Sunday, September 21, 2014

5k: Plum Crazy: 1971 Ford Maverick V8 Swap

The Ford Maverick was released in 1970 as a successor to the soon to be extinct Falcon and a cheaper pony car to the now heavy/bloated Mustang.  It sold extremely well in its first few years of production (619,000 Mavericks were built in 1970 alone) and lasted until Ford's "Fox" platform was ready for the big time. Whatever the reason, it was always saddled with some second hand inline 6s or smog choked V8s and never given the full chance to shine, at least until owners got around to massing big power from V8s in the lightweight chassis.  Find this 1971 Ford Maverick with V8 Swap offered for $7,500 in Marshfield, MA via craigslist. 

This Maverick isn't just a case of a big engine thrown in the front, it is also covered in a shade of purple identified by the seller as plum crazy, which would have been a Mopar color.  It actually works on this car because it came from the same era as the crazy colored classics from Chrysler.

The engine is a 351 windsor V8 that has been massaged for additional performance; per the seller:
351 Windsor stroked & poked to a 392, engine race balanced by Dunbar, Eagle rotating assembly, trick flow heads w/roller rockers, stealth intake manifold with 770 street avenger holley carb., C6 B&M transmisison, B&M mega shifter, 411 posi rear end.
From the description, this looks to be a sharp looking strong runner.

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  1. You write as if the mavericks didn't come with v8s stock. They did; we had one. 302.

    1. Whoops, I shot from the hip with that post, this is what I get for not doing my homework!!
      I'll update the post.
      Vince DT E-i-C.

  2. Yup, they certainly did come from the factory with the V8. I had a blue 1976 two door I drove during high school in the late 80s. Was a fun car even though it had the huge bumpers. Let's not forget the Comet GT and Maverick grabber also. I enjoyed a 71 Comet GT with factory high back bucket seats and a healthy V8 and 4:11 gears some years ago. Even though it had drums all the way around. The comet was school bus yellow with drums painted to match and black Enkie style mesh wheels and always drew a crowd. I've been looking for another early car but the pro touring look seems to suit these cars for me personally. With the right wheel and tire combo they look mean.

  3. Painted this color I expected to see a mopar stuffed under the hood..

  4. Ford had colors named Freudian Gilt, Anti-Establish-Mint , There She Blue , and Three Putt Green among others for the Maverick as I remember. I think purple was just called purple.

  5. All that supposed effort into that stroked Windsor and he doesn't even give us a picture under the hood.

    The Maverick's as tight underhood as the 65-66 Mustang and early Falcon, it's not easy to get a 351W to fit correctly.

    There's so much that'd have to be undone and redone on this car that I'd rather start off with something much closer to a stock one.

  6. As previously noted, these certainly did come with A V8 as an option, but only a 302. As far as fitting a 351W, it is externally almost exactly the same as a 302 (they're both Windsors), but the stock heads rise about an extra inch. A Celeveland would be a different story - completely different engine family and giant heads. If this car had any clearance problems, it was with the aftermarket heads. If the seller had bothered to photo under the hood, we'd know more!

    1. I'm late to this party, but the 351W is absolutely not the same externally as a 302. Most parts will interchange, but the 351W has a 9.5 inch deck compared to 8.2 on a 302, and the extra width makes a massive difference in fitting these in smaller engine bays, even with stock heads. The extra height also creates hood clearance issues, which is why every Fox-body or SN-95 you see with a 351W swap has a cowl hood, and it's likely why this car also doesn't have a stock-style hood either.


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