New Holden Sandman Special Editions – Embracing the ’70s Surfing Lifestyle

By Steve Laser and Nahoko Osuka

2015 Sandman Wagon and Ute Side

We expect to see lots of unusual press releases come April 1st. At first glance we thought this one from our friends at GM Holden in Australia arrived a bit early. Yet this is the real deal. Holden is bringing back its customized surfing-inspired Sandman models for the Australian market – with a modern twist.

HX Sandman Ute and Panel

Sandman was originally launched on the HQ Holden in 1974 as a panel van and ute (pickup) in a bid to increase Holden’s presence in the expanding recreational market. Like the custom van craze in America, Sandman captured the imagination of a generation and continued to be offered on the HJ Holden (1974-’76), HX Holden shown above (1976-’77) and HZ Holden (1977).


After more than twenty years in the darkness, Sandman was finally revived as a concept car at the Sydney International Motor Show in 2000. Based on the VU Commodore and dressed with the wild paint scheme shown above, this Sandman was a Holden built, Mambo designed project.

Holden announced today that its iconic Sandman will be reborn and relaunched on April 4 in Torquay, Victoria, in conjunction with the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach surf competition. Holden says that to celebrate the launch, an “interactive surf live site at Elephant Walk Reserve in Torquay will feature a live screen beaming out classic surf reels, music, car display and beachside games.”

2015 Sandman Ute Rear 78 Model

The 2015 Sandman Special Edition is derived from the Australian-market VF Commodore SV6 and the sporty SSV, and will be available as a ute and sleek Sportwagon. While the Sandman is much more advanced than its predecessor, it retains the surf livery and groovy, orange shagpile carpet as an additional accessory.

Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley, said the opportunity to revive the legendary Sandman was too exciting to resist.

“The Holden Sandman has been synonymous with the great Australian surf safari for decades and perfectly reflects our country’s laid back, yet adventurous attitude to life,” Keley said.  “When the opportunity came to revive Sandman, we jumped at it. The reborn Sandman is a statement and reflection of the Australian way of life. Most importantly, it’s about having fun.”

2015 Sandman Wagon Side

Originally launched in a time when cassette players were all the rage and Alvin Stardust topped the charts, the Sandman personifies Australian culture with its unique styling and adventurous attitude.

Popular with surfers and Bohemians alike, Sandman stays true to its roots with its first public display taking place on the sands of Torquay, giving beach goers and car lovers the chance to get up-close and reminisce about days gone by … and days to come.

2015 Sandman Wagon Interior

Holden’s Director of Communications, Sean Poppitt said the interactive live site is the perfect platform for a car that is sure to evoke old memories and create new ones.

“The interactive live site at Torquay is the perfect opportunity for people to come and see Sandman whilst enjoying the surfing, food and great atmosphere,” Poppitt said. “Sandman is the reincarnation of an icon, born from the most iconic car company in Australia. Holden knows Australia and Australians better than any other company and the Sandman is a perfect reflection of the Aussie culture and attitude. I’m sure it will spark great memories for a lot of Australians and help create new memories for others. Let the good times roll again.”

2015 Sandman Ute Rear Model

In addition to a choice of a 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 or 6.0-liter alloy V8 engine driving the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual (Ute only) or automatic transmission, the 2015 Holden Sandman Special Edition, a $2,950 (AUD) premium on SSV and SV6 models, includes:

SV6 and SSV Sportwagon

  • 20” gloss black wheels
  • Black fender vents
  • Black grille package
  • Black roof racks
  • Sandman decals
  • Sandman dashboard stitching
  • Sandman sunshades
  • Sandman floor mats
  • Unique Sandman build plate

SV6 and SSV Ute

  • 20” gloss black wheels
  • Black fender vents
  • Black grille package
  • Black sports bar
  • Sandman decals
  • Sandman dashboard stitching
  • Sandman rear sunshade
  • Sandman foot mats

Optional Accessories

  • Orange rear shag pile cargo rug (Sportwagon)
  • Orange sheep skin seat inserts

Colors Available

  • Heron White
  • Nitrate Silver
  • Phantom Black

For more information on GM Holden vehicles, visit

While there’s little chance we’ll see Holden’s Ute or Sportwagon models in the U.S., we do get to party with the Holden-built Chevrolet SS. In the meantime, Sandman bids us pleasant dreams as we drift off with visions of Bells Beach dancing in our heads.

Press release and photos from GM Holden Media

Information applies to models sold in Australia. Features, prices and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Story ©2015