Coupé utility

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1934 Ford, the first coupe utility model. On display at the National Motor Museum, Birdwood, South Australia
The 5th generation El Caminos were built 1977–1987.
1972 Chevrolet El Camino
File:Dodge Coupe Utility.jpg
Australian advertisement, circa 1956. This Dodge Kingsway model was sold in Australia 1956–1957.

Compared with other types of pickup trucks in the 1930s, the term coupe utility (or coupé utility) was defined as combining a more stylish, comfortable and roomier coupe roofline with an integrated cargo tray, however since the 1950s the definition of the term has become blurred.[1] More recent models are often called "pickups" (or pick-ups) by their makers.[2][3]


The body style originated in Australia.[4] It was the result of a 1932 letter from the wife of a farmer in Victoria, Australia to Ford Australia asking for "a vehicle to go to church in on a Sunday and which can carry our pigs to market on Mondays". In response, Ford designer Lew Bandt developed a vehicle based on the client's request and the model (called a "coupe utility" at the time) was released in 1934. A convertible version, known as the roadster utility was produced in limited numbers by Ford in the 1930s.[5]

In 1951, Holden released a model based on its 48–215 sedan, reinforcing the Australian tradition of home grown two-door passenger-car sedan chassis based "utility" vehicles with a tray at the back, known colloquially as a ute. In recent years, however, ute in Australia has come to mean anything from a coupe utility such as a Holden Commodore Ute to a Ford F-Series truck, so for the purposes of this article, the full term "coupe utility" shall be used.

America followed suit with the release of Ford's Ranchero in 1957 and Chevrolet's El Camino in 1959.[6][7]

List of coupé utilities

2009 Dacia Logan coupe-utility
1936 Ford Model 48 Roadster Utility, produced in Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Nissan 1400 B140 Bakkie, South Africa
1954 Vauxhall Velox EIPV Coupe Utility


  • AMC Cowboy: Derived from the Hornet, it was intended to compete with small pickups from Japan, but the project was canceled after AMC acquired Jeep, which already sold small pickups.[13]
  • BMW M3 ute/pickup: On April Fools' Day 2011, BMW announced the BMW M3 ute/pickup. This vehicle was based on the E93 Convertible and featured a structured aluminum pickup bed and removable targa roof. It was created by BMW's M Division as a one-off workshop transport vehicle for use within the company.[6]
  • Pontiac G8 ST:[14][15] a rebadged Holden Ute (which is based on the Holden Commodore sedan, which is badged as a Pontiac G8 in the USA) which was shown at the New York International Auto Show in March 2008. It was slated for release as a 2010 model, but was cancelled before any were sold.[16]

See also


External links