Real Grabber: 1970 Ford Maverick Grabber

Along with the Mustang, another direct Ford Falcon descendant is this 1970 Ford Maverick Grabber. I wonder why the first-generation Falcon doesn’t get more respect. This orange Grabber can be found here on eBay in Alexander, New York and the seller has a very ambitious buy it now price of $15,300 listed. For the record, Hagerty’s #1 Concours, absolutely flawless condition value is $12,100. Thanks to Larry D. for sending in this tip!

Maybe it’s like how some countries are better at respecting their elders than we are here in the US, the same can be said for cars. I know that a lot of Barn Finds readers are fans of the original Falcon which was used as a platform for both the Mustang and Maverick but they don’t seem to get the press or the public love as much as the Maverick and Mustang both get for some reason. The Falcon wheelbase was shortened almost 8-inches for the Maverick and they were introduced in early-1969 as a 1970 model.

The 1970 Maverick Grabber didn’t have the twin-snorkel hood like the 1971 and 1972 models had and this beauty benefits, at least visually, from having small bumpers. The Maverick was offered in the US until the end of the 1977 model year but they were produced in Brazil until 1979. The 1978 Ford Fairmont replaced it in our market. Talk about a car that doesn’t get much respect!

This car looks fantastic and the seller says that it’s a real Grabber. If I were a betting man, I would have said that it has been repainted at some point, it looks far too nice to be original from 51 years ago, but there’s no mention of bodywork or paint. They do mention some surface rust on the bumpers

The rear window and windshield have been replaced. The interior looks great but they say that the original bench seat in front has been replaced with bucket seats and the rear seats have had some repairs. The steering wheel isn’t original and given just the interior changes alone, I’m not quite sure how they came up with the asking price. I like the bucket seats myself.

They don’t provide a VIN which is very unusual for an eBay auction but the engine should be Ford’s 200 cubic-inch inline-six with 120 horsepower. The seller provides a video of it running here on YouTube. They say that the only thing missing is the air-conditioning but I’m not quite sure what that means as it’s clearly visible in the photos and video. I hate to focus on pricing but this certainly isn’t even close to being a #1 Concours condition car. Hagerty is at $5,700 for a #3 good condition car which given the interior changes and the condition, that’s where I would put it at. Although, that sure seems cheap for such a nice-looking car. What’s this one worth given current values?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I think Scotty has analyzed this Maverick quite well. The Grabber package provided a sporty look for what was already an attractively styled (in my opinion) basic economy car. Simple, yes; basic, yes; cheap, yes; high-performance, no; but they sold well and have a following today.

    When I think of Grabber Mavericks, I see the Grabber Blue models (including a V8 1971 my small-town dealer had). This one overall looks good but the deficiencies Scotty noted makes the asking price optimistic.

    Like 20
    • Angrymike

      These kinda grew on me, never liked them when new, especially with all the beautiful body styles that we’re out at the time. Over the years, Ive come to like them, kinda like the early Vega’s. The small bumpers are a huge plus !

      Like 7
  2. HarVanti2

    I was in the Air Force at Pope AFB, NC in 1970 when I bought my 1st new car, a 1970 Maverick. My new bride and I (52 great yrs with Julie, so far) did a lot of traveling in that car and it was nice having a NEW car. At first, anyway. I was interested in a Chevy Nova but a strike at GM limited my choices so, I bought the Maverick. It was a basic model in the color called “Thanks Vermilion”. I added the same stripes as in the one in this advert and painted the tail black too. It was a 200 cid with a 3-on-the-tree. Had plaid black & white cloth seat centers. The tops of the front fenders were totally rusted out in 24 months and you’d think that the electrics & wiring was a “prince-of-darkness” Lucas product, ……. very undependable. Traded it in on a ’74 AMC Hornet Sportabout Wagon in ’73 up here in the Detroit western burbs. Looking back, we made some great travel memories in that car !

    Like 9
    • Jill

      My father had this exact vehicle which his father bought for him in 1971. I’d love to be able to track it down (his original car!) I have a photo of it but don’t e en know where to begin without nagging him for more details. I just know he was gifted it in 1971 here in NY this exact color/look. Any advice??

  3. Nash Bridges

    A neighbor of mine had one; then he moved away.

    Like 10
  4. Troy s

    Fords idea of a sporty compact, budget minded car, hey it looks better than a Pinto, right? These were all over the place in the eighties, very cheap to buy for high school kids. They will always be cheapos to me.

    Like 6
  5. CJinSD

    The Maverick Grabber that Car and Driver tested in August of 1970 had a 250 ci engine connected to a mandatory automatic transmission. It is possible that his car is so equipped.

    Like 3

    The snorkel hood was only available in 71 and 72.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      That hood makes the Grabber, without one, regardless of the year, these aren’t worth much of a premium. As it stands, it’s a 6 cylinder economy car with factory optional paint and graphics package with a cool rear spoiler, nothing more. That hardly justifies the aggressive, $15,300 asking price. This is coming from someone who likes early Mavericks in general and Grabbers in particular.

      Steve R

      Like 10
      • PatrickM

        I agree with you. Regardless of what Hagerty’s says.

        Like 3
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks for the clarification, Don, you’re right. I changed the wording from those years being for the whole Grabber run and neglected to edit the snorkel hood years being ’71 and ’72 only. Thanks for catching that.

      Like 8

      Really?? The Nash Bridges??

  7. Jeff Member

    Cute car, nice driver? Would make a fun driver, very good shape by pictures….

    Like 3
  8. jerry z

    $15K for 6 cyl/auto Maverick? It may be a Grabber but it does nothing for performance. All I can say is GLWS.

    Like 5
  9. martinsane

    Seems this add answers my question regarding the painted bumpered black one as these are quite obviously not painted.

    Like 2
  10. B-Boy

    I took my driving test on one of these in 1977. My parent’s car was in the shop, so I got this as a replacement for the roadtest. It was a Grabber Blue Grabber. Very nice car. it belonged to my buddy’s brother. I’d never driven it before the test.

    I learned to drive on a 1974 satellite with a slant-6, so I was not used to the power.

    I chirped the tires once during the test (Just a little) and I was definitely a little jerky with the throttle. Somehow I passed. :D

    Like 3
  11. JoeNYWF64

    Nicest lookin one i seen in ages, tho what’s the point of a grabber with 6? – a disappointment at the stoplite drags every time.
    I wonder what car those seats are from. All that empty space in the dash & Ford moved the HVAC controls from the right(Falcon) to the left on the successor car.
    Dumb. Same with 2nd gen Camaro – & others.

    Like 2
  12. Ranco Racing

    I’ve had 2 Mavericks; a 1970 and a bought new 1973 Grabber. The first was equipped with a 200 and 3 speed manual which I swapped out for a 250 along with a flywheel and clutch from a similarly equipped Mustang. With the 200, torque was so low I had to downshift to climb some minor hills on a major highway. The performance after the swap was very much like an 8. I liked it so much I bought the 73 with 302 and 3 speed manual. 4 speed was not available from the factory but was swapped in a few months later. Later on I built the 70 to run 1/4 mile at a time.

    Like 1
  13. 64 Bonneville

    maybe a $3500 (max) car. coming from New York would be very concerned about the tin worm. I would rate it a low 3 or high 4 on condition scale, mainly due to interior changes.
    I bought a car that the seller told me was factory air car. It was, all the parts were in the trunk except for the mounting brackets and bolts.

    Like 1
  14. DON

    Ford built something like 500,000 of these in its first year alone, so I would say it was a sales success , sort of a “son of Falcon” . These were just disposable cars however , and most weren’t taken care of and have long since gone on to become washing machines and soup cans . These were fun little cars to drive, like 6 cyl Mustangs. I think the price is high on this one, but there aren’t a whole lot of them left.

    Like 2
  15. Ray

    My mom had a regular Maverick in the same color. 250 six, auto, and the tan plaid seats. I think the plaid actually went well with the color. Maybe that’s why I’m sick of modern cars with the all black interiors. I was raised on 70s funky interiors. Lol.

  16. RG in PDX

    My neighbors’ grandma needed a new car, because she wrecked her 1965-ish Chevy II… so they bought her a new 1971 Maverick and she wanted it in blue… but the only one the dealer had in her color was a Grabber… so they removed the stripes and painted the hood and whatever else had to be painted, and she had her new Grandma car. They sold (maybe gave?) it to their housekeeper when Granny was too frail to drive and Lavinia drove it for many years, gave it to her son, who restored it to its original Grabber appearance and was the hit of Independence Blvd. in Charlotte, NC for many years to come.

  17. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: the auction ended with no sale and it’s for sale again with a $12,500 buy-it-now price.

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