Before the famous Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino were born, there was already a utility pickup truck in the Down Under. The Australians built the Ford Utility Coupe which they usually call as the “Ute”. They took the beauty and comfort of a coupe and combined it with the functionality of a pickup truck.
This featured 1949 Ford Utility Coupe may seem like it is a custom built pickup truck but the truth is that it is a production model built by Ford Australia. It was created for the country folks to have a reliable car that can do multiple tasks with a very comfortable ride. It was never sold in the United States which makes the Utility Coupes an exclusive Australian model.
This Utility Coupe comes from Cleveland and has been rebuilt into a smooth rod style pickup. It is originally a right-hand drive truck but has been converted into a left-hand drive so it can be street legal in America. The original front end was replaced with General Motors subframe and a power steering was also added.
This Utility Coupe looks fantastic, the bodywork is solid as they come and has a very glossy finish. The unique body style is rarely seen in American streets and topped with an eye-catching PPG Candy Cinnamon Pearl finish, this truck is certainly a head turner. The truck bed is made of oak planks that are completely solid, the skid rails are fully polished. Everything looks perfect to the detail.
All of the chromes are intact. A driving light has been installed at the grille’s center. The bulb used is still the original six-volt design which means it’s not really functional but does add a bit of style on the front.
Other custom features include the hood ornament with a Plexiglas crown and tail lights from a 1949 Lincoln which replaced the original single taillight. A custom bumper built from 2 1950 Ford bumpers which were welded together and then covered in chrome. The modifications are just right to improve the beauty of the Utility Coupe.
The interior also received a redesign but the original theme was still preserved. The most obvious change is the conversion from right-hand drive to a left-hand drive which was done by using an American 1949 Ford instrument panel.
The preserve its original design, its original gauges were modified and installed into the new configuration, and all of the gauges are working properly. The original door panels and bench seat were restored using period correct upholstery. The dash is fitted with a custom panel that houses a Vintage Air unit, and the air vents are carefully tucked under the dash.
It is powered by a Chevrolet 350 V8 engine that is topped by an Edelbrock carburetor. The 350 is connected to an automatic transmission that directs power to a GM 10-bolt rear. The roaring engine breathes through a Flowmaster exhaust. The engine features Cadillac air filters and valve covers.
The engine has a nice purr on idle and runs without problems. With its diverse functionality, you can enjoy this truck in any way you want. And because of its rarity in the United States, this Aussie pickup will certainly attract a crown on your local car show.
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