Is This 1971 Ford Maverick Grabber Worth Saving?

One of many overlooked vehicles from the 1970s is the Ford Maverick. Of course, the regular models weren’t much to sneeze at, but the Grabber, Sprint, and Stallion package cars stood apart from the rest back then, and still do today. We present to you today a Grabber that has seen better days, but you can check it out here on eBay in Edgemont, Arkansas and keep reading to see more about it! (Special thanks to our very own Russ Dixon for the tip!)

We can skip the history of Ford, and go right to 1969, when the Maverick was first unveiled to the public as a 1970 model. Ford allegedly intended them to be affordable small cars, competing with the massive influx of import compacts, and they ended up outselling Mustangs that first year (579,000 vs 200,000 ‘Stangs) Early cars had creative paint colors like “Anti-Establish Mint”, “Hulla Blue”, “Original Cinnamon”, “Freudian Gilt”, and “Thanks Vermillion” but more traditional color names followed later. Ford offered four engines, three of which were inline-six and one being a 302 V8, and in the end, approximately 2.1 million units were produced for the North American market.

The example we see here needs some of everything to get back in fighting shape – however the seller tells us that its 200-ci 6-cylinder does run. We’re told that it has the three-speed manual gearbox, but no word on driveability or true mileage. The pictures give us a general idea of what’s going on with the car, and the interior picture shows some “weight reduction” in the floorpan. It’s dirty and looks nasty, but thankfully the seller doesn’t try to hide that fact.

All that aside, we have to consider the question: Is it worth fixing? In my opinion: I don’t honestly know. I would have to see more of it to say one way or another, however it would be a daunting task. Is it better for parts? Again, I don’t really know. I’m having a hard time justifying the idea, but then I have no personal connection nor affinity for Mavericks. Some people don’t care what the “market” says as a dollar value, they fix up a car as a labor of love – and that’s okay in my book.

That’s my take on it, what do you think? Yes? No? Parts? Racecar? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Member

    Obviously needs lots of work, but it does have some things going for it: the small bumpers, Grabber model, bucket seats, manual transmission, eye-catching colors. In my eye, these look good either restored or resto-modded (with a V8).

    I spy an orange one parked next door? The seller mentions he has two Grabbers.

    Like 8
  2. Howard A Member

    Nah, again, these have to be nicer for any appeal today. Nobody is going to restore a ’71 Maverick, Grabber or not. Now if it was nice, I could see it. The Maverick was probably one of Fords least appreciated cars, but it actually was a good car. A Pinto on steroids, kind of. Mavericks generally were the low of the low, and you could dress them up fairly decent, but they have to be nicer than this to start with.

    Like 8
    • Dave B

      Lots of people restore Mavericks, no matter what year they are. They are actually pretty popular cars.

      Like 18
      • Steve R

        Exactly.

        Until recently their prices had remained low. They are rising as people have started to appreciate their looks and parts availability. I have several friends who have built them or are in the process of building one. They make a great alternative to 60’s era Mustang notchbacks, they are better looking and often significantly less expensive.

        Steve R

        Like 12
      • Major Thom

        I can believe that Mavericks are “significantly less expensive” than ’60s era Mustang notchbacks.
        But “better looking” ?eh not so much.

        Like 5
  3. Mitchell Ross

    It’s funny how things differ from place to place. In Mexico, where I spend part of my winters, Mavericks are very collectible and go for what would be Nova money in the US. They even had a Shelby Maverick. I don’t know why they are not more popular here. They have really great lines and are fun to drive

    Like 9
    • Robert Davis

      They are very popular here, the small bumper ones anyways that other guy don’t know what he is talking about LOL this one will need a lot of work tho…. and not being a V-8 is a down fall

      Like 8
  4. Engident

    No Maverick is worth restoring. These cars are poorly balanced, tail-happy death traps. Paper thin sheet metal with little reinforcement. My ’74 nearly killed me twice (car would swap ends with zero warning in light rain) and my father once. A friend of mine lost a leg when the Maverick in which he was a passenger crumpled like a beer can in a left turn collision and the door frame pinned him to the trans tunnel. Electrical problems galore, and it would vapor lock (250 six) in traffic on a 82 degree day if you didn’t hold your breath and pray. One day, I was driving down the road, and for no apparent reason the drivers seat back suddenly collapsed into the back. 26 years later I still have a prominent scar on my left hand from the sharp jagged bottom edge of the cheaply built dashboard. The gas guage may as well have been hooked to a random number generator. But look at the bright side, girls will always tell you how much they like your sweet Mustang.

    Like 4
    • Kirk Wolfe

      In Brazil, there is a “crazy” driver called Arthur Lima (and owner of his W.O.T. Preparações performance service in São Paulo) who grew fascinated wih the brazilian Maverick. He went to the extreme of building a “street-nascar” 1970-something Maverick with 302-V8 engine that has around 400-500 hp, and it’s a car that has a lot of fiberglass, roll cage, nitrous, orion wheels, mickey thompson tires and other frivolities. But even knwoing that his car is literally a death-trap, he constantly drives it like if he was competing with everyone around, sometimes his girlfriend Gabriella goes with him and they don’t think that a minimal accident can hurt seriously them. The front of his car and the doors are totally in fiberglass; there’s only a chassis protecting everything from the firewall to the rear bumper. Assuming that he acts like a scummy behind the wheel (while givin’ moral lessons for the cameras and his fans), I’m almost expecting a terrible accident at any time, whenever he puts his pumpkin-yellow monster in the lunar streets and highways of São Paulo.

      And you’re right. The Maverick, in comparison against brazilian-made Galaxies, Darts and Opalas, are more risky due to improper balance and arrangement of the components. The safest one is the sedan, with a larger wheelbase to suatin the transfer of weight and rolling, but given the fact that brazilians always liked the Mustang, but most didn’t had the money to import a lot of them, the Maverick was seen like a scapegoat for this dream of a small fastback from Ford. It was the wrong car (sedan) for the right market.

      • Kirk Wolfe

        Correction: the wrong car is the coupe, not the sedan.

  5. Steve

    This was a pretty cool econo-crap-box back in its day.

    Like 3
  6. Roger Rathburn

    Had a 72 Maveric Grabber. 302 cu.in. 4speed grabber green ( Loved that car ).

    Like 3
  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    Although I’ve never been a fan of the Ford Maverick Grabber, I’ve always been interested in the Maverick car line. I’d buy a Ford Maverick 4 door sedan if there are any driveable survivors left.

    Like 1
  8. Karl

    To answer the question, NO!

    Like 2
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Never really paid much attention to these cars, but after all these decades I now find a soft spot for them. I do remember a built Maverick that could do wheel stands back in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Oddly, I never even knew anyone that owned one. My sister-in-law did buy a Pinto new somewhere back in the 70’s.
    This one will probably end up being a quarter mile race car, stripped down with huge engine. It’s in to poor condition for anything else.
    God bless America
    P.s maybe an electric car conversion. Lol

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      Cars like this don’t get turned into race cars anymore. Turn key race cars can be found starting around $10,000, grudge night and T&T bombers sell for even less. It doesn’t make financial sense it build something like this from scratch.

      Steve R

  10. GREGORY SMITH

    Atlas Oil Tool Maverick ran the drag strips with a 429 as a funny car, I believe Pat Foster was the driver

  11. al

    great little cars bought first house in 1969 had to down size on car traded a 68 torino gt 390 4 speed for one of the first marvericks can tell the ones built in 69 as key is on dash they moved it to streeing col after for the true 70s was a 250ci 3 speed not a bad car

  12. Michael Agey

    Did I miss the asking price?

  13. Robert White

    Run from this car as it is junk, believe me.

    This car was meant for the crusher.

    Drove a four door 71 Maverick when I was 16. I hated it and decided I was a GM man for life because of it too.

    I was going through my parts cabinet yesterday and found a brand new Champion spark plug for the 200CID inline Ford 6 if anyone wants it.
    Champion RN12YC for fouling I kid you not.

    Howard is right to say the car ain’t diddly squat.

    Bob

    Like 2
  14. z28th1s

    This car was for sale at the All-Ford Nationals in Carlisle, PA a few weeks ago. It is pretty rough and didn’t sell during the event. I think they had gotten down to $1,800 on Saturday afternoon when we left to come home.

    Like 3
  15. James Lewis

    I think this would be a great car to restore. My 1st new car was a 1971 maverick grabber. Highback buckets, 302 w/225 HP. This car ran great. They are not many of them left around. Great car for under $3000.

  16. Gordon

    I had a 71, 302 automatic in the same color scheme, beauty little car!

  17. Lane

    I always liked the body style of a Maverick but why did they use the 3 speed manual? Couldn’t the same 4 speed that went in mustang work ? I think that would have made the Grabber package more desirable. I’ve seen bunches of Mavericks at eighth mile drag strips.

  18. Stevieg

    I had a girlfriend way back when that had a 1974 Maverick coupe. It was grabber blue with a dark blue interior & a white vinyl top. Besides the fact that it looked like a gramma car which had been attacked by smurfs, it was a decent car. The girlfriend? Nuttier than squirrel poop. Glad she is gone!

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