Minnesota Maverick: 1971 Ford Maverick

Every time I see an early Maverick, I wonder why they aren’t more popular than they are. This 1971 Ford Maverick can be found here on craigslist in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. The seller is asking $5,500.

The Maverick was and still is an interesting car. There isn’t much about the styling that can be faulted, at least on the early examples with smaller bumpers before 5-mph-bumper regulations crept in. Like a lot of cars, the value and desirability may be more about what’s under the hood than the actual design of the body. The Maverick was made for model years 1970 through 1977 in North America and it lingered for a couple of additional years in Brazil.

Compared to the Ford Falcon on which it’s based, the Maverick was downright sporty-looking. I don’t know if the Ford Falcon gets enough credit, does it? It’s like the K-Car for Ford, it seems like they based so many cars off of the Falcon that everyone forgot about the Falcon itself. The seller says that this one has new bumpers and they’re throwing in a lot of new parts such as a new gas tank, new shocks, and a new dash cover.

Speaking of dash cover, the interior photos are iffy at best, not really showing that much other than what appears to be reupholstered seats? I can’t imagine that fabric was available in 1971 but I could be wrong, one of you will know if they’re original. This one has an automatic and they have also put on new “rims and rubber”. They also have quite a list of additional parts that the buyer can purchase, such as a factory rear three-piece spoiler, new weather stripping, door handles and much more.

Here’s where some of you will scroll to the next vehicle. Not seeing a 302 V8 here is a bit disappointing, but it is what it is. This is Ford’s 200 cubic-inch inline-six which would have had around 115 hp. With the automatic, it won’t burn those new rear wheels off of those new rims/wheels, but it should be a good driver none the less. The seller put new motor mounts on it as well as a new carburetor and did a full tune-up. Are there any Ford Maverick fans out there?

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  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Funny how the Maverick doesn’t have the same following as it’s Chevy counterpart, the Nova, or for that matter even it’s Mopar counterparts in the Dart and Duster. It’s rare to see a Maverick at a car show these days, but Novas are fairly common. Even the Rusters are seen more often than the lowly Maverick. I wonder why?

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      Only a couple of Ford models have as strong of a following as its Chevy counterpart, the 67-68 Mustang fastbacks, early-Broncos, Boss Mustangs and Shelby’s.

      Steve R

      Like 6
      • SteveTheD

        Steve R, you mention the Ford models that have as strong of a following as its Chevy counterpart. So? How about providing more information about all the Chevy models with the stronger following. Without that your comment is pointless.

        Like 2
    • Gene Fehr

      Lowly Maverick? I own a Maverick Grabber and it gets plenty of attention at car shows. They are rare.

      Like 6
  2. Kafka Esquire

    “it won’t burn those new rear wheels off of those new rims/wheels”

    Success sometimes requires thinking outside the box. My 1970 had a 170 with an automatic. It was more bondo and primer than metal and paint. It took about 5 miles to get up to 65 mph, while shaking so violently that it felt like an out-of-balance washing machine.

    That said, to burn rubber all I needed was a scissors jack under the rear end to reduce the weight on the tires and shift it forward.

    Like 2
  3. Classic Steel

    I always liked the Mavericks.
    My cousin had a 1970 or 71 red with black interior and 302 with headers, cragars back in the day . It was a light car that looked and ran good. I considered getting one but grabbed a 69 camaro instead..

    My dad had the other nice Ford runner 72 Torino with the Cleveland than ran great.

    Like 5
  4. Chris in Pineville

    My early 1970 Maverick will always be on the short list of great cars I would love to own again. Built in 1969, it had the ignition switch on the dash not the column and 14″ wheels. Fun to drive.

    Like 5
  5. dave Member

    Funny, it’s almost like they were originally meant for the Aussie market. My older brother had a hand-me-down ’74 4-dr, six cyl., and it was awful.

  6. Retired Stig

    Chevy and Chrysler gave their compact econo cars a performance version when it still meant something. The Maverick is at best pleasant looking (sleeker than early Novas, actually), and when the Grabber appeared, it was always going to be a dog, given the emissions rules of the day. Not only that, but it appears they didn’t have bucket seats, console or manual gearbox readily available, so they never really screamed “hot rod”.
    Just my opinion, worth exactly what it cost to read. Nothing.

    Like 5
    • Joey

      Wrong, manual transmission was standard for the Maverick, and bucket seats were an option.

      Like 2
  7. Jerry

    Had a Red 75 with the 250 6……thing ran and ran and ran….I was about 18 and beat the crap out of that thing…….just kept running great!

    Like 2
  8. philtyhphil

    347 5 spd..easy install

    Like 4
  9. redwagon

    Good friend of mine had one of these as his first car. The inline 6 had decent torque and the short wheelbase allowed us to go on two-tracks throughout lower Michigan. We went places in that car that larger cars would get hung up on or downright stuck in mud. Smaller width allowed him to drive around mudholes rather than risk wheels getting sucked in. I can remember standing on the rear bumper for added traction a few times.

    To us it always looked like a bloated Vega hatchback despite the size similarity to the Nova. 302 v8s were in these were rare. I imagine they went like a scalded cat by comparison to the 6.

    Like 1
  10. John Taylor

    If that engine is tired fit a Barra engine, ( Ford Australia’s performance in line 6 ) not many V8’s can even hold the wind to one of those inline 6 engines :) and if you get the turbo model it will knock your sox off just standard.

    Like 1
    • John T.

      Hey John Taylor, Do you mean one of these suckers?


      Not even sure how you would get one of these in the States.
      Perhaps the BF Scribe Adam Clarke from Down Under would know more.

      • John Taylor

        Giday John, mate they are the 4 litre Engine, I had to laugh one day when I was in my truck and trailer and these first came out, there was a guy in his HSV Commodore (Holden Special Vehicles, same as the Pontiac you guys had there ) and a tradesman in a late model Falcon Ute, which came with these engines, and here they were, the ute with trestle’s on a rack and a concrete mixer in the tray just blew the HSV away and he was trying, so as you can imagine I was laughing out loud that morning. I had both a Holden and a Falcon at the time so no biased there but it was great entertainment.

    • jerry z

      I keep reading about the Barra engine but surprised not many have surfaced in the US. They do sound good when they are pissed off! I always wanted a Maverick but finding one with little or no rust is about impossible at least locally.

      Like 1
  11. jimmy the orphan

    I am not a ford guy but these are one of the best looking cars they ever made. A barra eng. is a very high tec motor. that can make upwards of 500hp. in some forms and there’s quite a few. I’d bet they would cost $$$$$$ but would be super in this car. Later…………………………..JIMMY

    Like 1
    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Ben Neal in Australia (Benny’s Custom Works) has a Barra in a JDM Toyota Cresta 1/4-mile car, and with a large turbo it conservatively makes 1,000hp at the rear wheels. They built the duplicate engine and dropped it into a Fox body Mustang and ran it at Drag Week in 2019, with both cars running down in the 8’s, if I recall correctly. The Barra is a really impressive piece of engine architecture and they will withstand a lot of abuse.

  12. JCA

    Looks similar to my first car, a 71 Maverick that I bought at 16. Bright canary yellow paint, nicely worked 289, dual exhaust, reverse manual valve body auto trans. Mustang bucket seats. The car was mint, quick and unique. I’d love to find another one…

    Like 2
  13. David Ulrey

    Would rather have a mildly warmed up 302 but this would still be an eye catching cruiser even with the small 6.

    Like 1
  14. Troy s

    Always liked the Falcon Sprint, they made neat hot rods, same with the Mercury Comets. The Maverick is sporty for a cheap import fighter, economy car but even the Grabber lacked anything close to the Duster 340, SS 350 or SS 396 Nova, with Darts sporting up to 383 or even 440 cubic inches, not many but they were out there. I’m talking stock off the lot cars that left a big impression. That really mattered, believe it or not.

  15. Lance

    I personally loved the styling of the Ford Maverick. I wish I had bought one new in the day. I had used GM 350 and 400 V-8s from that era but the Maverick would have been lighter and easier to park.The automatic transmission is definitely more convenient to drive in any vehicle. The 302 and bucket seats would have been desirable but the 200 L6 was an upgrade over the earliest model years base 170 cubic inch 6 cylinder. The exterior color is cheerful and the car is a nice size that wouldn’t look out of place today like standard sized cars from the 1970s. A very nice Minnesota Maverick!

  16. Steve Brown

    My very first car was a gold Maverick two door with a tan vinyl interior. It had the same 200 straight six and three speed automatic shown here. It was great car for a teenage driver. Good looks but under powered enough to stay out of trouble, lol. It met it’s demise when I ran into a parked car down the street from my girlfriend (now wife’s) house. I ended up selling it off for parts and getting an Oldsmobile Omega coupe with a 350 that I later transplanted a 455 into. Fun times!

  17. bone

    They were very popular when new ; I think they sold around 500,000 in 1970 alone and those were only two door models ! The problem with the Maverick longevity (and I liked them) was they were cheaply built disposable cars that weren’t meant to last. The first few years didn’t even have a glove box ! I remember thinking how cheap they were to have a prop rod for a hood holder instead of springs like nearly every other American car at that time. Here in New England they rusted very badly .The 1974 and up models usually had no rear bumper as the reinforcements rotted away.

    Like 1
    • Del

      Good read Bone. You covered the reasons that they were not popular

      • SteveTheD

        Del you may want to read the Bone comment again. He stated that 500,000 were sold in just 1970, so clearly they were popular!

        Like 2

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