It’s always fun to think about what auto manufacturers could theoretically produce if the main objectives weren’t selling the most cars and maximizing profits. It’s no secret that the 2022
Ford Maverick truck isn’t some fresh take on the original muscle car. We learned years ago that Ford had filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for use of the name “Maverick.” While this led to plenty of speculation about what kind of vehicle the Maverick name would apply to, there wasn’t anyone who guessed it would be a compact hybrid pick-up.
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Luckily for us, digital artist Oscar Vargas has created a Ford Maverick that sparks dreams about what could have been. His modern design is based on the body of the current Ford Mustang, but it’s the subtle details that pay homage to the original Maverick. The “Grabber” graphics on the bottom of the doors first appeared on the Ford Maverick Grabber, a variant that came out in mid-1970. The wide, concave front grill and pointy nose are also included in the rendering, a distinctly cool and updated face lift we never got to see.
The Original Grabber Muscle Car
The first Ford Maverick mini muscle cars, produced from model years 1970 to 1977, were eventually available with four different engine options. In the first half of the 1970 model year, the Maverick came with either a 105 horsepower 2.8L straight-six or a larger 3.5L straight-six making 120 horsepower. Later that year, Ford added another straight-six option, this time a 4.1L pumping out almost 130 hp.
The final engine option came when Ford decided it was finally time to offer the Maverick with a V8. The 302 CID V8 making 210 horsepower spurred the colorful Grabber trims, featuring rear spoilers and “dual dome” hoods, making the Maverick really earn its muscle car title.
Keep in mind that this was the Malaise Era, and pressures from the EPA, NHTSA and OPEC alike were forcing domestic automakers to do what they could at the time to both reduce fuel consumption of their vehicles (which at the time meant significant power reductions compared to the 1960s), as well as adding various perceived safety items to vehicle exteriors, which had automotive exterior design take a turn for worse.
The Ghost Of Maverick Past
If the world was a perfect place and we could pick from four engines to throw in a 2022 Ford Maverick muscle car? Boy, oh boy. Imagine having to decide between the 2.3L turbocharged EcoBoost and the 5.2L V8 used in the late, great S550 Ford Mustang GT350. As a pair of bookends, we’d love to see the 650 horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine from the Ford GT, and the fuel efficient 2.5L hybrid electric engine as seen standard in the Maverick truck. A perfect world indeed.