Ford’s first ute
You’ve heard of the Ford Model T, but how about the Model TT? Though less wellknown, it also had a big impact – as the forerunner to the modern day ute and van. Launched 100 years ago, in 1917, the Model TT was Ford’s first purpose-built utility vehicle. Owners could customise the chassis with a cargo bed to transport everything from letters to fuel – first at home In the United States, and later in the UK. The Model TT ute was longer and stronger than the Model T car, with a cab that could seat one driver and one passenger. The engine was started using a cranking handle on the front. For a smoother ride, customers could choose modern air-filled rear tyres instead of solid rubber. Ford released this pic and an accompanying story about the TT as part of a preview of its latest Transit van line. First launched in 1965 the Transit has – literally – become the byword for practical, affordable commercial vehicles, a new study, which explores the use of brand words in the British dialect, revealing that the British public now commonly uses the word “Transit” as a generic term for van. Ford developed the first wellsidestyle ‘pickup truck’ in the US in 1928 and – after a plea from a Australian farmer’s wife in 1932 – the first ‘ute’ in Australia in 1934.
The Model TT Ford back in 1917.