It's Not a Truck, It's a Ute
Posted on 16 March 2016
Most Americans think of the Chevy El Camino when it comes to car based trucks. The El Camino may have been more popular, but the Ford Ranchero beat out the El Camino by two years having been released in 1957. This made the Ranchero the first car/truck with a Hispanic name but far from the first car/truck ever.
The first Ute (short for coupe utility) was another Ford first. Created in 1932 for the Australian market the Ford Model B-304 was a hybrid of the popular model A and a truck. Instead of the bed being a separate body part it is an integrated part of the body. Likely the biggest plus of the Ute is it's ride quality and handling. It is basically just a car with cargo space.
Although the Ute never really caught on in a big way in the United States, they sold like gangbuster in Australia with many car makers still making them today. This particular example is an extremely rare beast indeed, being perhaps the last of the mere 28 made in 1932. It last sold by RM Auctions in 2009 for $50,600. I imagine it has appreciated in value substantially since due to growing interest in early Fords.