Ford is celebrating a special anniversary this week for a particularly unique octogenarian. Don’t get it twisted around, though: this is an eighty-year-old who could still beat you in an arm wrestling match and drink you under the table. That, friends, is the legacy of the Ute, which is the forerunner for Ford’s F-Series and Ranger pickup trucks.
According to Ford’s story-telling press release, the Ute was a creature born of need. Hubert French, the managing director of Ford’s Australian arm, received a letter from a farmer’s wife in 1933 that asked if he could help their problem of needing a car for church and a truck for taking pigs to market.
French passed the letter to engineer Lewis Bandt, who set about designing the Ute. The first prototypes were tested out in October of that year, and the first production-model Ford Utes went into production in January 1934.
The Ute was a beast in its day, powered by a V8 engine and a three-speed manual gearbox, and it was immensely popular among rural-based Ford customers. Between 1940 and 1954, more than 22,000 Utes sold throughout Australia.
80 years later, the spiritual successors to the Ute are the Ford F-Series and Ranger. Inspired by the combination of power, utility, and practicality, the F-Series has enjoyed a 37-year run as America’s best-selling pickup and a 32-year stint as the country’s best-selling vehicle overall.
Whether you’re tearing up the Outback or conquering the great outdoors…heck, even if you just want to get out of Springfield for the weekend…the Ute-inspired F-Series and Ranger have you covered. Stop into Springfield Ford Lincoln and test drive one today!