Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

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Thread: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Premium Member JoeT's Avatar
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    Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    Holden Sandman turns 40

    David Burrell
    5 June 2014
    www.carsguide.com.au

    If ever a car has penetrated the psyche of the young Australian male, then the Holden Sandman panel van and utility ranks right at the top.

    Combining youth, freedom, power, sun, surf and sex, the Sandman had it all. There was nothing subtle about a Sandman when it hit the streets in 1974. Its bright primary colours and Sandman decals screamed out a warning to fathers that their daughters might not be safe. It was a sales success right from the get-go. Years later it was immortalised in a postage stamp.

    Its genesis came when Holden’s product planners noticed the ever increasing sales of V8 panel vans and utilities to younger customers. At the same time Holden’s design department, led by Leo Pruneau, had watched the increasing trend of customised panel van interiors and wild exterior paint jobs. You and I know them as "shaggin waggins"

    Leo tells the story: "During the HQ model run I asked Peter Arcadipane to do some decals for us and some long side stripes. We put Monaro front guards on a Belmont panel van, blacked out the headlight surrounds, added a Monaro GTS steering wheel and stood back as they flew out of the dealerships."

    Based on that experience, Leo and his team picked the brains of some van customisers. "We found they wanted a van with a Monaro GTS sports interior with bucker seats, a wide choice of engines and transmissions and a bare bones panel van section out the back. That was because everyone wanted to customise the back themselves, with stereos, carpet, mirrors and a mattress. So that was what we did with the HJ onwards" remembers Leo.

    "We also put a huge Sandman decal across the tailgate. In fact, when we showed it to the directors they just looked and shook their heads and asked if we were really serious," says Leo. "You bet we are" he told them.

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    GMI Australia Correspondent Premium Member mikmak's Avatar
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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    My uncle had a white Sandman with a Red and Blue metallic flake paint job to match his ski boat. In the back was nothing less than red crushed velvet. seriously.
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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    Two of my mates had them. One had an HQ with four wheel disks (don't ask how) 308 with a tall diff. The other had an 253 HQ with a Statesman like front -he made up a mould to make the centre piece of the grille. very different cars but both went like something off a shiny shovel and were suitably decked out inside.

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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    Never owned one myself back then - my late teens early twenties cars being a hot 360 V8 Chrysler by Chrysler, then Benz SE V8, then XJ6 - but I had lots of friends with them.

    Spent time in the back cruising the suburbs of Sydney part of the year and then cruising the beaches south of Geelong the other part. 4-5 guys and an esky full of beer in back of a Sandman Van hunting girls in bikini's - now that was the 70's...

    Best Sandman I remember was owned by a guy in my home town who fitted a Jag XJ6 rear end under it, along with a very hot 454 Big Block V8...





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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    My Brother bought a dark grey metallic (custom paint job) HQ Panel van with Premier from end and that big roof spoiler and round side window portholes with grey crushed velour in the back

    Problem was the day he took it home to show me all I could think to say was

    "hey bro they closed the drive in yesterday LOL"

    It was cool though but about 10 years too late
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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    I remember buying all the car mags when they did van specials, and then came specialist van magazines which I lapped up as well. I was old enough to appreciate but too young to participate!
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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    HAHA I'm a generation late to the party, but a Sandman is right up there on my list of classics. Did have a quick look around prior to buying my current car.

    Maybe if I win the lotto........

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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    It was a strange time. Half of the mates had Monaros, the other half panel vans. One mate had an ex Coca-Cola van (HK, 161, 3 on the tree), had windows on the passenger side but not the driver's. There were also a couple of ex-ambulances, had a rear passenger side door in a panel van. I often wonder what happened to the cars after we sold them off.
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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    The VU concept is just a stand out. So glad they did a quasi-production version.



    My favourite detail was the fire extinguisher labelled "Flame Persuader" and the engine temperature gauge labelled "Bushfire Alert"

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    Re: Shaggin' Wagon: Holden Sandman turns 40

    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherSteve View Post
    It was a strange time. Half of the mates had Monaros, the other half panel vans. One mate had an ex Coca-Cola van (HK, 161, 3 on the tree), had windows on the passenger side but not the driver's. There were also a couple of ex-ambulances, had a rear passenger side door in a panel van. I often wonder what happened to the cars after we sold them off.
    Yeah it was the same with my mates except for one. He had an EK Panel van. We resprayed it in a Daimler dark blue colour and it looked gorgeous with chrome wideys!

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