Q: Greg, I want to let you know that I enjoy reading your columns and your knowledge of older vehicles. My friends and I are having a problem finding information on a rare car and we're not sure it even exists.
I was told by friends that Carroll Shelby built 200 Ford Shelby Mavericks in 1970 in New Mexico. I would appreciate any information you can send to me and who I can contact for more information.
Also, I would like to know if there are any car clubs for the Ford Maverick enthusiast and where I can look to find people who have parts to sell. Thank you for the time you have taken to answer my letter. Sincerely, William D., Pennsylvania.
A: William, I would be glad to help. First let's discuss the Ford Maverick as it is still a pretty popular car with hot rodders and collectors everywhere. The Maverick was the Falcon replacement and Ford's direct answer to the Chevy Nova and Dodge Dart, all of which were compact to mid-size vehicles back then. Debuting in 1969 as a 1970 model, the Maverick was a popular new car that ran on a 103-inch wheelbase and shared six-cylinder engines and running gear with other Ford products of the day. The Falcon, meanwhile, disappeared in 1970 following a popular run that began in 1960.
Notable is that all of the original 1970 Mavericks were two-door sedans built on a 103-inch wheelbase. Powered by a 170-inch inline six that produced 105-horses, the entry price was just $1,995 and not surprisingly, the Maverick sold an impressive 578,447 units its first year. As for the 302-V8 Maverick, Ford decided to offer it as an option in December of 1970, initiating a "performance" based Maverick for owners who could either hop up the engine or drop a Boss 302 in for good measure. In 1971, a four-door sedan also joined the Maverick family riding on a 109.9 inch wheelbase. Mercury also began selling the twin brother Comet with identical mechanicals.
Although a V8 no bigger than the 302 ever became available during Maverick's run through the 1977 year (the Muscle Car era was ending), the Maverick Grabber introduced in 1970 offered distinctive graphics and a rear deck spoiler. Notable was the "dual dome" Grabber hood that appeared in 1971 and 1972 models.
As for the Carroll Shelby Mavericks built in Mexico, there indeed were some Mavericks built south of the border with Shelby parts thanks to a company called Shelby De Mexico, which also converted Mustangs and even a full-size Galaxie. These "Shelby Tribute Mavericks" (as I call them) were assembled with full knowledge of Carroll Shelby more so to publicize the sale of his Shelby racing engines and parts in Mexico. The Mexican Shelby Maverick was never to my knowledge an "official Ford offering" available to the public. If any of our readers know more about this effort, let us know and send us some photos of these Mexican Shelby Mavericks.
As for the car club, there is a fine one you can join called the Maverick Comet Club International, Inc. (MCCI). Consisting of members of the former International Maverick/Comet Club, Inc., which was founded in January of 1993, MCCI is a great club for owners/enthusiasts of 1970-1977 Ford Mavericks and 1971-1977 Mercury Comets. Members can communicate, buy and sell cars and build a network to find parts.
Yearly MCCI membership dues are $10.00 for an email of the club's full color bi-monthly newsletter, "Shorthorns" or $20.00 inside the USA for a printed copy. If interested please write or send your membership dues to: Don Comfort, MCCI Treasurer, 4952 Black Run Rd, Chillicothe, Ohio, 45601. Or you can also join by going to the club's internet site at maverickcometclub.org. Notable is that the club's 23rd annual MCCI Roundup Nationals, slated for July 19 to July 24 of 2016, will be held in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
Thanks for your letter William and best of luck in the future.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now, BestRide.com and other Gatehouse Media publications. He welcomes reader questions on old cars, auto nostalgia and old-time motorsports at 116 Main St., Towanda, PA 18848 or at email@example.com.