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Readers fondly remember the Maverick as Ford announces a new model
Maverick memories include Kimbo dances, dragging Main
Sean Ruble’s 1976 Maverick

Ford Motor Company announced it will bring back the Maverick name, but this time the vehicle will be a small truck. The Maverick pickup will be available this fall and is billed as the only standard full hybrid in America.

The original Maverick was a small car produced from 1969-1977. Its early two-door sedans came without a glove compartment. Some of the exterior paint colors had funky punny names like “Anti-Establish Mint,” “Hulla Blue,” “Original Cinnamon,” “Freudian Gilt” and “Thanks Vermillion,” although more traditional colors were available.

We asked Great Bend Tribune readers to share some of their “Maverick memories.” Here are some responses from the Tribune Facebook page:

Sean “Barney” Ruble said his first car was a ’76 Maverick.

“She was loaded for the timeframe. V8 auto with a/c. Rear window defrost. Way too many memories in this car!!!”

Asked about his Facebook handle, Barney, Ruble responded, “Barney is a nickname that my best friend gave me back in high school. Yes, we drove around in this car together. My father Hank Ruble bought me this car out of an auction. I was so excited that he bought me an old car!! Most of the kids in high school made fun of her because she wasn’t new, but I enjoyed her! I grew up going to Rod Runs “car shows” with my dad in his ’31 Ford. Been into hot rods ever since.”

Susan Lamb wrote, “My first car was a 1973 Maverick.” Her Maverick memory: “Dragging Main and trips to Kimbo.” For younger readers, Kimbo was an outdoor pavilion north of Ellinwood where dances were held. A July 19, 1970 edition of the Great Bend Daily Tribune says it had been open for three summers, opening the first week of May and offering dances through the summer.

“I remember well,” Duane Reif said of the Maverick cars. “When they first came out, is this the car advertised for $1,995?”

We asked Google to answer his question and read at that the Ford Maverick was introduced in mid-1969, exactly five years to the day after the original Mustang appeared. Basically an economy sports coupe, it was built on the Falcon chassis and used the Falcon’s 170-cid straight-six engine. The Maverick was advertised at 22 mpg, weight 2,411 pounds and sold for $1,995.

Looking for an inflation calculator on Google, we read that $1 in 1969 is worth $7.34 today, which would translate to the Maverick costing $14,643.30 in 2021 dollars. That sounded low to us, but Motortrend and Car and Driver both report the cheapest new 2021 car in America is the Chevrolet Spark, at $14,395.

Kayci Sullivan Harris wrote, “I had a Maverick Grabber with a 302 Boss Engine. Red with black stripes and I thought it was the best car in high school. 81 GBHS graduate. My husband also had a gold Maverick that he and the current sheriff caught the seat on fire in high school. They tore it out and put the fire out by throwing it in Stone Lake. Then when they couldn’t get a replacement, they went and pulled it out of the lake and put it back in the car.”

“I can’t deny it,” Sheriff Brian Bellendir later told the Tribune. “Neither one of us was supposed to be smoking. A lit ash flew in the back seat and started the fire.”

“My first car was a 1970 blue Maverick,” said Brad Shirer. “Had many good times in that car.”

Jennifer Schartz wrote, “Learned to drive a stick shift in my Maverick!”

Laurie Oborny said she had a Maverick “Grabber,” a trim package introduced in 1970 that was dropped in 1976 when the “Stallion” package was introduced Tyler Hinson said his first car was a 1976 Ford Maverick Stallion that his dad found in a field. "It sure was a fun little car even though it didn't have A/C. I still have the car, although it currently is not running. I hope to one day restore it and have it back on the streets of Great Bend," he said.

Thersa Long had “a baby blue with shifter on the column!”

Mike Dietz’s grandparents had one and he got to drive it when he was a teenager. Connie Sue Beaman Knowles recalls the Maverick got good gas mileage and Gwen Deal summed up the feeling of many when she wrote, “I loved my Maverick.”

Susan Lamb’s 1973 Maverick.