Today in 1970, the launch of the Ford Maverick, a car that didn’t exactly change the course of automotive history.

But it is part of a story attached to a photo that you see from time to time on social media: supposedly the Mavericks didn’t sell as well as Ford hoped, but the company found a way to preserve the surplus.

They just stashed them underground!

Now I have scoured every archive I know of and then some, and other than the photo that accompanies these posts, I haven’t found a single article that corroborates this specific story.

That said, there’s at least some truth there.

For one thing, Ford actually does have an underground operation in Kansas City.

So do a lot of other companies.

There’s a massive complex there, 100 feet below KC, called SubTropolis.

It was originally a limestone mine, and after all the limestone was taken elsewhere, the owner turned the empty caves into commercial space.

Ford was one of the first clients, and officials with the company that owns SubTropolis says Mavericks have in fact been stored there (though it wasn’t necessarily so that low demand cars could last longer).

That said, preservation is a big reason why companies occupy space in SubTropolis.

The temperature and humidity down there are pretty standard year-round, so coffee roasters and cheese makers store their products underground until they’re ready to be sent into the world.

The US Postal Service has used SubTropolis space to store large numbers of stamps.

Some classic car lovers have kept their rides underground.

There’s a massive vault in the complex that includes historic film reels.

That vault, by the way, is secure and not open to the public.

You’d probably have a higher chance of finding a bunch of mint condition Ford Mavericks down there than you would getting to see the old movies.

I’ll say again that the Ford Maverick is not the best known car of all time.

But what it did have going for it was the grooviest set of paint color names ever.

They included Hulla Blue, Champagne Cold, Anti Establish Mint and Thanks Vermillion (!)

Doing business 100 feet underground (CNN)

Ford Maverick Color Names Used To Be Fantastic (Jalopnik)

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Photo by mtfrazier via Flickr/Creative Commons