I was very fortunate today at the Oakover Winery Retro Market Car Show – the owner of this fine Ford ute saw me taking pictures of it and came over to open the driver’s-side door and then have a chat.
Seems that this was the first commercially-produced ute type in the world. Available in open and later in closed top. It would have been a logical step on from the rather small Model T and A pickup bodies. But what a step!
Australians have always loved utes. I had a square-nose 1995 Ford Longreach ute for 13 years and dearly loved it. It took me back and forth across the continent 13 times and hauled the components for an entire studio – as well as a surgery. There are times when I wish I had it now – try carting home a 2.75 metre length of studio backdrop in a Suzuki Swift…but nothing can compare with this beauty of a ute.
The open top combined with the box body is just perfect for farm and commercial haulage. The owner assured me that he has a soft top for it, but stows this away for the summer months. The only improvement I would suggest is a split windscreen that folds forward and a folding bracket on the front fender to accommodate the longest poles. As it is built like a Ford car it should have plenty of power for the weight of the cargo.
The owner is planning a period-correct trailer for it with authentic wheels – and at that point he will have the classiest hauler in the state. Whitewalls! Two spare tyres! Two real running boards! Beat that, Yokohama!