The Ute

Australian T3 - - TABLET -

Per­haps the strong­est ar­gu­ment in the Ford vs Holden bat­tle is the fact that Ford de­signed and built the world’s first ute. What could be more Aus­tralian than that?

The idea came about in 1932, when Ford re­ceived a re­quest from a farmer’s wife for a car that was ap­pro­pri­ate for the Sun­day drive to church, but could also be used to take the pigs to mar­ket the fol­low­ing day. Lewis Bandt, a 22-year-old en­gi­neer from South Aus­tralia, was given the task and two years later the ute was born. Bandt’s de­sign fea­tured a com­fort­able cabin and a tray mea­sur­ing 165cm long. It could carry 544kg and was even ex­ported to the US, where Henry Ford dubbed the in­ven­tive de­sign the ‘kan­ga­roo chaser.’

Sadly, Bandt died in 1987 while driv­ing home from film­ing his part in an ABC doc­u­men­tary on the ute. His de­sign lives on.

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