Built For Speed – Jimmy Shaw’s Twin Turbo Ford Maverick
The word maverick often refers to an unbranded calf or yearling, but the term’s other meaning – as an adjective for someone or something that’s unorthodox and independent – is a better descriptor for Jimmy Shaw’s rule-bending 1971 Twin Turbo Ford Maverick built by Greening Auto Company.
Originally produced as a mundane economy car, the Ford Maverick had a small following among the ’70s street machine crowd, influenced in part by the sporty Grabber option and some Pro Stock performers on the drag strip. For the past 30 years, though, these cars have been neglected and ignored by most enthusiasts. That may change once they set eyes on Shaw’s stunner – a machine that’s fresh, different, and built for 200mph top speeds.
Yes, you read that right. While it will get driven on the street, Shaw’s goal with this mighty Maverick designed by artist Eric Brockmeyer is to eclipse the 200mph mark this fall at the Texas Mile land speed event.
Needless to say, that target trap speed means there’s plenty of performance stuffed under the compact car’s skin, starting with a Roadster Shop frame incorporating a front suspension designed for handling and an independently suspended Currie rearend. Big Baer brakes with XTR rotors were added to bring things to a halt, with the one-off 18 and 19-inch wheels cut in-house at Greening and wrapped in Pirelli 295/30/18 and 355/30/19 rubber.
Getting up to two bills will be much easier thanks to a 1,200-horsepower twin-turbo 427c.i. Ford V8, based on a Windsor block and carefully assembled by Bennett Racing Engines. With dual Precision turbos, a host of high-performance internals, and electronic fuel injection guided by FAST engine management, this is one potent pony! The Blue Oval mill is backed by a Bowler-prepped 4L80E overdrive transmission.
The team at Greening had the advantage of starting with a pristine 27,000-mile car, which meant they could dive right into the custom metal work rather than dealing with a bunch of rust repair first. Achieving the design Brockmeyer had illustrated took liberal amounts of fabrication, including custom wheel flares on the front fenders and rear quarters and a trick forward-tilting hood with custom louvers. Aerodynamic enhancements included a custom front valence and spoiler, carbon fiber side skirts, custom rear diffusers in the lower pan, and a custom rear spoiler. It’s all draped in a BASF “Go Fast Greening Gray” finish with white and satin black accents for a menacing, no-nonsense effect.
The cabin is equal parts race and street. M&M Hot Rod Interiors wrapped the custom bucket seats in leather with Alcantara inserts, threading in Stroud race harnesses and incorporating a Kicker audio system and Vintage Air AC. A carbon fiber dash pad and RacePak IQ3 digital instrumentation round out the competition aesthetic, along with a Momo wheel topping the tilt column.
Potent and ready to run at full gallop, this fast Ford certainly lives up to its Maverick moniker. We suspect it will be the best-looking street machine at the Texas Mile – and maybe one of the fastest, too!
Photos by John Drummond