Low-Mile Survivor: 1972 Ford Maverick Grabber

No one will ever mistake a 1972 Ford Maverick Grabber for a muscle car, but this is a model that successfully filled a gap in Ford’s product range. It sold in respectable numbers, but many of them have ended their days in the scrapyard. This one has not only avoided that fate, but it has remained in remarkable condition. With a genuine 30,000 miles showing on its odometer, it is a car that should have years of faithful and reliable service left in it. The Maverick is located in Canfield, Ohio, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The auction has been set to open at $9,000, but there have been no bids to this point. Seventy-four people are watching the listing, and this raises an intriguing prospect. This is a No Reserve auction. That means that if one of those people submits a bid, there is the potential that they could become the new owner with a single bid.

For the Maverick, the Grabber option was all about appearance. It brought no added performance to the table. In this case, the Maverick is finished in Dark Green with the distinctive decals in contrasting Light Green. It retains its original spoiler, along with the distinctive Grabber hood. The owner states that the car isn’t perfect, but it does still present well. The paint shines nicely, and there are no signs of any problems with the graphics. The panels are straight, and there no visible evidence of rust. The wheels retain their original hubcaps and trim rings, and these are free from any damage. There are no issues with the chrome, and the glass appears to be flawless.

The owner describes the Maverick’s interior as flawless, and he isn’t far off the mark. The seats are free from rips and tears, and there are no problems with any of the other upholstered surfaces. There is some stretching of the cover on the front seat, but it isn’t severe. At the end of the day, this car is now 48-years-old. Vinyl seat upholstery is sure to show some aging. In this case, that amounts to the stretching, which is no big deal. The dash looks perfect, and I can’t spot any issues with the carpet. The Grabber package didn’t bring any interior upgrades to the Maverick, so luxury items extend to little more than an AM radio.

The owner supplies no engine photos, but we do get some useful information. The vehicle is powered by a 250ci 6-cylinder engine, which is capable of producing 98hp. A 3-speed automatic transmission backs this. I said that this would never be mistaken for a muscle car, and a 19.4-second ¼-mile ET would undoubtedly confirm that. However, that’s not what they were designed for anyway. These were seen as basic family transport, and the American public embraced the Maverick with open arms. It was offered between 1969 and 1977. More than 2.1 million people chose to take one home, which could never be considered a sales flop. This particular car would seem to be a good one. The owner claims that it has a genuine 30,000 miles on the clock. It has belonged to the same family since new, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold evidence to confirm this claim. The owners have just completed a 250-mile journey in the vehicle and report no issues. They do suggest that the buyer should consider replacing the tires. It sounds like this might be an issue of age rather than wear.

The Ford Maverick was a sales success, and the figures prove this fact. However, they were also considered to be a disposable item. The majority of them have ended their days in the crusher, which is an unfortunate part of life. I will not try to convince you that this is as desirable as a Mustang or a Camaro. What I will say is that it is in exceptional condition for its age and vehicle type. I’m relatively sure that if you took this Maverick to a Cars & Coffee, it would attract just as much attention as any muscle car. You don’t see them in this sort of condition today. It makes the whole idea of submitting a bid sound that bit more tempting. Would you be willing to do it?


  1. Howard A Member

    What a great find. It also never ceases to amaze me, as Plebeian as the Maverick was, SOMEONE cherished one. I always liked the Maverick, a Pinto on steroids, kind of. Before Asian cars and econo-boxes took over, this, for a small family, was just the ticket. They were easy to drive,( my late ex- MIL had one, it replaced her Vega) economical, durable, and could be gussied up considerable with a rift of options. V8 Mavericks were a hot item at the strip. The “Nekker Knob” indicates an old timer, and you might need to do some ‘splainin’ to a cop, ( illegal in some states) but a super nice car, even for today.

    Like 9
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Was the Mustang II built on the same lightweight platform as this maverick?
    If not, why didn’t Ford base the ’74 mustang on this platform & save millions of dollars!?
    Besides the hood prop rod, i just noticed the Maverick took another step backwards over the frumpy Falcon by having an ancient dash hand brake, vs the falcon’s foot operated one. Wonder why.
    IMO green is fine inside if it’s dark green.
    Could you get any optional gages on a Maverick or ’70s comet?

    • That AMC guy

      No, actually this would be the same platform (Falcon) as the early Mustangs. The Pinto was considerably smaller and lighter.

      Like 4
    • DON

      The Maverick was a 1970 model , based on and meant to replace the Falcon, but to keep the economy entry level car idea going. The Mustang was still a massively popular car in 1970 so no need to change it , but as we know, it was soon to grow in size, got caught in the 73 gas crunch and sales slipped. Because of that, Ford based the Mustang II on the Pinto, which was their economy car ,and like them or not , they did sell like hot cakes .

      Like 7
    • Troy s

      I’ve often wondered that myself, Joe, why Ford based the Mustang II off the Pinto instead of the sportier Maverick.
      Then again, Ford looked to sell as absolutely many cars as they could possibly build, the hot pony car market was dwindling on a downward spiral, Camaro and Firebird sales weren’t exactly overwhelming at the time either. It was a huge sales success, the Mustang II, at least at first, and that’s all that mattered back then. I’ve seen some built Mavericks that could’ve easily been badged a Mach 1 or Boss 351, just garage built hot rods or full on race cars though.

      Like 2
      • Joe

        Have to remember car sales were not that strong back then, gas was going up, Oil from OPEC was cut off so they needed small cars that were good on fuel. R&D costs were high so it was the least costly way to go to use some of the Pinto parts. The Mustang II was not just a clone of the Pinto. https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/ford-mustang-ii/

  3. bone

    I always liked the look of the Maverick , though they were a cheaply built car. I dont think I’ve ever seen one in this color , let alone with the stripe package !

    Like 5
  4. Phlathead Phil

    A clean car. 74 people watching? The question is WHO’s gonna jump?

    I’ve said it before, IMHO the Maverick was a weird car. Mainly, it was just a dud looking car. Pintos were “Cute” little gas savers until somebody got fendered in the azz and the tank blew up.

    Oh well.

    Like 1
    • Joe

      Did you ever do any research on if the Pinto was any worse in death rates than other small cars and fires. Reports range from 27 to 180 deaths as a result of rear-impact-related fuel tank fires in the Pinto, but given the volume of more than 2.2 million vehicles sold, the death rate was not substantially different from that of vehicles by Ford’s competitors. If you really want to learn something here you go. http://www.perishablepundit.com/docs/The_Myth_of_the_Ford_Pinto_Case.pdf

      Like 1
      • Phlathead Phil

        I had a ‘74 Pinto. IMHO it DOES NOT matter how many were made what the ratios were. What killed it was the location of the gas tank and that’s HISTORY. Nothing more.

    • Charlotte Mike

      I am trying to jump right now! My first car in High School was a 72 Maverick Grabber I this exact color scheme. We called it “ The Turtle “ because it looked good sitting in the woods at Keg parties!

  5. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Good write-up Adam. What a nice car. I always thought that for a basic, cheap car, Mavericks had attractive styling and came across well. When I think of a Grabber model, I think of Grabber Blue with black trim. I don’t think I have ever seen one in this color scheme. The basic hub cap/trim ring combination gives it a certain vibe, but a set of Magnums would really wake it up. Adam’s comment about Cars & Coffee is spot-on, this would for sure be an attention-getter. The buyer will have fun with this car, and if something breaks, just head over to Autozone, they will have the part.

    Like 2
  6. Classic Steel

    A very nice car. The v8 versions really were easy to modify and beef up.

    My cousin had a red 302 with keystone wheels that did great burn outs off the line 👍

    I like the green Gabber Green or John Deer 🦌 green.

    I hope the owner leaves it alone and enjoys!

    Fyi if this post actually stays and not deleted i will be amazed. No worries if not as i still look and read comments but message usually on BAT 🦇


    Like 4
  7. Joe

    Nice car, but without a 302 V/8 and A/C it is nothing I would bid on. After saying that it will find a home to someone who doesn’t care about performance or lives in a cooler climate. Those older cars do get hot inside.

    Like 1
    • Whynot Member

      Roll the windows down if you can’t stand the heat.

      Like 3
  8. Motoman

    My grandpa had a yellow grabber with a 302 and my dad had to “disable it” because his mind was going and he would haul ass every where in it.. the cops weren’t happy with him and even came to the house to have a talk w my parents because grandpa wouldn’t listen to them lol. Then they sold it because it was too fast to be my 1st car. And then they bought my older sister a 72 nova 4 door w a 350 go figure.. and I got a Dodge D-50 lol

    Like 6
  9. PaulG

    Nice condition, no rear spoiler, all Mavericks had a duck tail trunk lid across the board…

    Like 3
  10. Jcs

    I love green. Not skeered to admit it.

    Cool car.

    Like 3
  11. Wade Anderson

    Just don’t want to have one of these and it be your only car and have a pregnant wife it think she was mad for mine months

    Like 1
  12. Steve

    The Pinto made great drag racing cars , the Maverick really just junk cheap car

    • bone

      So you can modify a Pinto to make it a drag car so its great , but the stock Maverick was junk ?

      Like 2
  13. Rick

    I would be all over it if it had a 302…

    Like 2
  14. Bruce curry

    Not many remember the maverick came out five years to the day after mustang intro. April 17, 1969…

    Like 1
  15. Wayne

    I’d drive it, even with a 6, you can find a million 6/8 cylinder Mustangs and Camaros but a preserved Maverick like that is a nice chunk of history. I love the different ones.

    Those 6 cylinders run pretty good, not a race car but plenty of torque, even Holley makes an EFI kit for it.

    Like 1
  16. george eckhardt

    had a 72,302 v8.wish i still had it.

    Like 2
  17. Bandit

    It has the factory rear spoiler on it for that grabber

  18. Mike ramsey

    I bought a new maverick grabber in 1971 white with black strips 302 three speed on the column and would burn those skinny tires as far as you wanted.

  19. Dave

    Always been an underdog fan, Maverick, Fairmont, Vega and so on, Nice green finish and still in a great shine condition, I’d be proud to own it

    Like 1
  20. Robert White

    I drove a four door 1971 Maverick until I could save up enough for a 60s Chevy, Pontiac, or anything that was NOT a found on road dead FORD.

    My dad was a miserly Chartered Accountant and bought the cheapest Ford he could get that would fit a family of six and two cats. He knew when I turned 16 that I would want to drive the family car until I bought my own so he made sure to buy the cheapest piece of brand new crap he could find new at the factory in Oakville Ontario CANADA.

    He went to the factory outlet because they were just slightly cheaper than at the car lots in Toronto.

    That four door inline six 200CID was great for going to the store or school, but an embarrassment if any chicks saw me in it, frankly.

    In 1978 when I was 18 it was no chick magnet and had no power enough to even chirp the tires on a hot day. If I could find a puddle of water on a corner I could floor the car and maybe get the tire spinning enough for a slight chirp out of the tire. And I mean tire because it was not pozitraction.

    Eventually the car was towed to the junk yard after the Ottawa Police told me to tell my father to buy a new car when they chased me down the street to find that I pulled over right in front of my dad’s house. Just as I was running for the front door to escape being caught by the police officer for having such a ratty car the cop said ‘wait, is that your car?’ and I replied ‘no it’s my dad’s car’ as I was opening the front door to the house as quickly as possible. With that the cop told me to ‘tell my father to buy a new car’. I said I would and walked into the house, and the cop drove off.

    I immediately went into the living room and informed my father that the Ottawa Police had just pulled me over in front of the house. And the cop told me to tell you ‘to buy a new car’.

    My dad laughed and said ‘did you tell the police officer that the car was just nicely broken in?’

    That was my cheap CA dad. Always was cheap too.

    P.S. Never drive a Maverick out of respect for real cars like General Motors makes.


    Like 1
    • DON

      Hey, in 1978 when I was 18 , I had to get my own car as my parents wouldn’t let me drive their cars – I ended up with a white 67 Falcon Futura four door , which had endured 11 years of New England weather, so it was pretty beat . Definitely not a chick magnet car , and I actually had to get running starts to get a some steep hills in my town !

      Like 2
      • Robert White

        Not the same thing as a 67 Falcon was actually a classic that was highly sought after as I recall. Not many Falcons around today though there are tones of 67 GM products that never experienced the Tin Worms that the Ford’s had.

        I respect the fact that you had it worse than I did having to buy your own car at 18. I had to wait until I was 22 before I had enough cash for my 66 Canso SD.


    • DON

      Classic now, but in 78 it was just a 4 door 6cyl cheapo car that nobody wanted – literally ! I helped a guy move furniture in his house and instead of paying me, he gave me the thing . At one time it was a high line car, but by the time I got it, it had a different fender on one side, faded white paint with Bondo in the quarters and rusty chrome bumpers. It had cloth seats ,but they were ripped to shreds. I fixed most of the rot in the floor and trunk areas with roofing tar and real estate signs . That being said, if I could find a nice condition 67 Falcon Sport Coupe today I’d snag it !

      Like 1

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