Many items in use today have been invented because of necessity and the Ute is a
prime example. While clever designers invented the car, it took a farmer and his wife
to come up with the suggestion of a two-in-one vehicle that would suit both social and
They say necessity is the mother of invention and this is true of the vehicle called a
Ute, short for utility. Utes are said to have been invented in Australia by a farmer with
a model T car. He wanted to keep the comfort of the car for social outings, but needed
a more functional vehicle to cart produce in to market. So this clever fellow decided
to cut the back off his car and replace it with an open tray that had sides to keep his
produce and tools from falling out. Thus he was able to please both his wife and
At least, that is one of the stories about how the Ute was invented. Others say that the
farmers wife wrote to a car company requesting a car that could take her comfortably
to church on Sundays and take the pigs to market on Mondays. She insisted on
wind-up windows, a roof that kept the rain out and comfortable seats.
The designer Lew Brandt was actually the person who designed the now famous Ute.
Sad to say, in later years he was involved in a fatal accident between the Ute he had
lovingly restored and a gravel truck.
The first commercially produced Ute was made available in 1925 by Ford. It was still
the same as the model T car, but with the back cut off. It sold for the large sum of
$US281, quite a lot in those days. 34,000 were produced that first year; they were
certainly popular as they filled such a need.
Very few farmers were wealthy enough to buy two vehicles, so one that would do two
jobs was what they chose.
Mel writes about utes among other automotive related topics.