Gunners Garage

The Ute Movement

I think that just about every old car collector knows what an Australian Ute is.  If you don’t, just think of an El Camino or Ranchero or even a Studebaker coupe-express of the ’30s or a Hudson pickup truck of the late-’40s. 

An Australian farmer gave Ford’s “Down Under” branch the idea for the first Ute back in 1933. Before the year was over, General Motor’s Holden branch had its own design and it became the number 1 Ute maker.

These vehicles were like a car and a pickup truck all in one and they stayed popular right through the 1980s.  Then small Japanese-built pickups started invading Australia and Ute sales dropped. In the past few years, both Ford and Holden have revived Ute models.

To me the modern versions look more like small pickup trucks than real Utes.  Now, GM is talking about bringing back the El Camino as a Ute version of the new-generation Camaro, which is based on an Australian car platform.  In case anyone is interested in Australian Utes, there’s a publication called Australian Ute Magazine (www.australianute.com).

I wonder if it gets delivered each month by kangeroo?

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