Unique Cars - - THE HUMBLE UTE -

There’s some­thing very spe­cial about the pro­file of this gen­er­a­tion Ford ute when you see one roll up. At first it’s dif­fi­cult to put your fin­ger on what it is, but it seems to have a long swoop­ing flow to its lines that you don’t see any­where else. Sure the nose cone changed across XA-XB-XC, but the pro­file re­mains much the same.

What is it? Take a closer look. It is in fact a true coupe util­ity, lit­er­ally us­ing the longer doors from the XA-on coupe. Our own Dr John Wright, car his­to­rian ex­traor­di­naire, de­scribes the sig­nif­i­cance of this se­ries: “Af­ter the US Chevro­let El Caminos and Ford Rancheros kept the Aussie coupe ute idea alive at a time when it was dead in Aus­tralia, it took Ford un­til 1972 to re­vive it lo­cally.

“Even if the XA ute’s load bed was re­lated to the wagon, it had gen­uine coupe doors and a rak­ish two door coupe roofline. Its wheel­base was ex­tended to the full 116 inches (2946mm) of the Fair­lane leav­ing stretch­ing room in­side the cabin without the huge rear over­hangs of US de­signs to main­tain load length. The long wheel­base also al­lowed 55 per cent of the beefy 750kg load ca­pac­ity to be po­si­tioned ahead of the rear axle.

“It closely re­sem­bled the lat­est Ford Rancheros based on the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Torino as they were ba­si­cally the same size but with ex­tra clear­ance and shorter over­hangs. The XA Fal­con ute was even re-badged as the Ranchero to re­place the US mod­els on the South African mar­ket where it was hugely suc­cess­ful. It now sup­ports a cult in­dus­try ready to build a V8 ver­sion of your dreams. Be­cause it so suc­cess­fully com­bined US Ranchero-style with the Aussie work ethic and bush clear­ances, it won sev­eral South African awards at the time in­clud­ing Best Tow Ve­hi­cle.”


RIGHT Henry's most pop­u­lar 302 could make a ute boo­gie.ABOVE Twelve slot­ters, four-light grille and bon­net scoops give this ute real street pres­ence.

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