I’m ambivalent about art cars. Sometimes I feel it’s a waste to cover a perfectly decent-looking car in elaborate paint designs. But when it’s a Ford Maverick I simply say, “Sure, whatever. Go for it.”
There’s just something distinctly underwhelming about the Maverick for me. It was built to a price, of course, but its Falcon forebear – in second-generation form – looked well-proportioned, neat, even muscular. I find it to be a timeless design. And the first Falcon has become almost a hipster icon and looks like a mini-me Galaxie.
The Maverick? Meh. I’m glad Ford Australia diverged from the US Falcon line by this point and developed its own, more substantial-looking Falcon successor. The Maverick’s coke-bottle contours are inoffensive but forgettable and its details are regrettable: taillights that look like cheap bicycle reflectors, 5MPH bumpers on post-’73 versions that look like railroad ties. At least a Pinto has a distinctive shape. The only memorable detail on the Maverick, in my opinion, is the little spoiler at the back of the coupe.
The sedan was the worst offender as its design looks like an afterthought. It looks uneasy.
The Valiant and Dart were looking stodgy by this point in time (although, again, the Australian versions looked much better) but at least the sedans looked somewhat dapper and seemed to fit in better with the aesthetic of the mid-1970s as the coke bottle curves of the 1960s disappeared.
The Duster and Dart Sport were also handsomely proportioned coupes.
Then there was the Chevy Nova and its badge-engineered counterparts. The sedan looks as much an afterthought as the Maverick sedan, but the coupe looks chunky and purposeful.
So sure, Hollywood artist, you can paint your Maverick. I don’t care.
Photographed in Hollywood, CA in October 2016.