Build what you want, and learn as you go, one zip tie at a time.
Tylor Scott’s 1970 Ford Maverick caught our attention when he posted it in a Roadkill Facebook thread about weekend wrenching. The Maverick is 22-year-old Tylor’s first car, a 3.3L 200ci inline 6-cyl backed by a C4 automatic transmission and he is rightfully proud of it, telling us in all caps, that it is a “Drive it EVERY DAY!” kind of project. Here, we’ll let him tell you the rest.
“I found the Maverick on Craigslist.
When I first saw it, it sat 3 ½-inches higher in the front, and 2-inches higher in the rear, it had ugly wheels, no brakes, disgusting interior, horrible rattling exhaust, side trim, Bondo hood, awful idle, bad gas, leaking gas tank, gas tank full of crud, absolute garbage tires, vacuum leak… and it was covered in dust. When I went to look at it, it had been sitting for 15 years.
To get it started, I brought five gallons of gas, a new battery, and a small toolset. Getting it home was an adventure. The only braking I had was the E brake, which on a Maverick is a T-handle deal, and you twist to release. And even then, they didn’t work that great. Talk about sketchy. I later found out there was some type of sediment in the brake wheel cylinders. They may as well have been cemented shut.
It coughed, choked up and puked gas everywhere, but my father and I eventually got it started. I took it for a lap around the neighborhood, and knew I had to have it. If there’s one thing this vehicle has taught me, it’s that old cars, indeed, have a soul, and a story, just as unique as the vehicle itself. I’ve also learned to NEVER leave home without, at the least, the very basics in tools, and I guess I’ve also learned a few new swear words, too. This car taught me that there’s a way to fix almost anything if you’re creative enough. I have three rolls of duct tape, 25 ft. of wire, and a bag of 1,000 zip ties in the trunk at all times–although it’s probably more like 700 zip ties now. Hey, fixed is fixed.
I work at a home improvement store, I do a lot of heavy lifting and I deal with nuts, bolts and tools all day long. My mechanical experience came from my father, and working with my hands my whole life, I was always taking things apart at a young age. I just loved to see how things worked, and what was hidden on the inside – Y’know, why things do what they do. My father never worked exclusively on cars, he was more of a handyman, but he was always willing to help me with my car, and is always supportive of what I wanted to do with it. It turned out to be an awesome bonding tool, and I honesty think my dad is into cars after working on this with me.
Every time I see him he’s got some cool car to tell me about, and the same goes for my younger brother.
I always wanted a muscle car, because my grandfather had a ‘57 Chevy pickup, and my uncle had a ‘69 Camaro RS/SS that was a drag car. We’d go to the strip, and all I’d see was loud, rude, ground-shaking cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Nothing beats the raw, visceral feel of a thumping motor in a car that looks so cool. On top of that, I like anything vintage, from my hair to my taste in music to what I watch on TV. I was raised by people who grew up then, and have a lot of adult friends into older cars and racing, so I guess it’s just how I turned out.
I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the military, guns, being proud of my country and I remember seeing an A10 Warthog (that’s a very large plane) at an air show, and the image of teeth on the side of that plane had always stuck with me. When I was trying to decide what color to paint this car, it hit me. It just seemed right, it’s something I thought you don’t really see on a car, but why not? It’s awesome.
Everyone I drive by stares and I catch people taking pictures very often. Sometimes I’m late to where I’m going because people want to talk to me about the car, and I never mind. I let kids sit in it and their parents take pictures all the time too. I once had a Vietnam Veteran tell me the design was on a helicopter he flew on in Vietnam, and he was almost tearing up when he saw it. He loved it. I live for that.
Being my only car, I drive it every day. I recently had a Jeep in my possession, but that was just for 4×4 stuff, I still drove the Maverick for any reason I can make up, I absolutely love this car, and I’m very proud of it. There’s nothing quite like roadtripping an old car like this. It absolutely cannot be beat. Just, uh… make sure you bring some tools!”