vehicle with car cabin and utility tray
In 1932 a farmer wrote to the boss of Ford Australia to ask, 'Please make a two-in-one car and truck, something I can go in to church on Sunday, and carry pigs to market on Monday.'
Lewis Bandt was given the job to develop such a multi-purpose car. His solution was to graft a high-sided open or 'utility' back onto a two-door Ford V8 Coupe. What made it different from a truck was that the interior was as luxurious as a coupe, and the side panels and roof were pressed in steel like a car.
The 'ute' was in introduced in 1934 by both Ford and General Motors ? Holden?s. It was an immediate success and the idea was soon copied by car makers in Australia and overseas.
The 1934 utilities were sent to Ford in the USA where they became known as 'kangaroo chasers'. These early samples inspired the 1956 US Ford Ranchero and other utes worldwide.
Who Did It?
Ford Australia Limited : design, manufacture
General Motors-Holden?s : design, manufacture
Lewis Bandt : designer
Making it: success and innovation in Australia's industries
Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 1993, p 46.
Australian six-cylinder family cars