Coupé utility

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1934 Ford, the first coupe utility model. On display at the National Motor Museum, Birdwood, South Australia

In the 1930s, the term coupe utility (or coupé utility) was used to distinguish passenger-car based two-door vehicles with an integrated cargo tray from traditional pickup trucks. Since the 1950s however, the definition of the term has become blurred.[1] More recently, these vehicles have been referred to as "pick-ups",[2][3] "car-based pick-up" and "car-based truck".[4][5] In Australia, where this type of vehicle has remained popular, it is commonly called a "ute".

History[edit]

1937 Terraplane Utility Coupe, convertible to Pickup

In the 1930s, the term coupe utility (or coupé utility) was used to distinguish passenger-car based two-door vehicles with an integrated cargo bed from traditional pickup trucks.

The body style originated in Australia.[6] It was the result of a 1932 letter from the wife of a farmer in Victoria, Australia, to Ford Australia asking for "a vehicle to go to church in on a Sunday and which can carry our pigs to market on Mondays". In response, Ford designer Lew Bandt developed a vehicle based on the client's request and the model was released in 1934. A convertible version, known as a roadster utility, was produced in limited numbers by Ford in the 1930s.[7]

In 1951, Holden released a model based on its 48-215 sedan, reinforcing the Australian tradition of home grown two-door passenger-car sedan chassis based "utility" vehicles with a tray at the back, known colloquially as a ute. In recent years, however, ute in Australia has come to mean anything from a coupe utility such as a Commodore-based Holden Ute to a traditional pickup like the Ford F-Series, so for the purposes of this article, the full term "coupe utility" shall be used.

America followed suit with the release of Ford's Ranchero in 1957 and Chevrolet's El Camino in 1959.[8][9]

List of coupé utilities[edit]

Dodge Kingsway coupé utility sold in Australia 1956–1957
1936 Ford Model 48 coupé utility, produced in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, with a roadster top
Nissan 1400 B140 Bakkie, South Africa
1954 Vauxhall Velox EIPV coupé utility

Prototypes[edit]

  • AMC Cowboy: Derived from the Hornet, it was intended to compete with small pickups from Japan, but the project was canceled after AMC acquired Jeep, which already sold small pickups.[17]
  • Austin Metro Ranger: A concept based on the first generation model, it featured a full roll bar, flood lights, and a rear-mounted spare.[18]
  • BMW M3 ute/pickup: On April Fools' Day 2011, BMW announced the BMW M3 ute/pickup. This vehicle was based on the E93 Convertible and featured a structured aluminum pickup bed and removable targa roof. It was created by BMW's M Division as a one-off workshop transport vehicle for use within the company.[8] It was actually the second such ute that BMW built for this purpose: they had previously built one using a first generation M3 convertible in 1986. This coupe ute served the factory for 26 years before the April Fools car was built to replace it.[19]
  • Pontiac G8 ST:[20][21] a rebadged Holden Ute (which is based on the Holden Commodore sedan, which is badged as a Pontiac G8 in the USA) which was shown at the New York International Auto Show in March 2008. It was slated for release as a 2010 model, but was cancelled before any were sold.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oastler, Mark; Kenwright, Joe (7 February 2012). "Editorial: Australia DID NOT invent the Ute!". Truck Jungle. Australia. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Pick-up Skoda Auto". www.skoda-auto.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Chevrolet Montana 2018". www.chevrolet.com.br. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  4. ^ "List of Car-Based Pick Ups (Utes)". www.oppositelock.kinja.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  5. ^ "Is The Car-Based Pickup Truck Doomed To Be A Cyclical Fad?". www.jalopnik.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 
  6. ^ Ford Milestones 1930′s » Ford Discovery Centre
  7. ^ The ute is born... 9/8/99 Archived 2015-05-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b "Will the Coupe Utility Ever Come Back to the United States?". rides.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. 
  9. ^ TruckFest Rewind: Rare Australian 1946 Ford Ute Delights – OnAllCylinders
  10. ^ Johnson, Davey G. (1 March 2007). "Avengermino! The Dodge 1500 Pickup!". Jalopnik. Retrieved 5 March 2018. 
  11. ^ Unique of the Week: 1974 Ford Falcon XB Ute
  12. ^ Rootes Australia advertisement for "The new Hillman de luxe Utility", Power Farming in Australia and New Zealand, August 1956, page 100
  13. ^ Morris Marina Archived 2013-08-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Advertisement for Singer SM1500 Half Ton Coupe Utility, The Nambour Chronicle, Friday, 29 February 1952, page 10. Retrieved 1 December 2013
  15. ^ 1953 Brochure for Standard 12 Cwt Delivery Van and Standard Pick-up Truck, www.flickr.com. Retrieved 26 October 2013
  16. ^ "75 Years of TOYOTA | Vehicle Lineage | Publica Pickup | Description". Toyota. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  17. ^ "AMC Cowboy". all-car-brands.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. 
  18. ^ Adams, Keith (27 September 2011). "Metro Ranger". AROnline. UK. Retrieved 5 March 2018. 
  19. ^ Pleskot, Kelly (27 September 2016). "BMW Looks Back on Four M3 Prototypes That Were Never Made". Motor Trend. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  20. ^ Levine, Mike (2 July 2008). "Pontiac G8 Sport Truck Engine and Name". PickupTruck.com. US. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  21. ^ "2010 Pontiac G8 ST". Motor Desktop. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  22. ^ "GM shelves plan for US launch of Pontiac G8 ST". The Free Library. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 

External links[edit]