Ford Celebrates 80 Years of Aussie Ute

By | February 25, 2014
The original ute was created by a young Ford Australia designer who listened to the needs of the farming families that needed more utility from their vehicles. The first ute was introduced back in February 1934 and would become the predecessor for the modern pickup truck. Over the years, Ford has translated consumer needs into new models, continuously improving on the design until today where we have the all-new aluminum F-150. Other manufacturers jumped on the ute bandwagon and have produced their interpretations over the years, but Ford remains the first automaker to create the iconic utility vehicle. Back in 1933, Ford of Australia received a letter from a farmer's wife in Gippsland, Victoria requesting an affordable car that could carry heavy loads, and that letter was passed down from Hubert French, the managing director, to Lewis Bandt, a young design engineer. The rest was history. Bandt went on to design a two-passenger, steel-paneled, glass-windowed cars with an integrated steel-paneled load carrying section at the rear, creating something new for the automaker. By January 1934, the model entered production. Bandt's daughter, Dr. Ros Bandt, spoke highly of her father's design when interviewed by the automaker. "I can't imagine what it must have been like in this pressured war-torn time in the 1930s to have the vision to create an affordable Ute on the land to help with everyday tasks, both work and play and be able to connect over distance." The ute has come a long way through the years and has spawned some of the most iconic vehicles associated with Ford and the utility vehicle. The best-selling ute wearing the Ford badge was the Falcon, which has sold more than 455,000 units in Australia. Now, Ford represents one out of every five pickups sold globally, and the F-Series has become the world's best-selling truck in the U.S. for 37 consecutive years. Source: Ford