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Ford Celebrates 80th Anniversary of the Ute

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Ford utes old and new

Ford utes, old and new.

Before Ford produced the pickup trucks we know and love today, the American brand had the ute. Considered the forerunner of the modern pickup truck, the ute was an Australian invention that truly made Ford into the leading truck producer in the car industry. Now, this iconic vehicle is turning 80, giving Ford reason to celebrate the pioneer of global truck leadership.

Much like the Model T Ford, the Ford ute was also built out of pure necessity. In 1933, Hubert French, the then managing director of Ford Motor Company, received a letter asking for a vehicle that could carry both loads and provide passenger comfort. After sharing the request with Ford Australia’s only designer, Lewis Bandt, the Ford ute was born, establishing Bandt as a top designer at the age of 23.

The original ute was designed as a coupe with an integrated section made specifically for carrying in the rear, known in the business as a coupe utility (think Ford Ranchero!). It first entered production in 1934, beginning Ford’s dedication to providing the best pickup trucks possible. Today, the Ford F-Series is the best-selling vehicle in the pickup truck industry, beating out the Model T Ford by almost double the sales—and this is all due to the iconic ute.