The Ute's muscle comes from a '02 GM Performance 454ci big-block with 535 hp complete with a Street and Performance fuel injection system. All of the external aluminum accessories have been polished: valve covers, breathers, ignition wire spreaders, air cleaner cover, air intake, intake manifold, and fuel rails, the alternator, Vintage Air compressor, and Billet Specialties pulleys. An MSD Blaster HVC ignition coil and MSD 6A ignition control box deliver plenty of charge to the MSD distributor that sends strong electrical pulses through the MSD 8mm ignition wires to the Champion spark plugs. The four-row Be Cool aluminum radiator and Spal auxiliary dual electric fans guarantee cool engine operating temperatures. A pair of Sanderson stainless steel 2-1/2-inch engine-hugger headers collect into a 3-inch diameter stainless steel exhaust that flows through a pair of stainless steel Borla mufflers. The engine was fine-tuned on the engine dyno by the team at Pro Motor in Goshen, Indiana. A GM 700- R4 automatic transmission from Coan Racing in Kokomo, Indiana, was installed and equipped with a high performance servo, high performance bands, a heavy-duty 3-4 clutch pack, and a 30-spline torque converter. The 700-R4 gear selection is accomplished by the action of a B&M shifter. A B&M auxiliary transmission cooler is mounted under the frame to maintain normal operating temperatures of the transmission. The 700-R4 tranny was linked to the Ford 9-inch with a 48-inch long polished aluminum driveshaft. The electrical juices are stored in two Optima yellow top batteries that pass through two fuse panels. Besides the primary panel, a secondary panel connects power to the door actuators, windows, lights, horn, and auxiliary dual radiator fans.
It's ironic as I write this feature of Paul D. Knowlson's incredible '36 Ford Ute pickup, that the United States is going through some financial rough times. The Ford Ute was founded as a result of the 1929 Great Depression. The banks had no money to loan the people and businesses of America. Factories were closing down, including the Ford facility in Australia. The farming industry, with assistance from the auto industry, designed a utility vehicle that could carry the family to church, shopping, and during the week it could be used as a vehicle to transport produce or animals to market.
The developer of the Ford Ute was a young engineer by the name of Louis Brandt. He designed the Ute pickup by removing the trunk area of the 5-window coupe and constructing a pickup bed that was attached to the back of he coupe body. The banks agreed to loan money to Ford for the Ute's construction and sold it as a utility commercial vehicle. A few of these cars were built in 1932 through 1935. By 1936, Ford authorized their Australian plant to build 400 units from the United States-produced 1936 Ford coupe car. They produced 118 units and this unit is one of the last remaining 1936 Ford Ute's in the world. Paul informed us there are less than five in operational condition. The Australian automotive enthusiasts love their Ute's. They are cherished like the Ford Model A is here in the United States.