Naff or Fab? Holden Sandman Reborn: Let the Good Times Roll … Again

As an EX-Sandman owner I’m not at all sure about this idea but here it is:

Press release:


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Sandman Mambo concept

HJ Sandman Panel BodsHJ Sandman Panel Bods (2)

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  • Iconic Holden Sandman reborn to be launched 4 April in Torquay, VIC,  in line with the Bells Beach Ripcurl Pro surf competition
  • To celebrate the launch, Holden interactive surf live site at Elephant Walk Reserve, Torquay will feature a live screen beaming out classic surf reels, music, car display and beach side games
  • Sandman available in Ute and Sportwagon – on sale in June

Eating up the road and shredding the surf, the Holden Sandman has become an Aussie icon in the 40 years since the original legend made its debut in 1974. Now it’s back, with a modern twist and nose for performance. 

The 2015 Sandman Special Edition is derived from the award winning VF Commodore SV6 and the sporty SS-V, and is available as a ute and or sleek Sportwagon.  Whilst the Sandman is much more advanced than its predecessor it still retains the instantly recognisable surf livery and the groovy, orange shagpile floor rug 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.  When the opportunity came to revive Sandman, we jumped at it,” Mr Keley said.

“The reborn Sandman is a statement and reflection of the Australian way of life. Most importantly, it’s about having fun.”

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, lovers 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.

The Holden Sandman surf live site will take place on Saturday 4 April from 11am – 4pm at the beautiful Elephant Walk Reserve, Torquay Esplanade, and will feature a live screen beaming out classic surf reels, chilled out tunes, sausage sizzle and beach side games.  The Sandman live site is an interactive display that allows people to take a picture with the cars and upload to their social media accounts #entersandman
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.  The Sandman is the reincarnation of an icon, born from the most iconic car company in Australia,” said Mr Poppitt.

“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,”

Sandman History

Sandman was originally launched on the HQ Holden in 1974 as a panel van and ute in a bid to increase Holden’s presence and appeal in the expanding recreational market.  What ensued was a car that captured the imagination of a generation, and continued to be offered on the HJ Holden (1974-76), HX Holden (1976-77) and HZ Holden (1977).

After over twenty years in the darkness, Sandman was finally revived as a concept car at the Sydney International Motor Show, 2000.  Based on VU Commodore, this Sandman was a Holden built, Mambo designed project that won wide acclaim.

The Sandman will go on sale in June, however people are advised to contact dealers early to avoid disappointment.


The 2015 Holden Sandman Special Edition, a $2,950 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

Colours Available

  • Heron White
  • Nitrate Silver
  • Phantom Black

Holden launches capped price servicing on every Holden ever built … since 1948!

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  • Holden’s Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program covers all Holden vehicles ever built from the ground-breaking 48-215 of 1948 to today’s world-class VF Commodore and beyond
  • Biggest CPS program in Australia, covering more than 2.5 million cars
  • Provides service price transparency for all vehicles, ensuring customers always know how much their service will cost
  • Lifetime CPS program launches 1 March 2015

Holden has announced the introduction of a new, ground-breaking Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program – the largest of its kind in in Australia*.

Holden Craig Lowndes Special Edition 2014 gaycarboys

The Lifetime CPS program applies to every Holden ever built since the first Holden 48-215 in 1948, ensuring that all Holden owners clearly understand the maximum price that they can expect to pay at every scheduled service.

Holden’s Executive Director of Aftersales, Michael Filazzola said the unique Lifetime CPS program represents Holden’s commitment to providing customers a positive experience throughout their ownership experience, no matter when they bought their new, or used, Holden.

“Our all-encompassing Lifetime Capped Price Servicing program is an incredible program and demonstrates yet again our commitment to our customers. Holden owners from as far back as 1948 can enjoy total peace of mind and service price transparency,” said Mr. Filazzola.

“This is the biggest CPS program in Australia and underlines Holden’s ongoing commitment to world-class customer service and outstanding value.  Our lifetime CPS means that once customers buy a Holden, of any age, new or used, we have them covered.”

The easy-to-use Lifetime CPS calculator found on the Holden website, clearly displays the maximum service price of any Holden vehicle, ensuring that customers will not pay more than expected when visiting their Holden Dealer for a scheduled service.

In addition to the all-inclusive, Lifetime CPS program and to further demonstrate the importance Holden places on providing clear service pricing and customer value, the first seven services for all eligible new vehicles will be subsidised.

Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley said the introduction of the biggest CPS program in Australia was yet another sign of Holden’s long-term commitment to its customers and Australia.

“We are proud to be able to introduce the Lifetime CPS program and extend our outstanding servicing value to all Holden owners, regardless of whether they have bought a new or used car,” said Mr. Keley.

“The support and clarity that this program offers customers, combined with our fantastic product range and great-value offers means there has never been a better time to buy a Holden.

“Holden has more cars in more segments than ever before and we’re committed to Australia and our customers now and long into the future.”

Holden Lifetime CPS will be introduced on 1 March 2015.  For more details including vehicle eligibility and, terms and conditions please visit the Holden website.

Lifetime CPS is the latest step in Holden’s long-term plan to ensure a bright and successful future in Australia for the iconic Lion brand. In the past 12 months, Holden has also announced: 

  • Holden will have 24 major vehicle launches with 36 new powertrain combinations in the next five years
  • Launched the Holden Home Ground Advantage program – providing $5 million in grants over 10 years to local sporting clubs
  • Cascada convertible, Astra hatch and Insignia sedan will launch in Q2 2015;
  • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
  • Holden’s Global Design Centre continues to contribute to local and global product programs;
  • More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe;
  • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on with Holden’s next-generation large car; and
  • Holden will have a true sports car in its future product portfolio.

More on DETROIT: Could this be the next Commodore/Caprice?

2015 Buick Avenir Concept 

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  2015 Buick Avenir Concept  Buick Unveils Avenir Concept At 2015 Pre-NAIAS Event

   Buick Avenir Wins Two EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS Buick Avenir Wins Two EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS

 2015 Buick Avenir Concept 2015 Buick Avenir Concept  DETROIT – Buick introduced the Avenir concept today in advance of the North American International Auto Show – a flagship sedan exploring progressive design with new levels of passenger well-being and technology integration.

The Avenir – French for future – is distinguished by its premium sports proportions and all-new interpretations of traditional Buick cues. It is the creation of a global team of Buick designers and sculptors who were inspired by historic Buick concepts, which pushed traditional boundaries, shaped future Buick models and influenced the entire auto industry.

“Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty and presence without pretense,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go.”

The Avenir’s sculptural surfacing, expressive proportion and Buick’s signature sweep-spear bodyside visually cue an exceptional driving experience that awaits inside.

“The interior is designed with the driver and passengers’ comfort and well-being in mind,” said Welburn. “Technology is seamlessly integrated and builds on the features that have become hallmarks for today’s production models – helping drive a new generation of customers to Buick.”

2015 Buick Avenir Concept2015 Buick Avenir Concept

Additional vehicle highlights:

  • Personal seating for four
  • Full light-emitting diode (LED) exterior lighting
  • Twenty-one-inch wheels
  • Next-generation direct-injected V-6 engine with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop/start technology
  • Nine-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
  • Driver-selectable suspension damping
  • Twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system
  • Next-generation Buick IntelliLink infotainment with large, 12-inch-diagonal color touch screen
  • Driver-recognition features that automatically sync infotainment preferences
  • Ionic cabin air filtration
  • Mobile device wireless charging
  • OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.

A new design direction with a nod to the past
A long hood, wheels-at-the-corners stance and a sloping, rear deck that pays homage to historical models, such as the Riviera, distinguish the Avenir’s proportion.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept  

“Simply put, Avenir is a beautiful piece of sculpture, delivered on a premium proportion that acknowledges the Buick design heritage in a very progressive way,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of design, GM International Operations. “The vehicle remains unmistakably Buick with a modern take on the traditional Buick cues such as the sweep spear and boattail. The result is a piece of artistry that is precise in its character, beautifully proportioned. It really takes your breath away.”

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Buick Unveils Avenir Concept At 2015 Pre-NAIAS EventBuick Unveils Avenir Concept At 2015 Pre-NAIAS Event

The most striking departure from contemporary Buick models is a new grille design that puts a new face on the brand. It features a large opening accented by a return to the three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements. The grille is flanked by bold headlamps featuring full LED lighting.

“The new grille is a modern interpretation of a design introduced on the landmark 1954 Wildcat II concept, which shattered expectations of what a Buick was supposed to be,” said Simcoe. “On the Avenir, it represents a break from convention and progressiveness in technology.”

Sculptural surfaces, taught lines, short overhangs and a broad-shouldered stance stretches 204.5 inches (5,195 mm) in length and 76 inches (1,931 mm) in width. Its reimagined sweep-spear element complements the long body lines and conveys a sense of motion, as does tapered rear-end styling.

Avenir’s sophisticated color palette, including a Crystalline exterior color and strained use of bright work accent the Avenir’s body lines and sets up the interior for a combination that takes Buick’s contemporary style to a higher level.

“It’s a sculpted design with a lot of snap in the character lines – with a classic long, low proportion,” said Simcoe. “Its length enables exceptional spaciousness inside, but just as importantly, a presence that speaks to luxury and the importance of style. In short, it’s the befitting proportion for a Buick flagship.”

A soothing environment with unprecedented integration
The Avenir’s four-place interior rewards the senses, makes managing technologies easier and enhances the feelings of personal space and well-being.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept2015 Buick Avenir Concept

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“A flowing, sculptural quality in the interior forms, deco trim, premium leather and ambient lighting, create an environment that is inviting and comfortable,” said Liz Wetzel, Buick interior design director.

Interior surfaces – inspired by nature and sea waves receding on a beach – flow seamlessly through the cabin. It is a motif featured on the seats and carried through in other trim components – even the carpet. In fact, a patterned insert for the carpet carries the motif in silk and bamboo.  

“There’s an almost-three-dimensional or bas-relief effect to the design motif that adds depth and heightens the sense of place,” said Wetzel. “Layered and floating elements such as the center console enhance the perception of lightness, efficiency and dynamism.”

A color palette of light and natural tones blended with oiled and buffed wood trim, and Galvano satin-chrome accents, enhance the Avenir’s ambience.

“They’re rich, premium materials and warm colors innovatively executed to enhance the soothing effect of the interior environment,” said Wetzel.

Functionality is manifested in the Avenir’s device-integration technologies, which are designed to lift the user’s mood and make the details associated with daily life a little easier. It starts the moment the vehicle is started, synchronizing information and devices within seconds. The Avenir instantly configures gauge cluster and infotainment screen displays based on prior customization while also recognizing the user’s music preferences, calendar schedule and recently visited locations from a cellphone’s GPS. It can even pick up a podcast the user was listening to at the moment it was interrupted.

Buick’s user experience designers are also pushing the Avenir’s technologies for home integration, which would allow accessing home security cameras or the capability of turning on outside lights and closing a garage door that was inadvertently left open.

“The Avenir’s integration features build on the technologies already available or coming soon in smartphones and streamline them in a system that makes accessing and interacting with them easier,” said Wetzel.

Personal connectivity extends to rear-seat passengers, where USB ports and video screens allow occupants to plug in to their favorite media and slip into complete relaxation, arriving at their destination refreshed and rejuvenated.

“The use of color, material, form and amenities can affect a person’s mood and feeling,” said Wetzel. “The Avenir is a showcase of thoughtful and modern design with the capacity to anticipate and facilitate the personal needs of its occupants. It’s absolutely its own getaway destination.” 

is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at, on Twitter @buick, on Instragram, on Pinterest or at

GM Australia Designers scoop Top Award in Detroit

Designed in collaboration with GM North America, and built at GM Australia’s advanced design studio in Port Melbourne, the Buick Avenir  gaycarboys (1)

  • Buick Avenir awarded two design trophies at the North American International Auto Show
  • Australian-designed and built Avenir heralded  ‘Best Concept Vehicle 2015’
  • Australian-developed and built, Chevrolet Bolt is ‘Best Concept Vehicle 2015’ finalist

GDesigned in collaboration with GM North America, and built at GM Australia’s advanced design studio in Port Melbourne, the Buick Avenir  gaycarboys (2)M Australia’s design team has added another two trophies to its cabinet as the Buick Avenir takes out “Best Concept Vehicle 2015” and “Best Innovative Use of Colour, Graphics and Materials” as the car continues to wow at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

The Australian-developed and built Chevrolet Bolt is also recognised as it is placed as one of two runners up the “Best Concept Vehicle 2015” in what turned out to be a special day for Holden Design.

EyesOn Design, the officially-sanctioned design awards for NAIAS, honour the most significant automotive designs revealed at NAIAS as determined by automotive design leaders and is described as ‘validation of great automobile design from the industry’s leaders’.

Vice President of GM International Design, Michael Simcoe said the awards were fantastic recognition forDesign Award detroit GAYCARBOYS the incredibly talented design team and an acknowledgment of all the hard work that has gone into these programs.

“Avenir and Bolt EV are clear illustrations of the creativity and capability we have in the global design studio in Australia,” Mr Simcoe said.

“To have these vehicles recognised on the world stage and to receive not one, but two, awards from our peers is a fantastic achievement and one in which everyone should be immensely proud.”

Holden’s Lead Exterior Designer, Warrack Leach said to be recognised by an esteemed and well respected judging panel like that of EyesOn Design was particularly gratifying.

“We are all very proud of what we have created so to receive these two awards from EyesOn Design is a great compliment and caps what has been a very exciting project,” Mr Leach said.

Designed in collaboration with GM North America and built at GM Australia’s advanced studio, Avenir – French for “future” – leverages Buick’s unique styling legacy to explore a vision for a modern flagship sedan.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV concept is an affordable long-range all-electric vehicle that originated in GM Korea’s advanced design studio before GM Australia Design developed the concept and was responsible for the construction of the functional show car.

EyesOn Design

For more information on EyesOn Design please visit – EyesOnDesign.

Holden pitches in to keep bushfire victims on the road


Holden has taken to social media to offer a number of loan cars to people who have lost their vehicle in the devastating bushfires that have swept across the Adelaide Hills.

The local carmaker asked affected people to make contact through Facebook or Twitter if they were without a car following the significant property loss that occurred in the Sampson Flat fire.

Holden’s Corporate Affairs Manager for South Australia, Sophie Milic, said that Holden felt strongly about wanting to help those who had lost so much in recent days.

“Our Elizabeth factory isn’t far from the fire grounds and several of our employees live in the affected areas, so we’re connected to this community and we want to do what we can,” Ms Milic said.

“Particularly for those who have also lost houses, being without a car means they will have difficulty independently travelling between temporary accommodation and their property to begin clean-up efforts, and frankly that’s one more worry they don’t need at this time.

“Offering a loan car is just one small thing we can do to assist people to start getting their lives back in order.”

There is a limited number of cars available for up to 30 days and anyone interested should contact Holden through Facebook: or Twitter: @HoldenNews

‘Uber’ ‘Sandman’ a star of Shannons Sydney Late Spring Sale

1976 Holden ‘Sandman’ Overlander gaycarboys (3)1976 Holden ‘Sandman’ Overlander gaycarboys (5)

‘Uber’ ‘Sandman’ a star of Shannons Sydney Late Spring Sale

• One owner Holden Overlander Panel Van with books
• First time offered for sale since original purchase
• Rare opportunity to acquire an iconic Aussie 4WD

A very rare one owner 1976 Holden Overlander ‘Sandman’ Panel Van offered for sale for the first time in 35 years has created Australia-wide interest ahead of its sale in Shannons Late Spring Classic Auction in Sydney on November 17.

The high-riding and comfortably appointed Overlander was the brainchild of Tasmanian Arthur Hayward in the 1970s, at a time before the term ‘SUV’ existed when most 4WDs were basic, utilitarian devices devoid of any creature comforts.

His attention-grabbing ‘Uber’ Holden four-wheel drive vehicles were inspired by the Chevrolet Blazer of the era and based on Holden’s HJ panel vans, utes and station wagons, with each completed to the customer’s own specification.

The combination of Holden’s powerful 308-cid V8 engine and Turbo 400 transmission was perfectly suited to the task of bush bashing and the Overlander effectively set the stage for Holden’s own 4WD Adventra introduced nearly 30 years later in 2003.

Sadly, delays in ADR certification, combined with import duties on the major driveline components from the USA, frustrated Hayward’s efforts to increase production and Holden’s decision to switch to the Commodore was the final nail in the coffin. Production ran from late 1976 until 1980 and it is believed that a total of 80 were made, consisting of 20 utes, six One-Tonners, 24 wagons and 30 panel vans, with a mixture of HJ/HX/HZ versions.

This Overlander being auctioned by Shannons is build number five of the 30 Overlander Panel Vans and was bought new as a demonstrator from Keith Leach Holden Motors of Stone Corner, Brisbane by the current owners in early 1977.

Always kept registered and on the road, this Overlander has circumnavigated Australia a couple of times, including re-visiting its ‘birthplace’ in Tasmania, and otherwise been a loyal workhorse on the family property near Inverell.

Mechanically unaltered from its original specification, the HJ still runs the correct 308-cid V8 and Turbo 400 transmission and has a few useful modifications, including dual batteries, an oil cooler and twin 75-litre long-range fuel tanks.

Complete with its original books and other documents, Shannons believe this 1976 Overlander represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire an Aussie icon, one that could either be kept in unrestored condition or make a straightforward restoration project.

Holden Cruze Stars In Stunning Tasmanian New Short Film

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The Holden Cruze Z-Series has starred in a new short film shot in beautiful Tasmania by award winning photographer, Nathan Kaso and award winning writer and director, Timothy Melville.

The talented duo set out from Holden’s Port Melbourne headquarters with a pair of Red Hot Cruze Z-Series Cruze Tasmania gaycarboys holden (1)to explore the island state and its stunning landscape for a two week period of filming. 

The excursion put the new Cruze Z-Series through its paces on various road surfaces, from lake shores to mountain summits, with the car playing the lead role in the film. 

The short film features the new Cruze Z-Series exploring Tasmania using unique time-lapse footage similar to that for which Kaso received his previous accolades, Miniature Melbourne. 

After two weeks of intense filming, both Kaso and Melville were pleased with the resulting footage in which the Cruze Z-Series performs exceptionally.

“We wanted to make something unique that would appeal to a wide audience.” Kaso said.

“Incorporating cars into the time-lapse process was an exciting challenge and something that has not Cruze Tasmania gaycarboys holden (2)been attempted before. 

“It was an ambitious project to undertake, but we were really fortunate with the conditions and came away with some beautiful footage.”

Holden’s Director of Marketing Bill Mott added “This sort of project is exciting for Holden.  We don’t get the opportunity to showcase a car in this way too often and I think the Cruze really shines throughout the film”

“To be able to perform so well on challenging surfaces and conditions is testament to the quality and performance that the car provides.”

The film is available to view on the Holden YouTube channel and Facebook page.  To follow Cruze and stay up to date with Holden news, connect with Holden: