Ford Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of Its Australian Ute

Ford ute 1 photo
Photo: Ford Australia
Ford Motor Company is celebrating the 80th anniversary of its Australian ute (pickup truck), a vehicle that will be forever gone starting 2016, when the manufacturer will cease production at its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants in Victoria.
Created in 1933, after Ford Australia managing director Hubert French received a letter from a farmer’s wife asking for “a car to go to church on Sunday and a truck to take the pigs to market on Monday”, the first ute was the work of design engineer Lewis Brandt, who was only 23 years old at the time.

He sketched out the vehicle on a 10-meter blackboard and completed the design in October 1933 and commenced production in early 1934. “Not only was it an Australian invention, but the concept has been exported to the world, reinterpreted by other manufacturers and gained a legion of fans everywhere,” Ford said, hinting that the ute was the forerunner of today’s pickup truck.

The original ute also spawned the popular Ford Falcon utes, which have sold more than 450,000 units since 1961. However, sales of the commercial vehicle have slumped the past three years, dropping from about 12,000 units in 2009 to less than 6,000 examples in 2012.

The current Ford Falcon Ute MkII can be had in five trim levels/body styles and a 4.0-liter DOHC inline-six engine under the hood.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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