Muscle Cars

Would You Consider A Ford Maverick Hot Rod?

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By Mark Weisseg

Okay let’s argue the fact that the Maverick is a fast muscle car. Sounds pretty silly on the surface, but is it?

The Ford Maverick was a car that earned a reputation as a grocery getter. You know, a straight six cylinder engine in a small to mid size car. There is certainly nothing special about the Maverick. Well, at least that is or was the popular opinion.

The Maverick and Falcon were once considered to be built into what we know today as the Mustang. However, cooler heads prevailed and the Mustang is the Mustang and the Maverick is just history. It was cheap looking and not at all notable. The dash appearance was bare bones and the car was noted for severe rust issues in the snow belts.

But, could the Maverick be our hot rod like a wolf in sheeps clothing? Well, the answer just might be yes. How? Well, you could order a Maverick with Fords powerful 302 V8 engine. It was an option few purchased as the car was just not known to be a car with power.

Today, the ones that survived ( and few did) can be found with a secret under the hood. I mean if back in the day you pulled along side a Maverick you would laugh at the thought. Again, known as a mid level car with a very under powered six cylinder engine. But, a few wise birds found they could buy the Maverick with the 302 engine and it was cheaper than buying a Mustang with the same power plant.

The Mustang of course lives and prospers while the little Maverick died a slow death. Sales fell sharply and the little grocery car was given the pink slip. However, all these years later there are Maverick clubs all over the world. Down under the Maverick was badged a different name and of course out fitted with the steering wheel on the right.

Here in North America Maverick sightings are rare. The little car that wanted to just couldn’t. The competition in house was just too strong and the Maverick barely ever gets any love anymore. I know that when I cruise the car show circuit I will stop in my tracks and look one over.

It is a shame the car didn’t sell better but the problems were somewhat self induced. Again, rust was the biggest issue with the Maverick. Second, Ford was pushing the Mustang and the end came soon. So, I ask you – next time you see a Maverick show a little love for the car that just could not compete.

Then there are the guys that really like the sleeper look. Take that Maverick and look under the hood. Nearly any engine will fit into that huge space. That opens all kinds of ideas to make your Maverick one very hot car. Lightweight bodied, big engine, a solid transmission, and some wheels and tires and the laughing will turn into gasps. All in good fun but I promise I won’t write about hot rod Pintos next. You got to draw the line somewhere.

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