I know that in the motor vehicle enthusiast community every person has his or her own opinion on virtually every topic, but I think it is relatively safe to say that it is now accepted that the first “Ute”, also known as a “coupe utility” in America (or “bakkies” in South Africa), was designed, developed and manufactured in Australia in 1934.
Ford Australia’s growth and diversity of models continued through the 1930s but World War 2 severely affected domestic vehicle manufacturers as they were all required to turn their manufacturing plants over to the ever-growing war effort.
When the War ended, Ford had many leftover 1942 body parts and sales to a car-hungry public resumed. The 1946 model year represents the first year of production following World War 2. Outside trim was nearly identical to the 1942 except for the new horizontal grille consisting of three stainless steel bars below a massive, chrome-plated pair of Ford “wings.” The grille sported red striping within ridges in the metal.
On behalf of its current owner, TrueWest Imports has been given the opportunity to sell a “Project” 1946 Australian made Ford Ute. It is in a dry State of America, remains Right Hand Drive and has always been garaged by the owner who has owned the Ute for 27 years.
The owner started the project on this Ute but, due to health problems, he is now unable to finish it. That is the sole reason for selling.
The frame and all sheet metal has been sand-blasted and is in grey primer. It has the “normal” rust to repair but, according to the Owner, it is not that bad. It has a good floor and needs spot replacement on both front enders. There are some small dents in the rear corners of the bed but all in all it is in very good condition (metal wise) given the age of the Ute and having been used for the purpose for which it was built.
In addition, it has:
- a 4 inch dropped axle;
- Volvo model 122 disc brakes;
- 1957 Ford 9 inch rear end;
- Front and rear springs have been reconditioned and the eye on the front springs has been reversed and some leaves have been removed;
- Pete and Jake steering adapter;
- Very good replacement tailgate;
- 15 inch slot aluminium wheels;
- New aluminium 3 core radiator set up for Chevrolet inlet and outlet;
- All parts to put the vehicle together – glass, garnish rails, stock 1941 dash, stock Kangaroo leather seat that needs to be re-done; and,
- the wood in the bed needs to be replaced.
The asking price for the 1946 Australian Ford Ute Project is US$10,000. This does not include the cost of export from the US, shipping and Australian or New Zealand import costs. These can be provided upon request.
If you are a prospective buyer located in America and would like to convert the Ute to Left Hand Drive, the Owner has additional parts to make the conversion for an extra cost.
In 1946 only 1,735 Ford Utes were sold in Australia and fewer than 30 were exported to the US. Only 6 are believed to be currently registered in the US.
This Project, once completed, will ensure that the new Buyer will have a very unique and rare vehicle that will be the envy of friends and on-lookers alike.
As always, I would ask if you can, please donate to CFWA.
Until next time. Michael
Mobile: 0448 899 134
Fax: 08 9355 4465