Back around the dawn of time, (in the early 30's I'm told), Sheila said to farmer Bruce, "Bruce something has to be done, I'm sick of going to church in that horrid truck. Either that pig hauler goes or I go". Now as you can imagine Bruce was mighty tempted to leave things as they were!
So off trots Bruce to his local Ford dealer and explains to the salesman, "I want a car that's not a car and a truck that's not a truck. Something I can take the wife to church in on Sundays but haul the pigs to market with on Mondays?"
It just so happened that this particular Ford dealer was an enlightened bloke, that and the cash register in his head started ringing. The idea was taken to the managing director of Ford Australia at the time, Hubert French who gave it to his design team. In turn they came up with the 'coupe-utility', based on the Model 40 coupe Ford that was part of their then line-up. Maybe the story is not a 100% accurate but that was how it was told to me by an old timer at the Warrnambool Pub and he knew a thing or two.
That's right folks, the humble utility or Ute as we refer to it down under is a true blue Australian invention... and alas the Aussie ute is to be no more. Ford Motor Company Australia has been manufacturing Utes in one form or another for more than eighty years, and on the 29th of July 2016 the last Falcon ute rolled off the assembly line.
It was a sad day but with local car production ceasing altogether by the end of 2017 and demand for utes at an all-time low, it was decided to kill off the Falcon ute early. The Japanese and Germans 'out Uted' us with their hay hauling 4x4's, which pretty much killed the demand for local product.
In its time though, the Aussie ute reigned mighty; they were cheap, reliable, bullet proof and made good on car like comfort with truck like practicality.
After 467,690 units, the last ute made was a pristine white Falcon XR6 automatic, which is destined to become part of Ford's extensive museum collection.
We bid a fond farewell to our Aussie icon which has done so much for our country and yet has demanded so little in return. You will be sorely missed but not forgotten. God bless the almighty Ute.