Enter Sandman: Holden’s retro-inspired Ute is the most Australian car of all time

Most automakers would never provide press images featuring a couple getting frisky in the back of a wagon or use the word “groovy” in a press release. Thankfully for us, though, General Motors’ Australian arm Holden is not most automakers.

In a moment of sheer nostalgia, Holden has replicated a 1974 Australian icon, the Sandman, and sent it into production – replete with factory orange sheepskin seat and rear cargo area shag carpets. Cue the Metallica.

Holden Sandman

As you might be able to tell from the images, the Sandman Ute and Sportwagon are based upon the VF Commodore SV6 and SS-V, which are two GM vehicles we never saw in the U.S. The closest we ever (or will ever) got was the Chevrolet SS, which is based upon the aforementioned Commodore.

Along with a 348-horsepower V8 and rear-wheel drive, buyers of the Sandman get 20-inch gloss black wheels, black fender vents, grille package, and sports bar (no, not the sports bar you’re thinking of – though, that’d be cool). Holden also plasters it with Sandman decals, Sandman dashboard stitching, Sandman rear sunshade, and Sandman floor mats.

If buyers are feeling exceedingly nostalgic or toey, they can specify those truly bitchin’ sheep and shag orange extras — perfect for getting a gobby at the end of an afternoon surf session.

Now, why might Australian GM bring back such a vehicle? Well, the life of the Commodore is coming to a close in 2016 and I presume that Holden wanted to give it a final farewell in the best way it knows how: by reliving its finest days.

I, for one, will be quite sad to see the Australians lose their beloved Commodore and the Ute. I have an idealistic image of the well-tanned population Down Under driving around on the beach in their V8 Utes, wearing nothing but a pair of pluggers and some board shorts. The image, frankly, just doesn’t work when the imagined Aussie is sporting an Indonesian subcompact.


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