Red White & Blue Plate: 1972 Ford Maverick Sprint


When the Maverick was first introduced in 1969 it was meant to compete with the likes of the Volkswagen Beetle. It was cheap, economical, and more spacious than other small cars. Logically, an inline-six was placed under the hood. Ford got bored though, so in ’71 they shoved a 302 V8 in there for those people who wanted a little more grunt. This particular example is fitted with the V8 and the Sprint package which was only available in 1972 in honor of the Olympics. Find it here on eBay out of Santa Barbara, California. Thanks goes to Jim S. for the tip!


The Sprint package added a red, white, and blue theme to the interior and exterior. It was also available on the Pinto and Mustang in honor of the Olympics held in 1972. The badge on the tail even has a little flag under it. It may not be the most eye catching color scheme, but the rarity and patriotism should add a little value here.


This is our favorite part of the car though. This 302 V8 was good for about 210 horsepower, so it wasn’t exactly a Boss, but it was still respectable for the size and era of the car. A four-speed sure would have been fun, but unfortunately only an automatic was available in the Maverick. This car was fitted with AC and the seller claims that it still puts out a little cold air. Normally , “it just needs a charge” claims can be ignored, but if it’s working at all it might actually be an easy fix. R-12 is hard to find today, but there are still a few sources around.


The seller of this Maverick claims that they purchased it from a friend who bought the car from the original owner in 2005. It has 91k miles on the odometer so it was well used by the first owner. There are a few dings and it could use some re-freshening, but overall it looks like a good driver quality car. We would want to go through the fuel system and brakes if the owner hasn’t already. New hoses, tires,  and a fluid flush would also be on the to do list. It may not be the most desirable classic, but sometimes the affordable ones make the most sense for those of us who actually like to drive them.


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  1. Charles

    From the pictures, this looks like well used, but decent car. A friend of mine had a Grabber. It was souped up somewhat, and was a whole bunch of fun. I have never heard of a Sprint. Does anyone have the production numbers on this model?

    • rancho bella

      That suspension can be fully re-built in two days or less, depending on ones experience. I would buy new springs from Detroit Eaton, upgrade to something in the Boss 302 range, front and rear. Some new red Koni’s, they work great with these types of suspension. They can be made to handle much better. Remember, springs start losing their spring after ten years, then it’s just down hill from there :)

  2. Tim H

    Looking at the numbers I thought they might be fun. A 5 min drive changed my mind. Terrible suspension and an automatic killed the fun. It wasn’t fast and it did not want to go around a corner. I am sure you could make a fun car out of one.

  3. SoCal Car Guy

    What’s wrong with this seller’s statement: “1 owner…I purchased this from a friend who bought it from the original owner in 2005…”? I may be getting old, but if I remember right from way back in first grade, one plus one plus one equals three.

    These things were built on a derivative of the Mustang/Falcon/Fairlane platform, and damn near any performance (handling, brakes, horsepower and engine swaps) upgrades for an early Stang will also work on a Maverick. Get the drivetrain from a late ’80s thru mid ’90s 5.0L/five-speed Mustang, source the clutch pedal bits from a “classic” Mustang parts vendor, then upgrade the brakes and suspension and you’ve got an entertaining little hot rod with modern A/C components from the later parts car. This thing actually looks pretty solid. They’re prone to rust, just like old Mustangs, so a thorough pre-purchase inspection should be mandatory, but if it checked out fairly clean and the seller doesn’t have too ridiculous a reserve it could make a fun toy.

  4. braktrcr

    It does look like a fun driver, and I’m a diehard Chevy guy. I think the tiny red side stripes could be enhanced a bit if it really wanted to reflect the red white and blue theme. AMC knnew how to do red white and blue : ) But small block AC and an auto… what a fun fix as you drive car

    • braktrcr

      Oh by the way, first fix get rid of the whitewalls !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Dolphin Member

    Not a bad looking economy factory hot rod, or maybe warm rod considering modern benchmarks for performance. From my limited experience with these I agree with the earlier comments…these have limitations, but they were offered as pretty affordable sporting cars and not as world beaters.

    Being from CA with low miles this Maverick might be good, but I would hold out for an early fastback Mustang for all kinds of reasons. We don’t know the reserve on this car, and altho a good early Mustang would likely be more expensive it would be more rewarding to own. And there’s lots of fairly affordable choices out there.

  6. Webby

    The 302 looks lost under the aircleaner & AC compressor. I’m a staunch GM bloke, but the
    Maverick looks appeal to me. I’ve only seen one here in Aus, and none in the USA.

    I’m still not going to buy one though!

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice car! Contrary to some I actually liked the Maverick of that vintage. I’m interested to find out how much it brings in.

    A lot of people would talk about converting the AC to R134. R-12 is hard to come by but I understand that there is a substitute for R12 that doesn’t require you to reinvent your system. I’m going to check that out further as I’ve got an R-12 system that needs some work.

    • MadHungarian

      Someone told me recently that the price and availability of pre-ban R12 are actually improving now because there are so few remaining R12 systems still in use that demand has dropped way off. I have not tried to verify that assertion.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I’m looking into that right now. So far I’ve been told that the substitute is a de-natured propane which has nearly identical evaporation characteristics as R-12 but not the fluorocarbons. I’m going to talk to some people tomorrow who are in the actual refrigeration business and find out what they use.

  8. Connor

    In the first photo, is anyone else reminded of the ford Capri? Or is it just me?

  9. Charles

    Maybe all those 70’s Fords look alike?

    The early Mercury Capri was a German import with American badging. The later Capri’s were based on the Fox Body Mustang, a totally different car.

    The Maverick, Comet, Falcon, Mustang, Fairlane, and Cougar were all based on the same platform.


    that’s a pretty rare car, unknown numbers of sprints built. might bring upward of 5K.. as far as the one owner, I think hes trying to say the first owner put all the miles on it, his friend bought it and parked it and he bought it and is selling it..

  11. Nick Whitlow

    I bought one of these cars new in 1972. I could not afford the extra $400 to add a/c however. No glove box, just a tray under the dashboard. I eventually added a hitch to trailer my racing go-kart. I traded it back to the same dealer in 1974 for a new Ranchero. I heard later the transmission stopped working but just needed flushed out. Must have scorched it while towing. I really liked the car back then. I would be interested in this one if I could get the owners contract info.

  12. Trish

    Drove this Maverick commuting to college in the late 70’s. It was a STANDARD. My dad bought it and I had to learn how to drive a standard. Wonder why the article says it was only made in automatic. My sister and I thought the car was different, but never knew why.

  13. Red

    I had one of these cars in 1974. I was the second owner. I modifield it with a Boss 302 engine, discarded the three speed Colman shift for a four speed on the floor. Beefed up the suspension, put on wide tires mag wheels. Outfitted with headers and a custom exhaust system.
    This would be a great car for serious hot rodder. I loved mine.

  14. Mickie

    I had one too. Bought new Mike Davidson Ford in Jacksonville, FL for my oldest brother, Jody in 1972. He went into the Coast Guard and left it behind at home. I was in high school. My mother convinced me to become a CBE student going to school half day and work half day. It was a standard shift and so much fun to drive! I started picking up the payments and it became mine. Love the car!

  15. Kathy Martin

    I bought a car just like this but a straight six in 1982 for 1200.00, drove it to college for four years and sold it for 1200.00 when I got married. Wish I had kept it. Interior was perfect and lines were straight.

  16. Mike McArdle

    I had one of these, and to this date I regret having parted with it. I was out of college and sold it to my best friend’s brother . . . since then, I have realized it is one of the rarest full production vehicles of its era. I would love to find one under 100K of mileage, with a reasonable amount of restoration required !

  17. Kathy Whaley-Clarke

    Is it still available?

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