Sunday, October 5, 2008

No, this was the Maverick

Every time I hear John McCain and now Sarah Palin declare themselves mavericks, I have to laugh, because all I can think of is this, the Ford Maverick, a rather cheap but phenomenonally popular car in its day (1969-1977). They were everywhere when I was in high school and college. Every dorm parking lot had dozens of them. Many hundreds of thousands were produced, but they're extremely rare today. That might tell you something about the workmanship. Or maybe they were so cheap ($1,995 list!) they might have seemed disposable, like the relatively new no deposit, no return soft drink bottles (how was that for a bad idea?). Buy one, run it into the ground, then throw it away and get something new. Of course the Maverick wasn't the only cheap piece of junk being made at the time. The Pinto, which tended to explode when rear ended, was its smaller nephew, Chevy had the Vega, prone to a melting aluminum block (when was the last time you saw one of those on the road?) and Chrysler had the highly lamentable Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen. Rex Harrison shilled for the Aspen as Henry Higgins singing "It's unbelievable!" That was certainly true, at least in regards to how quickly they rusted. And what of American Motors, which had been producing reliable, economical compacts long before the Big Three? They offered the startlingly hideous Gremlin and the weird Pacer.
Speaking of old paint, get a load of these what-were-they-smoking color choices: Anti-Establishment Mint, Hula Blue, Original Cinnamon, Freudian Gilt, Thanks Vermillion, Black Jade, Champagne Gold, Gulfstream Aqua, Meadowlark Yellow, Brittany Blue, Lime Gold, Dresden Blue, Raven Black, Wimbledon White, and Candyapple Red. And Ford had trouble coming up with names for the Edsel? What the hell color is Freudian Gilt? And all those hippies in a market for a new car (and not a third hand VW bus) would have surely selected anti-establishment mint. (I think we can assume that would not have been maverick McCain's color choice.)

1 comment:

Will Finn said...

thanks for making this comparison. some 'old timer' (that is 'our age') called in a radio show to point this out in regards to McCain also. He said the cars were cheap, unreliable and big gas guzzlers which I guess sort of applies to the candidate.

my sister Barb had a Pinto, i think it was her first car.

..."it's unbelievable!"