It was a rugged vehicle before its time, many moons in advance of the four-wheel-drive craze that swept Australia in the 1990s.

The special tough-as-nails rugged ute came about following calls from rural customers who sought a tougher Falcon ute with go-anywhere capabilities and a handy ground clearance.

Just 432 vehicles were produced by Ford at its Brisbane factory, using additional 4WD components sourced from Jeep.

The ambitious project foundered at the end of the XY's model life as the new XA Falcon lacked the same inherent body strength as its predecessor.

In its February 1975 edition, Wheels reported on the vehicle: "The first thing you notice about the ute is its height."

The limited edition Trax model of the XY ute, in Vermillion Fire, will appeal to serious collectors of Australian vehicles. Detailing is excellent, right down to the front diff and leaf springs, side exit exhaust and bash plate protecting the fuel tank.

Priced at $39.95 plus postage, it is available only from Trax Models on 1800 635 508 or at