Australia enjoys a unique place in the automotive world with cars that were developed specifically for the needs of the local market. One of the outcomes of this car culture was the utility coupe, known colloquially as the “ute.” Although Americans know of this creation through the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino of the 1960s and ’70s, the Ute first came to market in 1933 down under, well before anything like it roamed the streets of the U.S.
Of course, who better to be a guide than a native Aussie? St. Antoine joined up with Motor Trend Editor-at-Large Angus MacKenzie in his hometown of Adelaide. MacKenzie teased St. Antoine with their ride for most of the trip, telling him it was a uniquely Australian turbocharged six-cylinder two-seater with a six-speed manual. St. Antoines enthusiast hopes kept getting raised until he realized it was a lowly Ford Falcon Ute. Yet MacKenzie pointed out that it had a proper manual, something not available anymore in F-150s.
MacKenzie invites St. Antoine to his childhood home, where he shows him a vintage Alfa Romeo he drove growing up, and introduces his father, who competed in motocross until age 67, when he then switched to Alfa Romeos. As they venture further toward the edge of the Australian Outback, MacKenzie and St. Antoine enjoy some of Australia’s award-winning wines, before they test the Falcon Ute in the unpaved wilds. Watch the video below, and be sure to catch Epic Drives every fourth Friday on the Motor Trend Channel!