Design for our Ford Maverick makeover is inspired from a collection of my personal automotive memories. The design and application itself started with the special edition Ford Freewheeling package of 1978-1981 which was very popular when I was young.

Ubiquitous at the time, it was on several models including the F-Series trucks, Broncos, even Pintos and E-Series vans. It came in a variety of color combinations over the years from mild to wild including one similar to this.

When I saw the Bronco Sport Freewheeling Concept at SEMA last fall it really got me thinking about an interpretation for the Maverick that would really pop with the Area 51 paint. I liked how the retro graphic theme played well with the modern Ford shape sets.

Then I thought of the OP T-Shirt I had when I was a kid right around the Freewheeling Fords era and it all came together.

The final color choices and execution really are a blend of all those things, the rusts and earth tones from the late 1970’s ethos interpreted to fit the modern color palette. The color family of muted backdrops like the Maverick’s Area 51 paint and bolder fore colors were seen in fashion, architecture, advertising and decorating products widely during the era.

The Bear Pride flag is another theme inspiration that played into it as well, making this makeover very personal to me.


• 1970s – 1980 turn of the decade
• 78-81 Ford Freewheelin package for F-Series, Bronco and other Ford models
• 2021 Bronco Sport Freewheelin Concept at SEMA
• OP T-Shirt from era
• Bear Pride flag


Hand cut vinyl stripe graphics created from Oracal 951 vehicle grade graphic material. Designed on Photoshop and executed with paper patterns with final cutting done by hand. Wheels painted white with black caps to mimic base model look of 1970s-1980s.

Total cost of makeover around $300

• White stripe at front grille
• Stripe graphics at sides
• Stripe graphics at hood
• White MAVERICK lettering at rear gate
• White wheels with black caps