She was a maverick and she bought a red one in 1970. My mother, Katie, is shown in front of her Maverick painted in cherry red shellac parked in our driveway of 321 Main taken with a Polaroid by her husband and my dad on the day she drove it home brand spanking new. Both brands long dead as well as she. My mom died in 1995 after several years battling cancer — the bad kind. In this picture, she was a working mother when they were few and far between. The 1970 Maverick was not the typical run-of-the-mill compact car of its era. For back in 1970 a compact car was a small efficient car – what would later be called an economy car. However Ford gave the Maverick plenty of sporty curves and fastback styling that ensured that plenty of buyers would choose the Maverick over the boxier competition. It spoke something to my ma.
The 1970 Maverick was a very successful car with an amazing 578,914 units produced for that model year which was a little more than double of the total production of Ford’s popular 1970 Mustang. There’s no doubt that the very affordable $1,995 base price of the Maverick was a contributing factor in its very impressive sales figures. Also helping to boost sales for the 1970 model year, the Maverick did have the advantage of a longer than normal model year since it was released a few months early in April of 1969. But the one my mother bought with her earnings as a county social worker did not provide for A/C and my memory is my brothers added an 8-track tape player and woofer and tweeters from Radio Shack to the trunk. She was a mother with big dreams beyond the family station wagon but with sense and sensibility of a Midwesterner. She bought a Ford. And she was the best mother a little girl growing up in a small, conservative town in Kansas could hope for…she gave me dreams and a childhood of happiness.