For Sale By:Dealer
Disability Equipped: No
Sub Model: Titanium
Drive Train: Front Wheel Drive
American Fork, Utah, United States
Ford is ending Australian production after 90 years in 2016, and with it may go perhaps the most iconic vehicles in its auto market - the ute. Car-based pickup trucks like the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino were always more of a curiosity than a true market force here, but in Australia, they have long proven hugely popular.
As the legend goes, Ford invented the niche after a farmer's wife had asked Ford Australia's managing director for a more utilitarian car. Her request was simple: "My husband and I can't afford a car and a truck but we need a car to go to church on Sunday and a truck to take the pigs to market on Monday. Can you help?"
Ford's design team came up with a two-passenger, enclosed, steel coupe body with glass windows and a steel-paneled, wooden-frame load area in the rear. The sides of the bed were blended into the body to make it look more unified, and to keep costs down, the front end and interior were based on the Ford Model 40 five-window coupe. Power came from a V8 with shifting chores handled by a three-speed manual. Within a year, the new vehicle was ready, and production began in 1934. Lead designer Lewis Bandt christened it the coupe-utility.
Just when you thought you'd figured the fullsize truck market out, Ford goes and throws us a massive curve ball with the 2015 F-150. The big headline news aren't tow or payload ratings, though we're sure those figures will be fully competitive if not class leading, they haven't yet been announced. Instead, the big headline news Ford is highlighting are the truck's new aluminum-intensive structure and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.
And with good reason - all that aluminum means that Ford was able to cut a massive 700 pounds from the truck's curb weight. That is going to cause all sorts of great things to happen to the 2015 F-150's driving dynamics, performance and fuel efficiency, not to mention its ability to haul heavy loads. For those customers worried about the strength of aluminum versus the more conventional steel, Ford is quick to point out that many military vehicles, such as the HMMWV and Bradley Fighting Vehicle, use a very similar sort of aluminum alloy in their construction.
It's also worth mentioning that the backbone, a fully boxed ladder frame, is hewn from high-strength steel. Ford says "2015 Ford F-150 is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever," for what it's worth, claiming that "torture tested" in labs and in the real world for more than 10 million miles. What's more, the truck, in disguised form, completed all 883 miles of the Baja 1000.
SEMA is more than nine months away, but the reveille bugle for the show has just sounded with Ford's call to aftermarket companies for its project-vehicle program. The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST and 2014 Transit Connect van and wagon are the cars The Blue Oval wants to feature, but applicants can submit project vehicles for any product except the GT500, the Raptor, or anything from Lincoln.
Submissions must be completed in two parts, the first being an email to Ford with an overview of the project, like vehicle theme, promotional plan and location display. The second part must be mailed in on company letterhead and gets down to the nuts and bolts of the vision and the provision of company bona fides. The complete proposal is due on March 1, winners will be notified by May 1. Click the link below to get all the details, and for show attendees, get ready to see some funky Fiestas and wild shaggin' wagons in Las Vegas come November.