View Full Version : The Last "Ranchero" was built today.

07-30-2016, 05:12 PM
An Australian Legend Died Today…
by Steph Willems on July 29, 2016


There’s sad news from Down Under. No, Paul Hogan is still alive, and no, dingoes didn’t get into a local kindergarten.

The last Ford Falcon Ute rolled off the assembly line in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows today, ending 55 years of continuous production, Car Advice reports. The death of the FG X Falcon Ute heralds the looming demise of Australian Ford assembly, and leaves just one (doomed) ute in the marketplace of the country that invented it.

In North America, the Ford Falcon’s life ended during the Nixon administration, replaced by the unloved Maverick. In Australia, however, the dream stayed alive. Over its lifetime, the Australian Falcon went from the compact sedan most familiar to 1960s American buyers, to a full-size, rear-wheel drive holdout.

The Falcon bites the dust in October, and with it ends all Australian Ford production. As Aussie motorists mourn the Falcon Ute, the Holden Ute is the only car-cased pickup left standing, but not for long. General Motors’ long-running ute ends production late next year.

North American buyers enjoyed a ute kinship with the Aussies from the 1960s through the 80s. They had their utes, and we had the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino (as well as the GMC Spring/Caballero). They drove like the car they were, with a usable bed for light hauling — just like the fist-ever ute, the 1934 Ford Coupe utility.

Despite constant calls over the past three decades for GM to bring back the El Camino, it’s been one big “No dice” after another. Pickups are hot, crossovers, too, and sedans are withering. It’s doubtful the ute concept will ever be seen as more than a niche oddity (i.e., not worth building) on these shores.

See: http://www.allfordmustangs.com/2016/07/29/an-australian-legend-died-today/