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End of an era: Last Ford Falcon ute sold

By Barry Park, 04 Oct 2017 News

End of an era: Last Ford Falcon ute sold

A single digit in the latest monthly sales data marks the end of 58 years of Falcon utes in Australia

PULL on the blue singlet and wrap on a black armband: the last Falcon ute remaining in Ford’s showrooms nationwide has been sold.

This month’s VFACTS sales data records a single Ford Falcon ute sale, compared with three for the Falcon sedan that finished production in October last year, and 31 Ford Territory SUVs, showing the remaining Aussie-made Ford stocks are vanishingly few. The last sale of the trade-friendly, snub-nosed workhorse comes 15 months after the ute officially ended production in June 2016.

The sale also closes the books on an innovation born of a farmer’s wife wanting something capable of going to church on Sunday, and taking the pigs to market on Monday. Over time, the ute’s iconic profile would become deeply etched in Australian culture.

It’s not known how much the buyer paid for the last Aussie ute on sale, although it’s expected they didn’t hand over the $61,000 that Sunbury Ford dealer John Bradbury shelled out for the last Winter White XR6 Turbo ute off the Broadmeadows production line, bought at a special fundraising auction almost 12 months ago.

The FGX ute could have been one of the three versions released as part of a final update to the range in late 2014. The badge it wears could be anything from an entry-level XL powered by a 195kW 4.0-litre straight six and choice of six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission, to a performance-honed XR6 or even a 270kW XR6 Turbo. It could have had the tub on the back, or even been a cab-chassis ready to have an aluminium tray bolted on.

It’s even possible it could be an EcoLPI version, featuring another equally impressive, although far more recent Aussie innovation – the car would prime the fuel line with liquid LPG as soon as the car recognises the driver’s door handle is being pulled, making starting much faster. The use of liquid fuel instead of gas distilled off the surface of the liquid fuel improved performance significantly to 198kW – more than the petrol-engined version produced.

The ute is one of 467,690 spanning seven generations since the body shape was introduced to the XK Falcon in February 1961 – with a certain symmetry, both of these utes were built at Broadmeadows.