Eric English
October 4, 2011

You might say that Terri Brigham has had her fill of Mustangs. It's not that she has anything against them mind you, in fact, her husband Earl continues to wave the Ponycar banner with several Fox-chassis renditions. As well, it turns out that Terri had a '95 Mustang GT of her own until it was sold in 2008, which provided the perfect opportunity to reevaluate her preferences in the automotive realm.

"I really wanted to find something that was a little more unique," says Terri, and one look at her '70 Maverick Grabber makes you aware that she most assuredly found it.

"When I started checking out Mavericks, I realized they really met my desire for a slightly quirky car that had been largely overlooked, yet could be made into a real eye catcher." The operative phrase here is "could," and Terri seized on the idea and parlayed it into "did." Along the way, she had plenty of help from Earl, good friend Brandon Fehliman, and the crew at Moslander's Rod and Custom. Even her kids, Tucker and Matt, get kudos for their support--perhaps not hands on, but as Terri puts it "for eating hot dogs on the nights when I was working on my car and didn't cook." We give Terri props as well, for while it's evident that some talented pros are responsible for multiple elements on her car, Terri spent plenty of her own time getting dirty and spinning wrenches.

We're told the Maverick was initially a Craigslist find that was in pretty remarkable shape for a then 39-year-old machine. Terri was even brave enough to show it around "as found" for a year or so, and marveled at all the comments she heard about someone's mother or grandmother who had once owned a Maverick. Lest we forget, the Maverick was a hugely popular car in its day, with well over 2 million sold during a production run that lasted from 1970 to 1977. It was Terri's curiosity to learn more about the model that led to purchasing an original 1970 sales brochure, promoting Maverick as "nothing you'd take to the track to run against the big ones, it's more of a jazzy firecracker you'd take to the beach or a basketball game." Something about this corny phrase sparked a reaction in Terri, who decided she would indeed make her Maverick run with "the big ones." From there, it was off to the races--so to speak.

A powerplant decision is normally one of the first and foremost considerations in any street machine build, and such was the case here. Terri opted for a powerful stroked and poked small-block Ford built by Bill Holm, featuring a '91 roller block and a catalog worth of Edelbrock and Scat hardware. Weighing in at the poplar 347 cubes and backed by a TCI C4, there's little doubt the combination can move the lithe Maverick chassis in rapid manner.

While you might consider the drivetrain mods on Terri's '70 to be expected, it's the suspension revisions which may come as somewhat of a surprise. The archaic frontend was entirely scrapped in favor of a Rod & Custom Mustang II-based assembly, including tubular control arms, rack-and-pinion steering, Aldan coilover shocks, and a 1-inch sway bar. The rear finds an Art Morrison Tri-4 four-link, yet again with Aldan coilovers. Rod & Custom also supplied the 11-inch five-lug discs all around--needless to say a vast improvement over the stocker four-drum configuration!

More breaks from the norm are evident on the outside of what Terri terms her "Mity Mav." Surely she nailed the desire to be unique, as we can say with pretty strong confidence that you won't find another Pearl Pink Maverick on the planet. Another thing is certain, Terri is no introvert.

"I had Moslanders' Ray Goodwin mix up my paint until we found the perfect combo of blue pearl and hot pinkùwe call it 'Bl-ink'." Grabber-inspired black graphics were added as well, and since '70 Grabbers didn't come equipped with the hoodscoop of later years, Terri went with an aftermarket fiberglass piece. Of course, Moslanders didn't just spray a down and dirty paintjob on the most visible areas, it did the whole enchilada in two-stage PPG. Moslanders is also responsible for a myriad of less obvious custom work, such as removal of the original shock towers, suspension installation, fabricating subframe connectors, hiding the engine compartment wiring, and much more.

Compared to other areas of the build, Terri stayed pretty tame on the interior. The stock dash arrangement was deemed pleasing once properly refinished, but the seating situation definitely required major upgrades. To that end, the stock bench was pitched, and in its place is a pair of Corbeau buckets with the factory rear seat trimmed out to match. And what self-respecting performance machine would continue life with a column-mounted shifter? Surely not this Maverick, whose B&M shifter is in its rightful home on the trans tunnel, and in good company with a logically relocated E-brake handle.

We caught up with Terri shortly after she got her Maverick all buttoned up, and quickly gleaned that the project had snowballed well beyond what she originally envisioned.

"I ended up with my dream car," she laughs. "You know how these projects grow once you get started." Indeed, it's a story we often hear repeated, yet how many revolve around a retina-searing Maverick? None that we can recall, which bodes well for Terri and her desire for something different. And yes, she's already prepping for the double takes!

Terri opted for a powerful stroked and poked small-block Ford built by Bill Holm, featuring a '91 roller block and a catalog worth of Edelbrock and Scat hardware

The Details

Terri Brigham's '70 Maverick Grabber

Engine

  • 347ci small-block Ford
  • 4.030-inch bore '91 5.0 block
  • 3.40-inch stroke
  • Scat forged crankshaft, I-beam connecting rods and pistons
  • Edelbrock 650-cfm four-barrel
  • Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake
  • Edelbrock Performer heads, 1.90-inch intake/1.60-inch exhaust valves
  • Edelbrock hydraulic roller cam
  • Scorpion 1.6 roller rockers
  • MSD distributor and 6AL ignition
  • March serpentine pulleys

Exhaust

  • Hedman 1 3/4-inch shorty headers ('87-'93 5.0 Mustang), metallic ceramic coated
  • Flowmaster mufflers, 2 1/2-inch stainless mid and tailpipes

Transmission

  • TCI C4 automatic, TCI 10-inch, 2,400-rpm stall converter
  • B&M QuickSilver shifter

Rearend

  • Ford 8-inch, limited-slip
  • 3.25 gears

Suspension

  • Front: Rod & Custom Mustang II, Aldan coilovers, tubular control arms, 1-inch sway bar
  • Rear: Art Morrison four-link with Aldan coilovers
  • Steering: Rod & Custom rack-and-pinion

Brakes

  • Front: Rod & Custom disc, 11-inch rotors, single-piston calipers
  • Rear: Rod & Custom disc, 11-inch rotors, single-piston calipers

Wheels

  • Front: 17x8-inch, Rocket Booster
  • Rear: 18x9-inch, Rocket Booster

Tires

  • Front: Nitto Invo, P225/45R17
  • Rear: Nitto Invo, P255/40R18

Interior

  • Corbeau bucket seats with matching rear seat upholstery by Trimcraft Custom Upholstery (Snohomish, Washington), Grant steering wheel, relocated shifter and emergency brake

Exterior

  • Custom PPG Pink with Blue Pearl paint by Ray Goodwin/Moslanders Rod and Custom (Monroe, Washington)

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