the owner prior to him owned it for 30 years, and that there’s no rust to speak of. Find it here on eBay with bidding to $9K and no reserve.

The Maverick is said to be a longtime California car, which helps explain the no-rust condition. The wheels are classic American Racing Torq Thrust rollers, and they look good – but I would still be tempted to source the original hubcaps that many Grabbers wear as factory-correct restorations, as it just adds to the sleeper persona of the car. Now, the Grabber walked sort of a middle ground between being a pure muscle car and just some cosmetic dress-up, as the Grabber hood, rear spoiler, dual sport mirrors and lots of black-out trim certainly help distinguish it from lesser models, but you want to look for a ’71 like this car, as that’s the year 302 power became available.

Prior to that, the Grabber package really was just a pretty face. Stripes and a black-out grill were all it came with, and you’d be forgiven if you had to look closely to determine if the specimen in front of you was an actual Grabber. Now, this one, despite its long-term ownership, hasn’t made it all these years without some tweaks. The missing door panel isn’t explained in the listing, but the seller does reference the addition of a B&M shifter for the C4 transmission. The seats are clearly from a later model, swapped in from a Dodge Neon – an interesting choice. The dash looks decent from afar, but it does have some cracks over the instrument binnacle. The headliner is described as being in perfect shape, and the carpets are recent.

“Edelbrock everything” is how the seller describes things under the hood, and he’s not far off. The air cleaner, valve cover, and more are all from the Edelbrock catalog, and while it’s not the purist’s choice, it’s also pretty standard and inoffensive for a car that isn’t a concours example. The listing also notes a newer water pump in addition to the dress-up parts seen here. Some defects are noted, including old tires, a missing radio, tired steering rack bushings, and a minor leak from the oil pan. Those are the sorts of things you can fix over a few weekends, and given the bids are closing in on $10K, the list of needs isn’t scaring anyone away. Would you bid on this 302-equipped Grabber?


  1. Steve R

    At least it appears to be rust free.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  2. Patrick Anderson

    As you can see in the photos, the engine is a very snug fit. The shock towers are similar in design but much wider than those in the Mustang, limiting the installation of headers. You are pretty much limited to either the stock exhaust manifolds or the Mustang factory style cast iron headers. Or some major suspension mods. That’s probably why you don’t really see these in hot rod form.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      That is simply untrue. There are many brands of aftermarket headers available at reasonable prices and have been for decades. A friend has had several Mavericks and Comets with headers, clearance is not an issue. His current project is a 71 Comet GT, off the shelf Hedman headers fit just fine right out of the box.

      Steve R

      Like 14
  3. Troy s

    A Maverick that Mad Max would have driven! I like it as it is now, paint, interior, definitely the wheels, and the hopped up 302.
    The idea of a Maverick Grabber walking a thin line between “pure muscle car ” and cosmetic dress up….there was nothing muscular about these in any way. That had me laughing.

    Like 5
    • DarkAlleyDan

      The very first place my brain took me when I saw it. I picture this in the MFP yellow interceptor scheme…

      Like 2
  4. Ricardo Ventura

    Dear friends here in Brazil, in the 1970s, Ford produced Mavericks, 4 (2.3L), 6 (3.0L) and V 8 – 302.
    Only the V8 honored the Ford name.
    See, below, the current prices here.


    Like 5
  5. Frank B.

    Wow! Edelbrock everything including the power steering pump! I didn’t know edelbrock made them too lol

    Like 2
  6. Jeff Member

    you want light, quick, and small, 340 Duster., or SC/360 Hornet
    The other Maverick with the 6 cylinder on this weeks Barnfinds, is nice compared to this black one. So the orange 6 cylinder is a much nicer example.

    Like 0
  7. MikeB

    Don’t know why these little cars don’t get more love. Nice design that has aged rather well, fairly light weight, 302 friendly, clean, uncluttered interior. What’s not to like ?

    Like 11
    • PatrickM

      Well, there are a list of things that are keeping me from entering the auction… #1 on the list is a safe place to keep it. (My neighborhood ain’t the safest place), #2, the dad burned thing is on the wrong coast!! #3, I like my creature comforts. I need a/c. Other than that, I’m all in on this one. Drool, slobber, slurp.

      Like 1
  8. Craig Thompson

    I used to have one that I purchased in 1975. It was lime green with black vinyl top. I modified it in 1976 with a 351 Boss, tight fit, Hooker headers and used a 1969 Mach One rear axel and front also. When done I had it repainted Candy Red, left the Black vinyl on. Then I added Keystone Classic rims all around. 15″ with air lift shocks on the rear. Wish I still had it, the got totaled in 1978 thru some un-forgettable accident. Yes I did survive it and still remember the Z28 Camaro didn’t have a chance against me. It was fast to say the least.

    Like 4
  9. martinsane

    Nice little rig. Was all the chrome blacked out/painted on the Grabbers? Im not a fan of painted bumpers.
    And those seats. Wtf. Id rather sit on a milk carton, silly amd they look like a couple turds on you Thanksgiving table.

    Like 0
    • bone

      The only Mavericks that had some painted trim were the later 1976 “Stallion” edition Mavericks , most of which was just a trim package to spruce up an aging body style. This car should have chrome trim and bumpers, and finding replacements, at least here on the East Coast , are nearly impossible. The only way to make this look right IMHO, would be to gut it and repaint in the original color , which would be very expensive. The taillights are also wrong, so if that panel has been cut to make those lights work , its going to need more work.

      Like 0
  10. Lowell Peterson

    Headers are available and easy to install. Just lay ’em in the engine compartment with wires on the forward bolt holes, lower engine , raise headers tighten bolts finish install. VOILA! Same as mustang 351. ENJOY!

    Like 1
  11. matt

    I agree with Mike B. These Mavericks had a look about them that is appealing, though I didn’t think they were cool when they came out…Silly me…
    But I had no money to buy one anyway.
    This looks like a fun machine. If it checks out – –
    Good luck to the new owner !! Those torque thrust wheels look great on this car !!
    Lots of fun after some tweaking and adjusting…
    Good luck to the new owner !!!!!!!

    Like 3
  12. Chris Knox

    I bought a new 72 Grabber for about $2700. It was 6 cylinder, automatic. Dark green with lime green accents. Wished that I had the extra about $700. To buy the Mustang. Looked good didn’t run well sold it 4 years to buy a Malibu

    Like 0
  13. MitchRoss Member

    These cars are so much more desirable in Mexico and Brazil. I don’t know why, but they do almost Mustang money while there values languish in the US

    Like 0
    • Ray

      Maybe the Mexican engines made more power due to not having to meet U.S. emissions regulations?

      The earlier non 5mph bumper cars look much better than the later Mavericks.

      Like 1
    • Ricardo Ventura

      In Mexico I don’t know anymore in Brazil we have few options for cars with V8 engines. (Ford 302 Maverick and Galaxie – Dodge Dart and Charger)
      Chevrolet only 4 and 6 (230 and 250) in line.

      Like 0
  14. Kevin

    Too bad it really wasn’t edelbrock everything, like the heads,and cam etc.and that yellow paint…yuck,but still like these cars,especially 73 or older with slim bumpers,we used to call small cars with v8s”zinger cars”lol.

    Like 1
  15. Frank H.

    Just because it has a V-8 doesn’t mean its a Grabber. Most came with a 6 cyl. If there is no 93 in the vin then its not a true Grabber. Plus the Grabber pacha nothing to do with performance.

    Like 1
  16. Desert Rat

    Ford’s version of a Nova (just nowhere near as good a car). I liked these back in the day, had a friend buy a 75 or 76 Grabber root beer brown with white Grabber call out stripes and factory slot mags, man when he pulled up in that thing for the first time it was shocking how good looking that little car was.

    Like 0

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