- Written by webmin
I just can’t get enough of these right-hand drive classics from Australia. We received these photos via email this week from classic car enthusiast Rhonda Martinez who also provided us with some photos of the classic car show in Castlemaine last year. Most GM cars and many others built in Australia before World War Two were assembled in the Holden plant, however, US factories continued to produce RHD vehicles into the Seventies for export or mail carrier use. Chevy and Pontiac stopped making RHD in 1968 with Oldsmobile and Buick stopping the practice in 1954. Dodge built RHD cars here in the US until 1968 and Ford was the last to phase out righties in 1972.
General Motors Holden and their Woodville Body plant assembled just about every brand name you can think of from 1927-’43. Dodge, Willys, Studebaker, Oakland, LaSalle, Reo, Chandler, Essex, Vauxhall and Hudson name badges passed through their plant to be sold to the Australian market.
But, Holden didn’t produce Fords. Although they did assemble some Mercury bodies from 1935-’41, all other Ford production was from their own Australian production facilities in Geelong or later Broadmeadow, Victoria near Melbourne. Ford production has been on-going since the plant’s opening in the mid-1920s by Ford of Canada.
An exclusive-to-Australia Ford model was the Prefect A493A Coupe Utility. This 1950 model in green is pictured with a Sixites Falcon and the blue British market-built A493A saloon.
This unit body version ute shared body parts from the English-built Prefect and featured the same 1172cc side-valve four-cylinder engine as the saloon. The engine produced 30 hp and had a top speed of right around 60 mph. These utes were only built from 1949-’53 and shared the same 87-inch wheelbase as the four-door. The three-speed manual transmission gave it good fuel economy at over 27 mpg but it had a tough time getting out of it’s own way with a 0-50 ET of over 22 seconds.
The interesting feature that makes this ute different from your average run-of-the-mill pickup of the same era is the one-piece 5-1/2-foot truck bed that was incorporated into the rear bodywork instead of bolting a box assembly onto the frame behind a cab assembly.
I wonder how many of these Ford could have sold here in the States, sort of a business coupe with a bed. I really like the look of it. Plug-in a ’49-’53 Flathead (hmm will it fit?) and you could turn heads on the crosstown and terrorize the neighborhood too.
More photos of classic RHD cars and trucks from the Castlemaine event are coming later this week.