FINAL FALCON UTE

END OF THE ROAD FOR FORD’S HERO HAY-HAULER

WE ALL KNEW it was going to happen, but seeing it just rams reality home. #467,690, the very last Ford Falcon Ute, had its badges and plates attached 2.15pm on Friday, July 29, a mere two months before the last Falcon sedans roll off the Broadmeadows line.

This white automatic XR6 with four litres of Geelong cast iron block under the bonnet isn’t headed to a speculator, but has instead been earmarked to reside in the Ford Collection at the Heritage Centre in Geelong.

With sales dwindling in the face of bigger four-wheel drive dual cab utes, the Falcon Ute nevertheless enjoyed some stellar sales in previous years.

Even in more recent times, the Ute has contributed more than a quarter of all Falcon sales, and last year the Ute propped up the even fasterfalling sedan, claiming a record 30.9 percent share of total Falcon sales. In terms of outright sales, its best year was back in 2004, with 20,212 registrations.

Lew Bandt’s original brief to create a vehicle that could be driven to church on Sunday and take the pigs to market on Monday created an Aussie icon. The fi rst Falcon-branded ute came in 1961, with the XF Mark II being the biggest seller.

If you’d still hanker for a new Falcon Ute, you’ll need to be quick. Ford has about a month or so of cars left in the dealer network, but they’re selling fast.