MotorCities National Heritage Area

By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives,,, and the Robert Tate Collection
Published 4.12.2023

1970 Ford Maverick Ford Motor Company Archives 11970 Ford Maverick ad (Ford Motor Company Archives)

Introduced in the spring of 1969, the 1970 Ford Maverick was unveiled to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle and other foreign automobiles. Many people still have many fond memories of the Maverick, including myself when my mother purchased hers in 1969.

The Maverick at the time of its release had a sticker price of $1,995, with automotive historians saying that it was one of the rare domestic models selling for under $2,000. Ford heavily promoted the Maverick, resulting in great sales.

1970 Ford Maverick advertising Ford Motor Company Archives RESIZED 21970 Ford Maverick advertising image (Ford Motor Company Archives)

The Maverick models featured a six-cylinder engine on a 103-inch wheelbase. Consumers thoroughly enjoyed it because of its great styling and fuel economy. Maverick’s strong sales moved it past the Ford Falcon as the economy model in the 1970 lineup. The new Maverick was a great idea as the 1970s dawned when automakers were starting to have problems selling larger vehicles.

1970 Ford Maverick advertising Ford Motor Company Archives 31970 Ford Maverick advertising image (Ford Motor Company Archives)

Ford produced the Maverick from 1970 to 1977, when it was replaced by the new Fairmont. The Maverick featured a long hood design with a fastback roof.

In 1969, during the Maverick’s introduction, Reader’s Digest magazine featured a promotional campaign where subscribers could mail in and receive a scale model Ford Maverick car. At the time, I sent in the request form to Reader’s Digest and received the model car in the mail. I still have it in my model collection today.

1970 Ford Maverick advertising Ford Motor Company Archives 41970 Ford Maverick ad (Ford Motor Company Archives)

A Ford Motor Company press release said the following about the new Maverick: “When introduced to the public in April 1969, Ford Division’s Maverick will be the greatest automotive value ever offered in terms of price reliability and features.” John Naughton, Ford Motor Company Vice President and Ford Division General Manager, was a part of the engineering and design team that helped shape and launch the Maverick. The Maverick models also offered customers five ultra-modern and psychedelic body colors, plus a choice of 10 more conventional body colors as well.

1970 Ford Maverick 51970 Ford Maverick (

The factory’s support for Ford dealerships was extensive and even included a special promotional LP record, which many consumers thoroughly enjoyed. Automotive historians have said that a significant percentage of Maverick buyers were prospects who had visited Ford dealerships looking to trade-in imports or older Ford models like the Falcon.

1970 Ford Maverick promotional model car Robert Tate Collection CROPPED AND RESIZED 61970 Ford Maverick promotional model car (Robert Tate Collection)

The 1970s marked the beginning of an evolution in automotive design and governmental regulations when it came to the oil industry. The Maverick was still selling very well by 1971, when Ford produced both two and four-door body styles. The Maverick would be one of the best- selling compact models for most of the 1970s.

In 1971, Ford introduced the four-cylinder sub-compact Pinto model to compete with the Chevrolet Vega. Unfortunately, automotive history was not kind to both the Vega and Pinto models, which were plagued with a number of problems that affected their sales.

1970 Ford Maverick drag racer CROPPED 71970 Ford Maverick drag racer (

On the other hand, the Ford Maverick was well-received by the drag racing community. For example, the 1970 Ford Maverick pictured in this story competed in the quarter mile strip.

In conclusion, the Maverick had a number of strong sales years for Ford Motor Company. I remember the 1970s and how the oil embargo changed the auto industry, as well as the government regulation of bumper height that affected the design of future American vehicles.

1971 Ford Maverick 4 door sedan 81971 Ford Maverick 4-door sedan (

Today, the Maverick has a huge following among auto enthusiasts that keep the great memories going for future generations of an automobile that was a good value.

For more information on the Maverick, contact the Maverick Comet Club International at


Dammann, George H. “Illustrated History of Ford 1903-1970.” Crestline Publishing, 1970.

Langworth, Richard M. “Encyclopedia of American Cars 1930-1980.” The Auto Editors of Consumer Guide, 1984.

Ford Motor Company. Technical Release of “Ford Maverick.” Monday, March 31, 1969.