Custom 1970 Maverick!

Since I first purchased my first Maverick, I have always thought that the Maverick could use some changes to the bodywork, drivetrain and interior to make it more interesting.   In 1992, I located a mid-production run 1970-year Maverick in Salt Lake City.  Since the car came from California, it was rust free but was outfitted with the awful California emissions system.  But it was also fully equipped with a 250 engine, a hated C-4 automatic, the so-called "heavy duty" optional suspension, exterior stainless trim and 14" rims 4 lug wheels and a black factory vinyl top over a red body.  The best part was that this peach of a car (with no rust in the shock tower area!) was only $200 plus a tow truck flatbed charge.  What a find.

The body work was first after the entire body was completely steam cleaned. The front fenders were dropped off the car, stripped and the entire engine compartment was sanded and painted with a slightly off gloss Dupont Centari acrylic enamel.  After that, body man and friend George Layton carried out my designs for the body after I completely stripped the body down to Bare Metal:  the doors and trunk were pulled and paint stripped as was the body -- right down to baremetal.  After removing the vinyl top, some surface rust was discovered which was removed by light media blasting and vigorous treatments of Dupont's Metal Conditioner.  The doors were fitted with '88 Escort door handles, a Grabber trunk spoiler was replicated in sheet-metal and welded to a NOS trunk, and the rear quarter panel spoilers were also made from sheet-metal and welded to the body.  The side marker lights (front and rear) were welded shut, the rear valence was cut out and flared for the custom Monza exhaust system, the front valence was modified to narrow the opening (ala a '67 Shelby front valence) and the seam lines between the forward rear quarter panels and the rocker panels were filled. Foremost among the custom work, though, are the taillights from a '69 Cougar which will have the newly electronically switched sequential taillights.  Though George did most of the custom work, Corvette restorer and customizer Geoff Watson also helped out with the taillights, and he'll paint the car. 

With the bodywork rouged in and the body primed with modern etching primer following vigorous block sanding, I turned to my trusted mechanic and friend Mike Smith to rebuild the mechanical systems.  After having the entire car professional steam cleaned, Mike pulled the engine, junked the auto trans and pulled all suspension components and everything else of a mechanical nature.  Mike rebuilt the 250 using old Ak Miller tips and components from Clifford Engineering.  The engine was bored .030, fitted with new 9:1 forged pistons, the head was extensively reworked (porting, polishing, port matching, installing a 3-4 cylinder port divider and planing) and then fitted with a metal sprayed custom header system from Clifford, a Holley 350 cfm 2-barrel carb, a full rebuilt original 3-speed transmission with new heavy duty clutch and LOTS of cosmetic detailing. 

The suspension and exhaust systems were also scheduled for a lot of work. A complete stainless steel exhaust system was installed with a turbo muffler, with a vintage NOS Monza dual-outlet exhaust tip fitted which protruded through a flared rear valence.   Every bolt was either zinc plated or replaced.  The front suspension was fully rebuilt using all new ball joints, tie rod ends, rebuilt power steering box, new Koni shocks (no kidding!), a custom built 1" front sway bar and a lot more. The drive shaft was pulled, stripped, balanced, treated to new U-joints, painted and reinstalled on a sandblasted/painted 8" rear end to which an Addco 7/8" sway bar and Koni shocks were attached; new leaf spring bushings were also installed.  The rear springs were clamped, and the front coils replaced with 600 lb '65 Mustang Shelby springs (direct fit). 

The dashboard was pulled, treated to a dash pad purchased from The Maverick Connection,  with NOS instruments and other parts added.   A Ford Motorsports 3-gauge panel was added, and the tachometer from my first car was installed atop the steering column using a really cool bracket machined by Cedric Ozminski.  A '65 Mustang console will be installed between gorgeous original '88 Mustang GT seats rescued from a car that fell off a transport truck on its way to the dealership (the rear seat will be upholstered to match the front seats).  A CD player will be added.

The car will be painted in catalyzed black Dupont Centari with a dark metallic red hood insert, taillight panel insert, and custom colored Grabber stripes. 

Take a look at the following photos; when the car is finished, more pictures will be uploaded.


Project '70 Maverick
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My First Car
Project '69
Project '70
Project '72
Project '73
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