The Ford Maverick was hardly the stuff of car guy dreams when it hit the Blue Oval lineup in 1970.
It was a compact car that was specifically designed for a car owner on a budget and it lived up to its humble reputation as a low-priced practical form of transportation.
We saw many of them on the streets in the 70s but few of us mourned the passing of the brand in 1977.
The Maverick was simply a forgettable car from a time when Detroit was about to re-think its philosophy toward passenger cars.
A Maverick was a primary example of a shift toward low-end automobiles that were not meant to dazzle us with their looks or their performance in the 70s.
The new game was simple function and that was as good as it got for the Maverick in the 70s.
All of a sudden the Maverick was not part of the street scene and nobody even noticed they were gone until long after the last Maverick left the showroom.
These days we notice the Mavericks on the streets because there are so few of them left in existence. Most Mavericks were destined for an inevitable date with the crusher from the very moment they saw their first rays of sunshine outside of the factory.
They were designed to serve their minimal purpose to the best of their ability and then quietly fade from the scene; gone and most certainly forgotten- even by their former owners. Unloved cars from the Me Decade with zero legacy and no sentiment of sadness about their departure.
Which bring us to this recent sighting of a blue Maverick that is still alive and well on the streets of our little city of about 95,000 people. A Maverick still on the road in 2013 is an amazing moment for these plucky little survivors.
We spotted this 70s bumper car (1973 and newer cars required a 5 mph crash bumper) Maverick several years ago in the dead of winter here in our town and we were very impressed to see it still on the road at the time; let alone during the cold and relentless death grip of our brand of winter.
The old car really stood out in traffic and we were pleased to see that at least one Maverick had defied insurmountable odds to still be alive and well in the 21st Century. We were proud of that car and its owner. They had taken a bland non-descript car and made it an instant celebrity simply because a Maverick is now an unlikely sight on the road.
This blue Maverick shown in the winter photo from several years ago was spotted again very recently on our streets and it appeared to be driven by an older woman who was clearly still using the car as a daily driver. It was not immaculate by any sense of the imagination, but the sight of this survivor Maverick still alive and well in our town was a remarkable moment for us at MSCC here in 2013.
The basic design and style of the Maverick remained virtually unchanged during its entire inglorious production run of seven years here in North America. Hardcore Maverick fans would likely be able to separate the years of these cars, but most of us just viewed them as bland, soulless automotive clones during their entire history. It turned out that we were wrong because there is actually something kind of special when we see one of these cars on the road these days, perhaps in a passenger pigeon kind of way.
Turns out we don’t know what we got till it’s gone, to paraphrase on old rock song by Cinderella.
Even an unloved car from a distant past.