Adding to the perpetual list of things we want ever so badly in the U.S., Holden made a gnarly announcement in officially revealing the return of the storied Sandman nameplate for the 2016 VF Holden Commodore, per AU News.
The Sandman is a cult classic down under, and gave meaning to the word “groovy.” First seen in 1974 on the HQ Monaro, the Sandman was a utility version of the Holden Kingwood nameplate, a vehicle similar to our Chevrolet El Camino. The Sandman incorporated many Monaro features, including sport-style instrumentation, rally wheels, bucket seats and of course, a V8 engine.
The Sandmans became instantly recognizable due to their can’t-miss graphics along the sides and rear of the vehicle, which Holden has interpreted with a modern take for the 2016 Sandman. This 21st century interpretation of the iconic wagon is essentially a VF Commodore Sportwagon and Ute, but Holden has done a hell of a job incorporating classic cues from Sandmans of yore for a truly unique package.
Inside, “Sandman” stitching adorns the cockpit and of course, buyers have the option of shag inserts for the black leather seats, finished in a fantastic orange-hue. The same orange shag may also be had as an option for the cargo area of the wagon. Now that’s groovy bay-bee.
Even though this is clearly a much needed morale booster for the Australian automotive consumer base, it’s refreshing to see Holden leadership take charge and introduce product dear to the public’s heart. Though, Holden Spokesperson, Sean Poppitt, regrets there being no true panel van option.
“The reborn Sandman is a celebration of the Aussie way of life,” said Poppitt. “It’s a niche vehicle, reflective of Australia’s irreverent culture and therefore the cost involved in any potential panel van program would not benefit our customers. With [the ute and wagon] we have our Sandman customers covered.”
The new Sandman will make its public debut alongside the Rip Curl Pro Surfing competition in Torquay on April 4th. Pricing for the Sandman begs a premium of just $2,950 AUD over the Commodore SV6 or V8 powered SS-V.
The not so gnarly news? Holden expects just 250 examples of the modern-day shaggin’-wagon and Ute to be produced. And from public reaction, we think each one will find a home very quickly.