The Ford Maverick was originally envisioned to be an entry-level compact car, aimed at competing with the growing popularity of fuel-efficient, compact, imports. It performed its job admirably for the seven years it was in production, but was edged out of the Blue Oval lineup in the late ‘70s. However, thanks to guys like Glenn Sinon of West Suffield, Connecticut, the Maverick will not only live on indefinitely, but will do so in style.
It started life as a Sprint model. It was a one-year-only special model. - Glenn Sinon
The 48-year-old Sinon grew up in a “hot rod household” – as he calls it – where cars were anything but just a form of transportation. “I have extremely fond memories of my youth in and around cool old classic cars. When I was real young, dad drag raced a 1966 Chevelle at Connecticut Dragway in the E/MP class,” Sinon recalled. “I have a very cool picture of he and I standing next to his race car in the pits of the track. I might have only been four or five at the time. The passion grew from there, and finally led me to a career in the collision/restoration field as a body tech and painter.”
The story of this 1972 Ford Maverick Sprint starts in 1988, as the car made its way from Alabama to Connecticut, and was purchased by a friend of Sinon’s in 1990. It then sat in a garage for 19 years, until a clean-out started a chain of events. “I showed some interest in the Maverick, and his one question for me was, ‘Are you going to flip it or build it?’ When I said I was going to build it and have fun with it, he pushed it outside and gave me the car,” Sinon recalled of the start of project Unruly.
“It started life as a Sprint model,” explained Sinon. “It was a one-year-only special model that Ford used to designate some Mavericks, Mustangs, and Pinto’s. They were all white with blue rocker panels and a red pinstripe. It was done to commemorate the Munich Olympics.” So, while Sinon has taken some grief from Maverick purists, he says, “Custom, and one-off was the only way to roll. That’s why the name ‘Unruly’: not submissive or conforming to rule, ungovernable, turbulent, lawless, unmanageable, disobedient, undisciplined, willful, and headstrong.”
After 19 years in a garage, the Maverick Sprint wasn’t in the best condition, but Sinon possesses the hot-rodder’s eye, and saw past what was, to what could be.
Originally planning just a new engine, transmission, and a quick coat of paint, Sinon budgeted $5,000 for the project. That plan, along with the budget, was gone in six months, with a full-boogie build underway “My revised goal was to build a Ford Maverick with a street rodder’s eye, something I had never seen to that point,” said Sinon. “What if someone took the lowly Maverick, the car people made fun of, and really made is into something that turned heads and changed minds about what the Maverick could be.”
“Little by little, I worked on the car in my back yard garage. I have done almost everything on the car – custom bent stainless brake lines, running braided fuel lines, all of the custom body fab, all of the paint, assembly of engine (with guidance of Rich Pierce), and assembly of the car as a whole,” Sinon said, proudly. “I only farmed out three things on the car: the exhaust to friend Russ Rollins, Rollins Automotive in Windsor Locks, CT, the transmission to Lloyd Wig at Master Tech Automotive in Somers, CT, and the upholstery to Ken Nadaeu at Ken’s Upholstery in Vernon, CT.”
What Sinon has created is a gorgeous 1972 Maverick that turns heads and, most importantly, puts a smile on Sinon’s face. The paint on the car is nothing short of marvelous, as one would expect from a Technical Instructor for PPG Automotive Refinishing. It is a custom mix of pearl and metallic PPG Envirobase that Sinon calls Venom Blue . The stripes are a slightly darker blue mix, and PPG Glamour Clear seals the color, while a matte clear went on the engine bay.
The front valance was made from pieces of a ’69 Camaro valance grafted onto the factory Maverick valence, with Fesler driving lights. The side lights are flush-mounted, the drip rails have been shaved, and RingBrother’s door handles and Vision Concepts side mirrors were added.
Out back, a 1968 California Special rear panel was grafted on so that Sinon could use ’68 Shelby-style taillights. An Alan Johnson stainless gas filler was added, and the lower rear valance was welded in and then molded smooth and notched for the exhaust tips.
Sinon’s hood and trunk lid are carbon fiber units from the Maverick Man, and he opted to paint them, rather than leaving the carbon exposed. The rear bumper has been cut and shaped to better fit the car, and the front and rear bumpers were sent to Advanced Chrome Plating for the final touch. “I’ve done a lot tweaking [on the body panels] just to clean up the look and sharpen the lines,” Sinon said.
Moving inside the car, Sinon once again put his fabrication skills to use, making a gauge panel to hold the New Vintage 1969-series gauges. A Lokar shifter and Mustang bucket seats augment the front of the cockpit, while a custom made rear seat and door panels in black vinyl and black and white hounds tooth round out the upholstery. An Ididit tilt column and billet steering wheel with the outer ring hydrodipped in wood grain.
Under the hood is a 340-horsepower Ford 302 Sinon put together himself with a Ford Motorsport E-cam and GT40 heads. And Edelbrock RPM Air Gap intake with an Edelbrock 650 carb top off the engine.
Stainless Ford Motorsport headers handle exhaust duties, and a Compu-Tronic distributorless ignition system keeps the fire burning. Power goes through an AOD and Ford Motorsports Aluminum driveshaft, back to a Ford 8-inch rearend with a TracLok posi unit and 3.80:1 gears.
A Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II front suspension is used, with tubular control arms, drop spindles, coilovers, and rack-and-pinion steering. Out back are Caltrac bars and 2-inch dropped leaf springs, with Chassis Engineering subframe connectors tying it all together.
Engineered Components’ 13-inch drilled and slotted disc brakes are at all four corners, with the calipers smoothed and painted body color. Up front, 17×7 Billet Specialties Vintec Dish wheels are wrapped in 225/47-17 BFG rubber, and on the rear, the same wheels, in 18×8, are wrapped in larger 255/45-18 rubber.
Now that the project is complete, Sinon is planning to drive it to plenty of car shows and generally have fun with it, as opposed to hiding such a gorgeous car in the garage and hauling it on a trailer. “The plan is to just have fun with it and start racking up the miles. My youngest daughter, Hannah, turns 16 in January, and I cannot wait for the first time we are able to go to a car show together with her driving the Maverick,” the smile evident in his words. One thing is certain, wherever the car goes, it is sure to garner plenty of attention, because another Maverick like this, you’ll not find.