Hooniverse Fastback Friday – The Shelby Maverick…. Wait, What?

Welcome to Hooniverse Fastback Friday. The lowly Ford Maverick is one of our favorite vehicles here at Hooniverse. Why? Well because it is basically a lighter version of the Ford Mustang, and can trace its ancestry back to the original Ford Falcon. The two-door sedan looks great, while the interior and power-train options were relatively simple. Performance parts are also easily obtainable and relatively affordable. However, a Maverick was never suppose to be a performer, only an economy car… or so we thought. It seems that there were 300 Shelby Mavericks built and distributed by Shelby de Mexico, SA, with a Shelby enhanced 302 CID V-8.

One of our favorite blogs, Just a Car Guy, ran a story about Shelby De Mexico, with a detailed history on how this company came to be, and the cars the company turned out. But it was this sentence that really caught my eye:

Shelby de Mexico, during the 1971 model year, built approximately 200 Shelby Mustang GT-351s (Windsor engines) and 300 Shelby Mavericks powered by 302hp engines. 

Wait, a Shelby Maverick? Yes, a Shelby Maverick…. and here are a couple of pictures….

Read all about this rare and wonderful beast here.

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  1. tonyola Avatar

    Yuck. Don't include me in the Maverick love fest. I drove these back when they were new. Mavericks were simple and tough, but they also were really crude-feeling, cramped, and you were always reminded of where Ford cut costs. A penalty box that was worse than the preceding Falcons and Ford's cynical way of saying "See? You could have gotten a *real* car from us. But no – you had to go the cheap route. Deal with it. You'll be crying for a Torino in a year's time." A Plymouth Duster cost only a little bit more but it was a much superior car – roomier, unbreakable Slant 6s or small V8s, huge trunk, temp and ammeter gauges, a real glove box, optional Torqueflite (best old auto ever), and far better handling. I didn't know about the Mexican Shelby Mavericks. The most interesting Mav is probably the Brazilian wagon built in the late '70s.
    <img src="http://www.stationwagonforums.com/forums/gallery/files/1/mavsw2.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      You are sooooo right. Mavericks function best as sculpture. Or maybe drag racers that you only sit in for a couple of minutes at a time.
      That said, the Shelby does give me an unexpected case of the wants.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I don't dislike Mavs, but you're right, they can't match a Falcon. But I have a personal, lifelong attraction to Gen 1 Falcons. My grandmother's next door neighbor had an immaculate black '62 or '63 Falcon base-model (145 six, column shift 3-speed) that only came out of the garage a couple times a week, and only on nice sunny days (rare in Buffalo, NY). It still looked showroom the last time I saw it, shortly after my grandmother died in 1985. I still want that car.

      1. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar

        I never paid much attention to the Falcon until about a year ago. Then, about a year ago, I saw an immaculate Sprint 289 hardtop in a fantastic mid-'60s pale yellow with a black vinyl top and Magnum 500s. Yeah, the Mustang was a better looking car, but this Falcon was so simple and honest, I just fell for it. It'd be a fun vintage ride, without the excessive price and "me-too" stigma of the early pony cars.
        As for the Maverick, it's a piece of trash, but I can't hate it. The coupe wasn't a bad looking car at all, and it's got more character than anything built in the last 20+ years. That goes for a lot of Malaise cars, really. Their awfulness is kinda charming.

    3. Mad_Hungarian Avatar

      My first car was a family hand-me-down '70 Maverick, wheezy six, sloooowwww manual steering and all. At the time I couldn't wait to get rid of the thing, but since then the design has sort of grown on me. It's amazing how quickly they have caught on once people figured out that everything you can do to an early Mustang, you can do to a Maverick, and the entry fee, as it were, is a lot lower.
      Pricing had a lot to do with the Mav's initial lack of features, not even a glovebox door. The marketing goal was a base price under $2000 and Ford was going to reach that goal or die trying. Of course, in typical Detroit fashion, it was impossible for the early-adopter buyers to find a $1995 Maverick at any dealer — they were all delivered with some kind of option package.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        You couldn't get disk brakes on a Maverick even as an option until 1976, and the only reason they were installed as standard that year is because the Ford Granada, which shared a lot of Maverick parts, didn't offer front drums and Ford wanted to save money by standardizing parts. How cynical and lame of Ford, and no amount of latter-day revisionism will change that. As I said, the Maverick was tough and simple. But that was the end of its virtues.

      2. Sales Geek Avatar
        Sales Geek

        Ha. You *could* get a $1995 Maverick. I know because my parents bought one at tremendous displeasure with the dealer. It had the 170 CID tractor engine (almost every other one had the 200), three on the tree, AM radio, vinyl floor (no mats, no carpet).
        I will give it credit for this much: it survived my mother and three kids (I was the oldest child to abuse it). And no matter what you did with it — speed (?) shifts, hitting guardrails, endless attempts to burn rubber — it kept running. It was ugly, simple and cheap. Ford hit the target; I'm not sure it was worth the effort though.

  2. Gearhead Avatar

    So, they put Maverick badges on a Comet? I don't think the Mercury badge existed in Mexico, so it seems like an easy trick.
    Fun stuff… I'm always fascinated by the "parts-bin" creations that came out of Mexico and South America.

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      They seem to do this more often then I thought, as I've found when watching old car commercials on YouTube. They had a Ford Grand Marquis, and there are many others too.
      [youtube BNsR0H0SVDA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsR0H0SVDA youtube]

  3. skitter Avatar

    I'm glad these exist. The way to a hoon's heart is through mild upgrades. Why this wasn't the base Maverick (or Civic, or Mustang, or Fiesta) is understandable from a mechanical standpoint, less so with the newly unboring styling. However rare the options I would spec for myself, I'm grateful when it's possible.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    So, I wonder how welcome you would be at a Shelby Club event with one of these? Can't be any worse than the crappy little Mopars he made go like hell in the 1980s.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      That was my thought – hey, it's a cheap econobox that happens to be quick and passably stylish thanks to ol' Shel's input. Reminded me instantly of the Charger/Omni/Shadow that got a similar treatment a decade and a half later (and after which I also inexplicably lust).

    2. michael Avatar

      I can tell you from experience that NOBODY wants to talk to you!

  5. Alff Avatar

    Even the lowly Maverick feels the need for speed…
    <img src="http://www.realbollywood.com/news/up_images/11128094.jpg"width=500&gt;

  6. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    This post just made my day!
    I've always loved the Mavericks (along with many other cheap cars of the times, as that's what we had), and to find out there was a quasi Shelby version just blows my mind!
    I wonder how many are left, and if there were any way to distinguish the originals?
    What I'm HUGELY interested in though is the mention of 750 '71 & 1,500 '72 Shelby LTD based Galaxie "Continentals"!!
    Anyone know anything about these??!!??

  7. coupeZ600 Avatar

    What this guy lacks in muscle he makes up with PAH-tina!
    <img src="http://i422.photobucket.com/albums/pp308/rexjenney/PA080619.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  8. muthalovin Avatar

    It is pretty awesome, mostly for the Mexican Steve McQueen in that first advert.

  9. dukeisduke Avatar

    What's with the Comet grille and taillights?

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      I noticed that also.

      1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

        I mentioned above, Ford (and others) did that. Took a Mercury body, and added the Ford name to it for sale in Mexico.
        Ford Grand Marquis example is above.

    1. texlenin Avatar

      Where was this photo taken? It reallly looks like a certain part of Plano…..

  10. jjd241 Avatar

    Here is one I saw a few weeks ago…
    [youtube Q5YC8p9IApU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5YC8p9IApU youtube]

  11. catfreak Avatar

    When you try to polish a turd, all you end up with is a shiny piece of . . . well you know

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