In 1983, I was fresh out of high school and in need of a set of wheels to look for a job. My grandparents had a 1974 Maverick and I talked to them and they agreed to sell it to me for $200. I paid them $100 and was able to take the car home. I drove it for a few months and my dad decided it was time to rebuild the engine, and I'm glad he made that decision. I was working 3rd shift for a cleaning company by this time and would work on it with him in the afternoon and early evenings. When we got it apart, we found out it had 3 burnt valves, 2 intake and 1 exhaust. The head was sent off and completely gone over, in the mean time, we honed out the cylinders. The head came back, looking like brand new, gaskets were replaced and it was put back together.
About a year or so later, the timing chain, yes I said chain (I still have it to prove it) went out on it. Luckily it went out sitting in the driveway, so I wasn't stranded anywhere. Dad and I tore the front of the engine apart, put on a new one, and I was back on the road again. I have to admit, for a 250 CID 6 cylinder, that car would get up and go!!!
It was aboout a year or so later that marked the beginning of the end for my Maverick. I was on my way to a function after a bad thunderstorm. I hit a large body of water that had accumulated on the road, hydroplaned and ended up in a ditch, the front of the car against a large tree. I turned on the interior light and the passenger side of the car was full of water, my jacket floating on top. I hit so hard, that the radiator was pushed into the fan. Needless to say, I had to have the Maverick towed home. To this day, when I drive that street, and pass that tree, I think to about that night and wonder what I could have done differently.
I tried to get it going again, but it just wasn't meant to be. It sit in the driveway, until finally the time had come to get rid of it. By this time, the brakes had gone out on it. It was parked in a field by my grandmother's house and eventually towed away. When I got rid of it, I vowed someday I would own another Maverick, and now the time has come. I recently purchased a 1976 Maverick. I have nicknamed it "The Son Of Trigger"