The year is 1974 and the car is Holden’s HQ Sandman panel van.
When the vehicle was launched it sent Aussies into a spin, taking the everyday work vehicle and turning it into a sporty-styled weekend play thing.
From ’74 through to 1979 the Sandman became more than just a car, it developed into a unique piece of Australian motoring history. Now it’s an Australian icon.
Affectionately called the ‘shaggin’ wagon’ the Sandman was your parents’ worst nightmare, but it embodied the easy-going lifestyle Australians embraced during the ’70s.
Surfers and bohemians loved it. With advertising suggesting it was a car for the ‘fun folk’, encouraging people with ‘a little gypsy in them’ to buy it.
With shag pile seat covers and floor rugs, the Sandman appealed to young lovers, especially those who liked the occasional drive-in movie.
The original advertising posters called to the Australian fondness for the great outdoors, the sun and surf.
“Escape. Take off. Get away from it all. For a weekend, a week, forever,” the poster claimed.
“If you’ve got the call of the wild, we’ve got your answer!”
Holden reinvented the Sandman as a concept van during the Sydney International Motor Show in 2000 and in 2015 a special edition was released by Holden with the same retro stickers, sunshades, dashboard stitching and custom interiors that made it one of the most popular cars in the ’70s.