Ford’s first ute

NZ4WD - - NEWS -

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.

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