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Journeys : October November 2009
Pickles Auctions For real peace of mind, purchase an RACT roadworthy inspected vehicle. See your local paper every Saturday for over 80 vehicles. Or for a detailed listing and photographs of vehicles visit our website. www.pickles.com.au GOVERNMENT & FLEET VEHICLE AUCTION Fixed Price Sales Saturday 9am to 2pm and Monday 8am to 4.30pm 56 Sunderland Street, Derwent ParK 7009 Ph: (03) 6108 8444 separated from the cab to allow for greater chassis flexion when transporting heavy loads. The first of the American factory- assembled 'trucks' arrived in 1925 and were touted by Henry Ford as 'the Ford Model T Runabout with a Pickup body'. General Motors and Ford remain the two most popular manufacturers of utes in Australia and for years have regularly produced utility versions of their passenger cars. When the first Australian car, the Holden 48-215 (FX) was released in 1948, an FX ute was part of the range. A whole culture has sprung up around the great Aussie ute, culminating in annual ute musters. Here, like-minded people gather with their like-minded vehicles, usually in a country setting. The primary objective is to attract as many utes as possible to a single location for several days of festivities including music festivals and bull riding. Of course no muster would be complete without a focus on the vehicles themselves, which compete for the honour of being named Best Stickered Ute, Most Travelled Ute, Best Restored Ute and even a Top Sheila's Ute. And then there are records to be attempted and broken, such as the most number of utes in attendance (currently well over 6000), highest number of blue singleted patrons (apparently 1587) and the Dog-In- A-Ute queue (around 700). It's all good honest fun, with camping and much bonhomie. Musters will often be held in conjunction with local agricultural shows where money is raised for local charities such as schools and hospitals. The initial appeal of the ute was aimed at the man on the land and designed with the farmer in mind. From those early days have evolved all manner of variants such as tray-tops and one- tonners, all equally efficient in the dual role of comfortable passenger vehicle and workhorse. Even the minuscule Austin/Morris Mini Pickup (a mere three metres from bumper to bumper) proved to be popular as a practical working vehicle, with around 58,000 sold worldwide between 1961-63. In the 1980s, almost half a century since its inception, the most poignant chapter in the story of the great Aussie ute came to be w ritten. In his retirement, Lewis Brandt, arguably the father of the Australian utility, had become particularly keen to own an original ute himself. After much searching he located a dilapidated specimen in a farmer's garage. With time and effort he brought the car back to life. Lewis painted the vehicle sky-blue and ador ned it with images of the Australian bush -- kangaroos, rosellas and kookabur ras and dubbed it 'the true Australian ute'. In 1987, while retur ning to Geelong after working on a television documentary about his beloved vehicles, Lewis was involved in a head-on collision with a gravel tr uck. He never recovered from his injuries. The old and the new - Holden VE and FX utes Life on the move 23 October / November 09
August September 2009
Dec Jan 2010