Custom 1973 Maverick!

After my first Maverick "died in 1983," I acquired another Maverick, a 1973 coupe with a 250 and a three speed from a friend, Bill Holmied, who was the second owner.  In great shape, I drove it for a few years, preferring it for nostalgic purposes over my newer Ford LTD.

However, I just couldn't stand it stock , so I started to rebuild it especially since it was a really ugly yellow factory color with a disgusting brown-vinyl and cloth interior.  The bodywork came first.  (Photo 1)   I found a discarded Grabber hood in the junkyard, and asked  Joe Flurer to create some sheet metal inserts for a Grabber hood to replicate the inset pot metal inserts. Then, the rear pan was welded to the rear quarter panels after which an exhaust opening wide enough to accommodate twin exhaust pipes, and then Joe and I repaired the modest rust on the car (this vehicle had absolutely NO rust on top of the shock towers).  Replacement doors were substituted for the poorly repaired originals, and the bodywork process proceeded.  Photo 2

 Once the basic bodywork was finished and everything that needed to be was in primer, I took the car to a client's Master Muffler shop where he installed the twin outlet Clifford Engineering exhaust headers and then bent up a stainless steel exhaust systems that was just slip-fit together so I could take it apart when I painted the car.  There are two Turbo mufflers and two complete 2-3/4" exhaust pipes on this car!

 When a friend (Bill Holmied) (Photo 3 - 6) started to take the car apart,  I took the engine to master mechanic Mike Smith along with a trunk full of parts from Clifford Engineering.  He was given the mission of installing tri-power and making it work!  With the help of master machinist Cedric Ozminski ("Ozzie"), magic was worked!  First, the short block was bored .030 with 9-to-1 Jahns pistons installed.  The rods were shot-peened, polished, mounted to the pistons and crank and then the entire assembly was balanced.  Meanwhile, the head was ported and polished and extrude honed, and the front and rear of the integral intake portion of the head were opened up to permit mounting the carbs, the exhaust ports were hogged out to match the headers, a port divider between the third and fourth cylinders was heli-arced in, custom aluminum car mounting pads were machined by Ozzie, a custom fuel log was constructed, a fuel pump block off plate was machined and mounted (the car has an electric fuel pump), Ozzie made a custom air cleaner along with a Maverick-monogramed throttle bracket and more additional details that can be listed here. (Photos 11, 12, 12A, 13, 14, 17)   Everything that could be chrome plated was, and the engine was treated to three-coats of non-catalyzed '56 Ford red mixed in DuPont Centari, and then carefully installed in a body-white painted engine compartment.  A genuine '66 Shelby Mustang 4-speed was installed and is controlled by a Hurst Competition Plus shifter.  3.00 rear gears in the 8-inch rear end produce good all-around drive ability and acceleration! (Photos 9,10)  Believe me, this car moves!  

 After a lot of block sanding, the car was finally painted in mid-sixties Ford Colonial White, rendered in catalyzed Dupont Centari. (Photos 7,8)   I carefully color sanded the four double-coats of paint, then spent several weekend power buffing and hand polishing the paint.  It just shimmers!  I love Centari! The interior, as detailed in the accompanying photographs, was also fully revised. (Photos 17,18,19)   The white body and blue interior are elegant and understated! 

 Rather than a longer article, let's move straight to some early photos of the restoration of this car. For now, let's check out some early photos taken during the 13-year on/off/on-again restoration:

 

Project '73 Custom
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