Ford's story and they're sticking to it is that the first 'ute' - that's short for 'utility', and refers to the Australia-originated concept of a regular sedan with the trunk lid lopped off, turning the vehicle into a pick-up truck - happened because a farm wife wrote to the President of Ford Australia back in the early '30s saying that her husband needed a vehicle to take his livestock to market on Monday, but she wanted something comfortable enough to drive to church on Sunday - yet they could only afford one vehicle.
The one shown here (left) is actually a Holden, I believe - General Motors' Australia brand - shot when I was in Australia a couple of years ago,.
I've never found out if the Ford Ranchero and its GM counterparts Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Caballero were inspired by their Down-Under cousins, but they enjoyed some popularity here in the '50s through '70s.
I would have thought that with ever-more-luxurious trucks dominating our market over the past couple of decades that this Ute thing might resurrected here.
Not so's you'd notice.
I take it real truckers want their luxury, but aren't interested in losing capability - these things look wussy to a serious trucker.
About the only thing we see today that's close are the Chevy Avalanche and Honda Ridgeline, and they're really more SUV pick-ups, not sedan pick-ups.
And both are not long for this world.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I came up behind what looked like a mid-'90s Toyota Corolla which at first glance seemed to be carrying a bicycle strapped to the trunk.
But as I caught and passed it, it turns out that someone had in effect turned it into a 'ute'.
The trunk and rear part of the roof and body, including the rear doors, had been carved off, and the combined back seat and trunk converted into a pick-up bed.
Who knows what this would have done to the vehicle's structural integrity, but it suggests there is at least some demand still for the concept.
Either that or somebody got carried away with a Sawzall...
I wasn't able to get a photo of it - I was driving - so you'll have to use your imagination. He turned off Highway 25 just before I did, so maybe he's actually a neighbour.
There are other examples of this sort of thing. I was able to get a shot of this Cadillac in a strip mall in north-west Toronto a couple of years back. A Google search indicated that there were at least two different manufacturers of Caddy pick-ups, the Milan and the Caribou.
Even though I was on foot when I took this pic, I didn't think at the time to get close enough to find out which this one this is - if either.
Or maybe someone else with a Sawzall and too much time on their hands.
Maybe some Alert Reader knows?
My understanding is that you delivered your Coupe De Ville along with a significant amount of cash and presto - a Cadillac pick-up, decades before the Escalade EXT.
Nothing new under the sun.