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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Good-Guys Summer Get-Together

Uploaded: May 31, 2012
I don't know if the guys who hold the Good-Guys Hot Rod shows in Pleasanton and other venues around the country are really "good" guys, but they put on a good show and it's convenient for me to drive to it a few times a year. I plan to be at the Summer Get-Together this weekend with my 1973 Maverick Grabber.

Many of my readers know I have a yellow and black Maverick Grabber that they see me driving around in San Ramon and Dublin. I'm in Dublin a lot because I've been taking it to Ray's Auto. They have fixed almost everything in it over the last six years.

I used to own Mavericks back in the 1970s when they were new. I bought my first Maverick in 1969, probably in April. It was a 1970 but considered a 69-1/2. Mavericks replacedd the Falcon to compete with the VW Beatle. They were aimed at young people who needed a fun but inexpensive car.

The base price of the original Maverick was $1995. That's the one I bought. The only accessory I added was an AM radio for $50, but the State of New York, where I lived in 1969, required a day/night rear view mirror for another $7. I considered it $7 wasted on the flippin' mirror. I never liked them and I still do use the "night" setting.

I traded my 1969-1/2 for a 1976 in late 1975. This one had more options, metallic paint, better upholstery, 250 6 cyl engine, and an AM/FM radio, but sill a flippin' mirror.

In the 1970s Ford added a 4-door model and a fancy Grabber 2-door, but I wouldn't touch a Grabber. I thought they looked stupid. They were just a Maverick fastback with a paint job to make it look like a muscle car. Ford even advertised the Grabber as a "Jazzy Firecracker," to make people think you are driving a muscle car but without the expense of taking care of one.

The Grabber model was popular from 1971 to 1975. In 1976 the fancy paint was changed to a Stallion, even though a "Maverick" is bovine not equine. 1977 was the last year Mavericks were built and sold. The model was followed by the more staid Fairmont.

For some reason I started feeling nostalgic for my old Maverick in early 2005. I looked up Mavericks on eBay and found some Grabbers listed in Texas and Florida. The prices were good, but I would have to spend another $700-800 to ship it here. Not only that even with the eBay guarantee, it was risky buying a car from a distance and unseen.

I decided to look for one locally and put a Wanted listing on Craig's List, offering to pay $2500 for a 1972-74 Maverick Grabber in good condition. I wanted a Grabber this time because the whole point is to show it off. The attention-grabbing Grabber was right for me now in my dotage when it wasn't a serious vehicle when I was younger and still working.

I received an email from a man in Modesto saying he had a friend with a 1973 yellow and black Maverick Grabber and wanted to sell it for $3500. I told him it was too much. After I thought about it, I figured it might be worth taking a look at and the price could be negotiated.

Jim Livingstone, who is now serving as Vice Mayor, offered to drive me out to Modesto, really Riverbank, to see the car. Jim had just retired from Pioneer Auto which he owned for many years, and prior to that he started his automotive career working for a Ford dealership when Mavericks were new. So he was the perfect person to come out there with me and look it over.

We met the owner in a Mall in Riverbank. I don't remember which Mall, but when the owner drove up and I saw the car, I was hooked. Jim looked it over and found a few things that needed fixing, and in his usual understated way, said "It might take a few dollars."

Well it was a lot more than a few dollars, but my Mav is running close to perfectly now. My next step is to get it painted. The photo here was taken at Forest Home Farms four years ago. The paint still looked good for a 35 year old car.

I was at Forest Home Farms tonight for the Town Hall Meeting with Mayor Clarkson. The turnout was low, but Clarkson said that sometimes 80 people come out and sometimes only five (I counted 10 including me), but he wanted to answer questions from whoever showed up. The next Town Hall will be held at the Dougherty Station Community Center in three months.

I told City Clerk Pat Edwards I was bringing my Maverick to the Good-Guys show this weekend. She asked if I could win a prize. I doubt it, but I like showing it off. After it is painted, it might qualify for a prize or at least a photo in the Good-Guys magazine.
Local Journalism.
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Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

You may notice that there's no photo of my car with this blog. That's because the photo I uploaded was blurry and had to be removed.

If you want to see a photo of my 1973 Maverick Grabber taken at Forest Home Farm, here's a link to my "garage" on Motortopia, with a better shot of my car. Web Link


Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

We had a Maverick in the early 70s. We bought it used and learned a valuable lesson. NEVER EVER buy a car from a smoker in you are a non-smoker, no matter how clean it looks and how well it runs. You can never get rid of the smell. We tried everything. It was the first car I had with air conditioning, so that seemed like a real luxury, at least until the stale cigarette smoke made you need to open the windows. I don't recall that it ever had and serious mechanical problems, though.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jun 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I guess I'm lucky. My Grabber must have gone through at least three or four previous owners but no cigarette smell in it.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jun 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

The weather for the Good-Guys show was perfect. Now it's raining and yucky. The last show I went to was in March 2011 and the weather was so bad hardly anyone showed up and I left early.

The Summer Get-Together show turned out great. I walked around through all the exhibits and bought some Tupperware -- yes Tupperware.

I haven't bought Tupperware since my Maverick was new. I still have most of that stuff, so it really does last forever.

I parked in a great location near the entrance. I saw all the cars coming in. There were vehicles of all ages and kinds, because this show lets everything in and not just hot rods.

Quite a few people came over and admired my Maverick, and at least three of them asked if it was for sale. Noooooo! One guy wondered why I brought it to the show.

He said, "And you bring it to these shows? Why?"

"I'm the only Maverick here and people like to see it." Yup, that's why.

I don't know why more people don't bring Mavericks. A few years ago a man stopped by with his young children. He had a 1973 Grabber but it was in the parking lot. On the way out I drove by and looked at it. It was the same design, but his was green and white where mine is yellow and black. I took a photo of the two of them together. I don't know if he ever registered his Grabber at another show, but when I do I'm the only Maverick there.

A lady showed me a photo on her cell phone of her 1970 lime green Maverick. So I know there are more out there. Com'on Maverick owners let's form a group at the November Good-Guys Show.

If I get my Mav painted over the summer, I will try to attend the November show. I'm still deciding if it is worth putting more money into it. I'm between classes right now, so I hope I'm offered a couple more soon. This blog pays just about enough to buy Tupperware.

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