M&P declares Ford’s Outback ute to be one of the great Australian classics, up there with the Holden Monaro and the Falcon GTHO.
Alright, perhaps it’s not there in terms of raw power or overall want factor, but in terms of being uniquely Aussie, fit for market and a high-tech, uprated model.
Designed to fill a perceived gap in the market, Ford astutely recognized the need for a work vehicle with increased off-road ability, but without the complexity of the new Japanese 4x4s. It would also appeal to those who preferred a more ‘car-like’ ride, as well as those true blues Aussie ford fans whose brand loyalty stood tall above all else.
Based on the XG Falcon ute platform and powered by Ford’s tried’n’true 148kW (198hp) 4.0L straight 6, the Outback was a trick piece of kit. It received a Hydratrak viscous differential; twin fuel tanks with 1000km range and mounted amidship so not to take up valuable tray space; increased ride height with uprated shocks and springs; semi-offroad tyres; underbody shielding including a sump and gearbox guard, bigger wheels with semi-offroad tires, and a two-stage cyclonic air filter.
This particular example sports the facelift EU nose cone, which gives it a slightly rounder face, but is ultimately the same car under the skin.
Although the clear coat is faded and cracking, the paint is in good condition. Its never been restored but has been well looked after. Tints and an external sunshade keep things cool and relaxed while protecting the interior.
You could take this thing to work during the week, adventures during the weekend, and to the odd car show or meet, where it would surely gain many admirers.