What’s the most desirable car in the world? For most car lovers, most of the time, words like 'Veyron' or 'E-type' feature in the answer, with the rest of us looking on and nodding sagely at the wisdom of the choice.
However, as a result of a recent email from my old Australian mate Peter Robinson (former Autocar European editor and doyen of motoring journalists everywhere), my answer to the question has changed. Today I desire a Holden ute.
As is well known, a 90-year history of car manufacturing in Australia will die soon because product for the country’s thriving market can be more economically produced in places like Japan and Korea. The variety of models offered in Australia will rise, say manufacturers, and so will production efficiencies.
However, as Robbo has eloquently pointed out, one vehicle type will disappear forever: the classic Australian 'ute'. The word is short for 'utility', a unique breed of car-based pick-up that sold in huge numbers for 30 years after the war. 'Car-based' is the important bit: a proper ute is a lower, quicker, wholly more capable creation than the 'world' pick-ups we all know, like the Toyota Hiace, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi L200. And it’s far, far cooler.