Graphics Intact: 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber

grabber1

While never as muscular as its exterior graphics might suggest, the Ford Maverick Grabber was at least an attractive dress-up kit of an otherwise ordinary car. This 1971 model here on eBay has remained with one owner for much of its life, and the preserved condition reflects that. Of course, it will need a little spit and polish to be perfect, and it hasn’t run in two years – but those are minor details, right? 

grabber3

The seller claims that this car ran as of two years ago, which begs the question as to why he didn’t wander on down to the garage and twist the key once or twice. Why do sellers do this? It’s not that much different from saying that the A/C worked on the last hot day of the previous decade! If it doesn’t run, it doesn’t run – or, if it just needs a battery, stop being cheap and fire it up with some fresh juice. The seller also says there is no rust in the trunk floor or the floor pan but it makes me wonder if there are other areas that are suspect.

grabber4

Of course, the mention that it needs carb work could be the reason for the somewhat carefully worded description. This Grabber is equipped with the big Thriftpower 4.1L six-cylinder, so perhaps it’s worth putting this one on an engine stand and swapping in a meatier 302 V8. Given the car is so original, it’s worth holding onto the matching numbers unit but these cars aren’t so valuable that you should feel bad going after more power.

grabber2

The Grabber rounded out its muscle car looks with the integrated rear spoiler and dog-dish hubcaps. This car, despite the haziness around its mechanical health, remains a solid example that hasn’t been messed with. Although I am skeptical of the seller’s claim of having less than 20,000 original miles, the Grabber seems to have found favor with bidders considering it’s already over $5,500 and on its way to possibly meeting the $8K reserve. Is this a true survivor or just a largely original used car?

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Comments

  1. AMC STEVE

    HunkOjunk then HunkOjunk now

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Steve, with “AMC” in front of your name, I assume you like AMC cars. You know how many people have told me AMC cars were junk? Something, coming from Milwaukee, I’ll defend to the end, they’re not, but I knew many people with these cars, and they were very good cars. The engines lasted forever, despite their owners lack of attention. My ex-MIL and an ex SIL both had Mavericks, and they didn’t do ANY maintenance on them whatsoever, and they still ran ( although, my SIL’s kids did break the rear seat through the floor) Mavericks were good cars.

  2. Howard A Member

    Now Jeff, calm down. I’m sure the seller knows nothing about this car. And we’ve been over this and over this, clearly, these people don’t know what a car with 18,000 original miles looks like. Still, it goes to show what some car companies would do to sell cars. The Maverick ( and it’s cousin the Comet GT) was the low of the low, a big 6 passenger Pinto and the replacement for the Falcon. Not to say the Maverick was a bad car, but at $1995, it was aimed squarely at the budget minded. But for $194 dollars, even the cheapskate could look sharp. I have seen some cool V-8 Grabbers, but most of the half a million sold that year were like this. It was one of Ford’s more successful cars. Nobody thought of keeping one, so I bet it is rare. Cool find.

  3. Don

    These are pretty cool but quite economically minded collector cars. I remember them well and had a blue 302 Stallion 2 door cpe. and still own a 302 Maverick with an actual 19,000 miles owned by a little old lady from Las Vegas who sewed garments for Cher and other Show stars. She bought that car new and only drove it 3 miles a day to work. It’s a red and white ‘Spring Special’ that has won numerous awards and first place trophies because of it’s extreme originality. I bought it in 1987 when she returned to her birthplace to die with her family (cancer) and even tho the car has not hardly appreciated a dime since then, it is NOT always about the money. It IS all about the car and it’s place in history ~

  4. Dolphin Member

    Nicely preserved, and a good looking body design for the year, but……..

    OK, maybe it’s because my mother in law owned a Maverick and I worked on it occasionally, but to me these had some real design limitations. Brake pedal was inches higher than the gas pedal and unless you were accustomed to lifting up your leg high enough it could be a safety problem when you needed to hit the brakes quickly. Simple to change, but the Ford designers didn’t. Also, very slow steering, soft suspension, etc, etc.

    Agree with Howard A, it was built to a price. But it still wasn’t worth it to me if I was going to drive it much.

  5. Nessy

    Ah we had a white Comet GT with black stripes and a cool red bucket seat interior which is very much the same car except our Comet had the 302 4BRL V8 with a 4 speed. Boy, was that thing ever a tire roaster! It really moved along. The last time I checked not too long ago, it was still on the road.

  6. Luke Fitzgerald

    What I like is that Ford painted the engine bay body color in these cars from last part of the great era – not low mileage – well kept tho’

    • Maritime Maverick

      Its funny you mention this! This car is a mere 4000 units after my own 71 Kansas-built car came off the assembly line. My car, however, had a black engine compartment. St. Thomas-built cars seemed to get the body colour engine bays sooner, and in 1972 model year, Dearborn-built cars still had the black engine bays.

      These cars were thrown together and were never meant to stand the test of time. Some have, and it’s great to see them still around.

  7. Mr. TKD

    There may be some interest in Mavericks now that one is being showcased on “Street Outlaws: New Orleans.” It’s nice to see people going their own way and driving/modding what they like.

  8. nighttrainx03

    I bleed blue but I think the price is way high on this one being a strait six and it don’t run. There are some better choices out there in that price range for sure. Now if it ran and had the 302 in it with bucket seats maybe.

  9. piper62j

    Hey,, Wait a minute.. Didn’t the Grabbers all come with a V8 ??? Can’t remember..
    Great find..

    • Maritime Maverick

      The “Grabber” option was originally introduced in the last half of the 1970 model year. There were ZERO V8’s in 1970 Mavericks, period. The dual scoop hood, the V8, the Comet and the 4door ALL debuted in 1971.

      I own a 20,000 mile original 71 Grabber. It has a 200cid 6-cyl engine and not much else for options other than an AM Radio and a Vinyl Top.

    • Dan

      No. Some were 6 cyl. The Vin number tells the story. All grabbers had the number 93 as the third and fourth digits and if they were V8 it was followed by an f

  10. RON

    Surprised too Piper. But I am also an AMC lover as well big time and some of the 70’s dressed up hatchback coupes were6 as well and I prefer the 304 But were dependable and fun drivers with floor shift 4 speed and the 258. I bought a new 75 maverick coupe for my wife with the 250 6 and auto and facy. air. It was a super god car and we hated to trade it a few years later but gas kept rsing and it was replaced with a 4 cyl Mercury Z-7 with all the neat stuff like oon roof, it was a good car good on gas but now power house and a lot of leaninf forward to get up the hill. But for me, AMC or Maverick today it gas to be v/8 and bucket seats. It I a nice clean car however

  11. Chad

    The first car I bought when I was fifteen, I still have it in my Dad’s barn actually, 1973 Maverick with 36,000 miles in 1989. It’s a factory 302 with a C-4 automatic, Torker cam/intake, headers, Edelbrock carb, and of course Cragars and Skyjackers. I had a lot of fun and won a lot of races in that car. I look at Mavericks weekly and have seen much better examples for less than this car, its hard to believe the mileage claim. Even if it had the optional 302 and bucket seats it’s too rough for the price. They are difficult to find some parts for, especially solid fenders and doors.

  12. Leon

    The tires are Turbo Action !!! Lol

  13. Jay

    Haha, brings back memories…I bought a 74 Maverick Grabber from a neighbor for $200 back in 1981. Got it to run, sold it for $600 less than 2 weeks later and bought a ’68 Firebird convertible for $550.
    Wish I still had either one!

  14. grant

    I had a 75 with the 300 6. This was in 95-96. 4 door with bench seats. Bought it for a work car, and it drove through a foot of water and mud during a torrential rainstorm and flooding event. Those in the Portland Oregon area know what I’m talking about. That was a good, solid no frills car. The girl I later married thought it was too old so we sold it off. I still see it from time to time. I don’t miss the now ex wife. The car is another story.

  15. piper62j

    Not to pry… BUT,, I’ve seen so many comments here from our gear head group about x-wives and girlfriends.. I’m wondering why so many and what ever happened to that initial sweet romance in the beginning… ?? For me, the car won me over.. Just sayin. !!

  16. Roseland Pete

    I wouldn’t mind having one but $8k for a non-runner seems steep to me.

  17. Rob S

    Yea, this one is priced like it’s a perfect condition V8 car. My first car was a hand me down 72 comet with the 6. Car was awesome, just kept running. Never gave me a shred of problems. Traded it for a 73 mach 1. Wish I had both of them back.

  18. TBall

    Nice find, well preserved – although not buying the mileage claim. Always thought the Mav was a cheap intro into hot rodding in the day. A few touch-ups in the interior, fresh paint, a modern 5.0 with AOD, rack and pinion, suspension and brake update and for less than a new vehicle, you’d have a head-turner that screams.

  19. Nova Scotian

    I like the style. Ford could have done more for the car in offering up a supreme version for those looking for a bit more….it stood out among all the square bodied cars of the time. Again, like the body style.

  20. MountainMan

    Always liked these, I’ve had a Comet GT ( 73, V8 ) and a V8 Maverick and always keeping an eye out for another. I’m surprised this car has the bids that it does, usually disliked and what seems like a great value to me nice factory V8 cars in running condition sell for around the $8k reserve or less. They are light, quick with a v8 and the 2 door cars look great to my eye.

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