Straight-Six Project: 1970 Ford Maverick

$2,000 in 1970 was the equivalent of a little over $15,000 today. You can’t get much of a vehicle for $15,000 anymore, especially a four-wheel vehicle that’s street-legal. This 1970 Ford Maverick would have been a shade over $2,000 when it was new, and the current bid price reads like almost every Facebook listing: $1,234. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Bowling Green, Kentucky, there is no reserve, and there are five days left to get your bids in.

The Maverick was intended to be an import fighter, back before the genie really got out of the bottle. Just imagine 2022 with hardly any imported vehicles, I can’t, they’re here to stay whether a person likes it or not. Back when we just landed on the moon, imports were still relatively new but were coming on strong, and Detroit was swinging for the fences. The Maverick had some great color names in this era, including this car, which I believe is Anti-Establish Mint. Better known as green.

Enter: the Ford Maverick, in late 1969 for the 1970 model year. Ford described the car as having a “racy spoiler”, and it was unique, and some (me) would say that it was a cool design for the era. One thing that maybe is not cool about this example is that the rear window was smashed out, or in, and was missing for several months while it sat outside in the elements. Ouch.

As far as rust goes, though, it does look pretty solid, even underneath and in the trunk. Although, what’s going on with the right quarter panel as shown in the trunk photo? They say that a repair was made in that area, and there are a few other spots here and there. The interior looks good, aside from a big seam split in the front seat. This one has a three-speed automatic on the column and the seller says that it has just under 50,000 miles.

The engine is a step up from the 170, this is Ford’s OHV Thriftpower inline-six which had 120 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. Sadly, this one isn’t currently running or starting, and then there’s that gaping hole in the rear of the car that was open for six months. This looks like a good project car, I just hope that having the rear window missing for six months hasn’t done any big damage to the interior or structure. Any thoughts on this Maverick?


  1. Cadmanls Member

    My mother bought one brand new, had the 200 and auto, no AC oh yeah AM radio. Think the 14″ rims might have been an option as well as the wheel covers. These didn’t even come with a glove box and everything was an option, import fighter. Gold with a cloth 70’s pattern interior gold as well. The car drove well they were light cars but would run 70 mph no problem. She slid into a ditch nose first second winter and was totaled, was a six foot drop and seatbelts did their job. Next car was the 71 Monte which was a nice upgrade.

    Like 10
    • orca17

      I remember seeing one of these on display at Jacksonville International Airport when they first came out. It was exactly this color. Also had a high school buddy who owned a white one.

  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Scotty, good writeup. Ford sold a whole bunch of Mavericks, many with just a few options. They were cheap and reliable, and were a staple at my small midwestern town dealer. I still get a chuckle out of the whimsical color names, wonder what all it took to get that approved. This example is in decent shape, it would be good to see it restored. And/or, these look good restomodded, specifically the small-bumper years.

    Like 7
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Bob. Ha, those names, they wouldn’t fly today, sadly.

      Like 4
      • angliagt angliagt Member

        Anti-Establish Mint,Hulla Blue,Original Cinnamon,
        Freudian Guilt,& Thanks Vermillion

  3. Doone

    “Engine turns over but does not run……a/c needs recharge” oh yeah, really?

    Like 10
  4. nlpnt

    Solid interior apart from the seam split. Too bad it’s boring black and all-vinyl instead of a matching green or that yellowy tan with the Random Stripe fabric (or whatever was used before it, plaid I think?)

    Like 3
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    Original price was $1995.It was first sold on
    April 17,1969.
    April 17 was my friend Rob’s birthday,so his
    parents took us down the local Ford dealer –
    Harper Motors,to see it.
    I always thought that the early ones with the
    small bumpers were a really clean design.

    Like 9
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      I figured a bit more with the 200-six upgrade, angliagt, but you’re right on with the base price.

      Like 3
      • al

        I bought one new in Sept 1969 as a 1970 model had 200ci 6 cyl 3 speed stick on the tree green tan interior sticker was $2200 great car

        Like 5
  6. Howard A Member

    Mavericks were great cars. My late ex-MIL had one that replaced her Vega. I know, but “Ma” was such a wonderful person, it clearly didn’t matter what she drove. I, and the world, miss her dearly. They were perfect for a small family starting out, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, perfect last car for granny, and everything in between, and that’s exactly what this car is,,or was. This is one bare bones car. There were like 7 options in 1970, the a/c and the automatic were the priciest. I read, the automatic cost about $220 bucks, and the a/c about another $380, so not the $1995 for a base Maverick. Still, it provided everything we needed in a car. No heated pedals, or crash avoidance systems( that one REALLY grinds my gears,,aren’t you supposed to “avoid a crash” anyway?), no info boards and adjustable suspensions or power ports, just wheels. Can you imagine? Great find, from the master, but with a slew of alleged bids, it tells me there may be a resurgence in basic cars like this again. You’ll see, this SUV thing will pass, and these lardheads in Detroit, or wherever cars are made, will get their heads into the sun, we may just see these again( blowing dust off molds)

    Like 6
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha, heated pedals! I wonder if anyone would buy a car like this today, how would people ever get the windows down without buttons? I also prefer experience and thinking ahead to avoid crashes, but I’m funny that way. I like that they made a four-door Maverick, I wonder what a four-door Vega might have looked like… I’ll have to work on one of those.

      Like 7
      • Sean Magee

        In 1980 my dad bought a used ’77 Maverick 4 door, and it was the basest of base models – no AC, 3 speed manual on the column, manual steering, and not even a radio! It had a plastic blank with a chromed ring where the radio should be. I was also my first car, and as so often happens, I fell in love with it anyway, installing a cheap AM/FM cassette radio with stereo speakers in the back deck. It was fun to drive and easy to work on. I would love to pick up one of these to play with these days.

    • angliagt angliagt Member

      You left out the “must Have:” 24 cup holders & Blue Tooth.

      Like 3
  7. rosseaux

    6 months of rain through the back window probably didn’t do any fatal damage, but I’d check the upholstery and under the floor mat for mildew. I’m sad that I missed the heyday of the Maverick and only knew them as unfortunate hoopties in the high school parking lot. Nobody I knew drove an old Maverick if they could afford an old Nova.

    Like 4
  8. Mike

    At 17 years old bought a new 1970 Maverick color was called Black Jade (dark green) with plaid interior. 3 year loan at $77 per month. 6cyl automatic no A/C, no power steering, no power brakes.

    Like 6
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Ah,THREE year loans! It was nice having a car paid off in
      that short time,& still have some equity built up.
      Just try that today.Can you imagine what the payments would
      be on a new Crew Cab Diesel 4WD truck for three years?

      Like 4
  9. T. Pond

    I have experience with the 200 six engines and the Mopar /6’s as well. Both were very reliable. If it it turns over I would not be too concerned about getting to run, but it may need an overhual after you get it running. Simple and inexpensive if you can diy.

    Like 5
  10. Brad

    On April 17, 1969, the day that the Maverick was released. our Dad bought his first brand new car. It was the 8th Maverick sold in Massachusetts.
    I still think that the design was beautiful. Ours was blue with black plaid upholstery. I was a new driver and enjoyed the way it drove. Three on the tree and base motor with no options.
    It was rusted though in five years though. That’s why you never see them in the north east.

    Like 6
  11. Psychofish2

    Granny bought the first Maverick Grabber in Chambersburg PA right off the showroom floor.

    Yellow, automatic, radio, 200″ six. $2600 and a ’60 Ford Falcon as a trade.

    No PS or PB.

    “Maverick. The Simple Machine”.

    I’d buy another new car if I could delete most of the gimmicks and electronic bloat [as well as those stupid large consoles].

    Like 4
    • Mike

      I also traded a 1960 Falcon when I bought my Maverick. Paid $2100 out the door

      Like 4
  12. Doug swafford

    My 1970 Maverick was this same color and engine. Mine had a black vinyl interior. Great little car. Trouble free for the three years I drove it.

  13. Mike's57

    I had a 1970 Maverick in the early 80’s. 200 6 cyl./3-speed. Engine was bored 30 over, Iskenderian cam, Offenhouser 4-barrel intake with a Holley, Hooker header completed the picture. Crazy fun to drive! Zero to 60 it would keep up with the local boys! Brake line failure led to its untimely demise.

  14. Doug

    My parents bought a 71 in 72 a 4 door. Only had power steering and the 200 6cyl.They drove it over 100000 miles and then gave it to me and I drove it another 100000.Engine never needed rebuilt and always ran. My wife said sell it because we had to many vehicles. So, in 1981 i sold it for 800 dollars and never saw it again.

    Like 3
  15. Guggie 13

    I bought one of the first Mavericks at Browns Ford Johnstown NY in sept 1969, red , 3 speed , 14″ wheels full wheel covers , paid just over 2k wonderful car put 70k on it in 2 years , fast forward 2022 Bought one of the first Ford Mavericks, Browns Ford Johnstown Ny , this time didnt get the basic model , got all the bells and whistles , Lariat awd 2.0 motor leather , even heated steering wheel , trailer tow package , just under 36k so far It has exceeded all my expectations , 32mpg on road 24, 26 around town !

    Like 3
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      I’ll bet you paid at least $3000 for the newer one.

  16. Emel

    Once a heap, always a heap ! Even $2 grand today would be CRAZY !

    Mostly Ford didn’t have a better idea !

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      You sound like my old man. He never bought a Ford, mostly for religious reasons, although he did have a Lincoln. I don’t think he considered it a Ford.
      Clearly, your idea of a “heap”, differs greatly from mine, but I think I get your drift. It’s not something that would appeal to you, therefore, it’s a heap, or POS, more accurately, and nothing could be further from the truth. My definition of a heap, which is like Websters, “a disorderly collection of objects, haphazardly placed on top of another”, certainly doesn’t apply to the Maverick. The Maverick was yet another highly successful vehicle off the Falcon platform, Fords most successful car. Hardly a heap.

      Like 4
      • Emel

        Actually i did own two Thunderbirds.

        The 2nd one was brand new….it was Supercoupe.
        When it ran, it was great. It was in the dealer’s garage quite a bit.
        Had to replace the Engine and of course it was after the warranty

        So that was a SuperHeap.

        My sis & a Uncle had Falcons. Heaps big time.
        And I thought the Taurus was Ford’s most successful selling car.

    • DON

      Considering how many of these were sold in just its first year alone , Id say your comment about a better idea is completely wrong

      Like 1
      • Emel

        McDonald’s sells the most hamburgers….doesn’t mean I would choose there’s over say…..a Five Guys hamburger, Same with Fries.

        Like 1
    • BONE

      And a 5 Guys hamburger is 10 bucks compared to 3 bucks for a MCD’S burger. You get what you pay for . a Maverick was just cheap transportation , it was never meant to be anything special .

      Like 1
  17. Christopher Gentry

    Not only do I like this car , I couldn’t agree more with the comment about all the , well crap, that’s standard equipment now days. I’ve always had a soft spot for mustangs. Went to look at the 2016 and after I picked my jaw off the ground at the sight of the sticker price. I asked the sales man , “got one with out the digital dash that changes colors and the blue tooth and all the other lap top computer stuff and a manual transmission? “He just laughed till he realized I was serious.

    Like 3
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Exactly the reasoning when/if we have to replace the
      Wife’s 2010 Ford Fusion.She really likes it,& it’s a 4 cylinder,-
      6 speed manual transmission.When we were looking for this
      car,she didn’t want an automatic.Out of 7 the seven vehicles
      we own,it’s the only one with a manual (or “Straight Shift”,as-
      they call it here).
      Unless we have no other choice,we will not have a car
      with a screen in the dash,or all of that other garbage that seems
      to distract drivers today.

  18. JudoJohn

    My older brother had one in red with the 3 on the tree. When he got back from Viet Nam, he bought a 1964 TR4. It was not reliable, and he ended up selling it or trading it in for the Maverick. He got one because our cousin had one, and it seemed like a good car. It was definitely way more reliable than the TR$4, but nowhere near the fun. While, I didn’t hate the Maverick, I didn’t love it. It was a basic car, sort of America’s Beetle- cheap, reliable, easy to work on and hot rod if you were so inclined .

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.