1969 Maverick

The first version of the Maverick really, a 1969 - model was short lived.  Starting with production and existing not much later than October 23, 1969, this subversion of the Maverick (marketed as a 1970 model) is very rare these days.  This early version of the car was fitted with a wide array of mechanical parts that were basically lifted from the Falcon parts bin.  First, the rear axle was the Dagenheim unit with the bolt on rear cover.  This weak unit was only mated to the 144, 170 and the 200 inch sixes.  The rear shocks weren't staggered, and there were only three leaf springs.  Second, the front A arms were the physically small Falcon units, as were the drum brakes and ball joints.  Interestingly, the four-stud brake drums that appeared on this 1969-1/2 car carried over to later models in the 1970 model year before they were replaced with standard Ford 5 lug wheels for the 1971 model year.  Third, the ignition was a bezel that bolted to the package tray to the immediate right of the steering column and the seat belts were two-part: the lap item, and then an overhead item that separately linked up to a separate receiver on the seat.  Fourth, the data plate was pop riveted to the driver's door at the rear, and the doors did not have the side impact beams that appeared in later versions of the 1970, and all following, Mavericks (both two door and four door).  Fifth, though some Maverick web pages have argued that the only option for this early version of the Maverick was an automatic transmission, that is in error: The Appearance Group (carpets, stainless side window trim, chrome 1/4 window trim, carpets, Blazer trim, radio, 14" wheels) and 200 c.i. six were available: my first car had these options from the factory; it was the 92,500 car to be constructed on the production line which included the Torino.  It is possible that my first car was a mid-production vehicle. 

Here is some data on the these first-version Mavericks:

  • 1969 Production: 2dr 127,833
  • Automatic Transmission: 49.4%
  • Manual Transmission (3spd): 50.6%
  • Air Conditioning: 12.2%
  • Tinted Glass: 20.8%
  • Base Price: $1995
  • Weight (shipping): 2378 lbs.
  • Weight (curb): 2487 lbs.
  • Automatic Transmission: $201
  • Semi-Automatic Transmission: $121
  • Air Conditioning: $380

Exterior Color:

  • A - Black
  • C - Dark Ivy Green Metallic
  • F - Dark Aqua Metallic
  • I - Medium Lime Metallic
  • K - Yellow Metallic
  • M - White
  • Q - Medium Blue Metallic
  • S - Medium Gold Metallic
  • T - Red
  • W - Yellow
  • Y - Burnt Orange Metallic
  • 3 - Vermilion Metallic
  • 6 - Medium Blue Metallic
  • 7 - Med. Pepermint Met.
  • 8 - Light Blue
  • 9 - Red or Grey Primer

Interior Color and Material:

  • 1A - Black Vinyl
  • 1B - Medium Blue Vinyl
  • 1D - Dark Red Vinyl
  • 1Y - Light Nugget Vinyl
  • 2A - White and Black Cloth and Black Vinyl
  • 2B - Medium Blue and Black Cloth and Blue Vinyl
  • 2D - Dark Red and Black Cloth and Dark Red Vinyl
  • 2Y - Light Nugget and Black Cloth and Light Nugget Vinyl
  • 3A - Black Cloth and Vinyl
  • 3B - Medium Blue Cloth and Vinyl
  • 3D - Dark Red Cloth and Vinyl
  • 3K - Light Aqua Cloth and Vinyl
  • 3Y - Light Nugget Cloth and Vinyl
  • 5A - Black Knit Vinyl
  • 5B - Medium Blue Knit Vinyl
  • 5D - Dark Red Knit Vinyl
  • 5K - Light Aqua Knit Vinyl
  • 5Y - Light Nugget Knit Vinyl
  • FD - Dark Red Cloth and Vinyl
  • FY - Light Nugget Cloth and Vinyl

Starting with the first Maverick off the production line, the success of the car was due, in part, due to part to a wide array of options.   First, the mechanical versions were numerous.  Despite its fresh fastback body style, the Maverick was little more than a reskinned Mustang/Comet/Falcon/Fairlane with a shortened wheelbase.  The platform was a successful, if unexciting, design in its basic form.  Very early models (the first 30 days of production, roughly) came with the venerable but utterly incompetent 144 cubic inch six cylinder engine.  That engine proved to be unacceptable in the market place, and was quickly replaced with the larger 177 and the still more powerful 200 inch, each with 4 main bearings.  As the 1970 model year ended, the physically larger (tall deck height) and much more powerful 250 six appeared (with seven main bearings). As the 1971 model year approached, Ford finally fitted the venerable 302 V8, even though it was hobbled with a two-barrel and single exhaust.  Each engine was mated to a three-speed transmission with the lever on the steering column, with later cars (starting in 1971) proposing a floor shift as an option.  The 250 six, so much more powerful than the smaller sixes, could only be ordered with the C-4 automatic, while the 302 could be obtained with either the three-speed manual or the C-4 automatic.  A floor shift for the automatic was available as an option for either the manual or automatic transmissions.  Despite unsubstantiated rumors to the contrary, no 302 was presented with a four barrel or dual exhaust, and no four speed manual transmission ever appeared in any Maverick. Similarly, the 351 (Windsor or Cleveland) was never offered as an option.

Second, the trim and non-mechanical options also permitted the owner to customize his or her vehicle. Starting in 1970, the basic car could be upgraded with 14" wheels, stainless trim on the doors window surround and rear quarter windows, a stainless applique to the drip rail, chromed 'boomerangs" near to the rear of the quarter windows, upgraded cloth upholstery (the so-called " Blazer" cloth), carpet, a radio, air conditioning, a floor console, rear window defogger (package tray mounted only), and an electric trunk release and almost a dozen other options.  Interestingly, the specific hood mounted tach was offered, though no Maverick photo is known to exist of this item. Later in the first model year, the popular "Grabber option" appeared which included twin sport mirrors, 14" wheels with trim rings and center caps (still 4-lug), side tape markings, inset paint on the hood, and trunk spoiler and matching quarter panel spoiler pieces.
Maverick Grabber

Additionally, the brochures tell an interesting story about the introduction and marketing of the Maverick. 

Though there is some disagreement about just when the 'real' 1970 Mavericks started production, the change occurred at some point.  The principal change was the substitution of the 8" rear end (still with 4-lug axles), 14" wheels, steering column ignition, and other minor details.  Here is some information on the 1970 Mavericks.

  • Production: 2dr 451,081
  • Automatic Transmission: 71.9%
  • Manual Transmission (3spd): 27.8%
  • Manual Transmission (4spd): 0.3%
  • Power Steering: 9.3%
  • Air Conditioning: 14.8%
  • Tinted Glass: 22.3%
  • Base Price: $1995
  • Weight (shipping): 2378 lbs.
  • Weight (curb): 2487 lbs.
  • Automatic Transmission: $201
  • Semi-Automatic Transmission: $121
  • Air Conditioning: $380


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