‘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

Cruze Tasmania gaycarboys holden (3)


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:

Holden Concepts Takes Centre Stage At Motorex

2005 EFIJY concept




Three of Holden’s most historically significant concept cars, EFIJY, Hurricane and Coupe 60, will take centre stage this weekend at Meguiar’s MotorEx Melbourne 2014.

The three show stoppers celebrate Holden’s design excellence and rich 66-year history in producing iconic Australian vehicles.

Richard Ferlazzo, Holden’s Design Director, said it was great to see such iconic vehicles on display together. 

“We’re incredibly proud of these vehicles as they truly represent the incredible talent we have within Holden,” Mr Ferlazzo said.

“Each of these vehicles have their own unique story and perfectly illustrate why Holden is recognised globally within General Motors as a centre of excellence for concept vehicle and show car development.

“Concept cars give designers a unique opportunity to showcase their creative abilities and I can’t think of three more perfect examples that these.”


In 2005, Holden took the covers off the Holden EFIJY, a wild 21st Century hot rod reincarnating Australia’s 2005 EFIJY conceptmost famous car, the FJ Holden.

A radical pillarless custom coupe boasting V8 Supercar power under the bonnet, EFIJY utilises a Chevrolet Corvette underbody and state-of-the-art automotive technology throughout.

The ‘Soprano Purple’ paintwork highlights its curvaceous 5.2-metre body, reinterpreting the classic design cues of the iconic 1953 FJ Holden.  It delivers retro, mumbo and gizmos in one glorious package.

Never intended for production, EFIJY was a passionate side project for some Holden Design team members and a long-term dream for Holden’s Design Director, Richard Ferlazzo who said the car was all about fun, emotion and imagination. 

Coupe 60

Unveiled in 2008 to celebrate Holden’s 60th anniversary, the Coupe 60 is a stunning two-door performance Holden Coupe 60thoroughbred which exemplifies sporting luxury.

A sophisticated pillarless concept car, Coupe 60 combines racing looks and technology into a road going sports car experience.

Featuring racing-derived enhancements including a V8 supercar inspired cockpit layout, side-exiting chambered exhaust system with billet alloy tips, a full flat under body, rear underbody air diffuser and functional rear deck-lid spoiler with unique designed LED tail lamps.

The interior also has several unique feature including a one piece carbon fibre bucket seats, featuring leather and suede pad design, and a sports-inspired flat bottomed steering wheel with integrated shift light display and LCD sports instrument cluster.

Under the bonnet Coupe 60 boasts a 6.0 litre V8 engine incorporating the technologies such as active fuel management and calibrated for E85 ethanol fuel.

Even the paint is a one-off. Called ‘Diamond Silver’ by Holden designers, it gives a liquid aluminium finish that almost slides off the bodywork.

Holden’s Design Director, Richard Ferlazzo said at the reveal that the Coupe 60 was Holden’s 60th anniversary gift to its fans worldwide.


Holden went back to the future when it restored Holden’s very first concept car – the 1969 Holden Hurricane.

The futuristic research vehicle, once described as an experiment “to study design trend, propulsion Holden Hurricanesystems and other long range developments”, was restored to its former glory in 2011 as a labour of love by a dedicated group of Holden designers and engineers.

Code named RD 001; the Hurricane is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-seater sports car which incorporates a remarkable array of innovative features and technology, much of it way ahead of its time.

Features such as electronic digital instrument displays, station-seeking radio, automatic temperature control air conditioning, rear vision camera and an automated route finder were all showcased in this ground-breaking vehicle 42 years ago.  Many of these technologies have only recently made their way into mass production, demonstrating Holden’s remarkable foresight into both design and engineering technology.

The Hurricane stole headlines and dropped jaws nationwide when it debuted at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show and it continues to impress and build Holden’s global reputation for envisioning and executing world-class concept vehicles.

Now in its 14th year, Meguiar’s MotorEx is heralded as the largest and most prestigious motoring enthusiast event of its kind in Australia.  The event, which is held on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July at Melbourne Showgrounds, will feature over 400 vehicles including custom, performance and collectable vehicles.

Aussie Classics at Shannons.

BANNER 1962 Valiant S-Type shannons gaycarboys

1968 Falcon XT GT 302 V8 four-speed manual shannons gaycarboys

Aussie Classics Share Spotlight At Shannons Melbourne Winter Auction

• Time-warp Holden EK Special to excite collectors

• ‘Muscle Car’ ZD K-Code Fairlane

• Affordable XT Falcon 302 GT Manual

Australian-built cars from the 1960s and 1970s could steal the spotlight from the more exotic European and American vehicles in Shannons Melbourne Winter Auction on Monday (July 21).

Standout Aussies include a time warp two-owner from new 1961 Holden EK Special Station Sedan that 1962 Valiant S-Type shannons gaycarboyshas just emerged from long-term storage. Off the road since 1985 and flitted with a wide range of sought-after period NASCO options, the Holden is being offer in unrestored condition and is expected to attract plenty of interest from collectors in the $28,000-$34,000 range.

Shannons also have two locally-built Ford Fairlanes in Monday’s sale – a 1968 ZB top-of-the-range V8 ‘500’ model coming from long-term family ownership that is being offered with ‘No Reserve’ (guiding range $7,000-$10,000) and a rare 1971 matching-numbers K-Code 351- cid ZD with the rare factory LSD option for true Muscle Car performance that is expected to sell in the $18,000-$26,000 range.

1971 matching-numbers K-Code 351-cid ZD Fairlane shannons gaycarboysOther great Aussie classics in the auction include a 1968 Falcon XT GT 302 V8 four-speed manual in trademark GT Gold that represents a great entry into Australian Muscle Car ownership at it’s expected selling range of $40,000-$48,000 and a lovingly-preserved 1962 Valiant S-Type that has come from single-family ownership that would be perfect for a Chrysler collector at it’s expected selling range of $15,000-$20,000.

These and the other 35 Classic vehicle and 26 memorabilia lots – including 13 black and white Victorian Heritage number pates from ‘83’ upwards – in Monday’s 7pm auction can be viewed at Shannons Cheltenham showroom, 321 Warrigal Road, from 9am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday.

To register for Online Bidding at Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction on July 21, visit www.shannons.com.au and follow the current auction links.

For specific auction information contact: Christophe Boribon on (03) 8588 0809, or 13 4646 (Option 5).

All the Aussie muscle you could ever want: We light up the throbbing HSV R8 that Government Policy has murdered.








This is not the story I intended to write. Sometimes, stories write themselves and this is one. It was intended to demonstrate that an Australian designed and built car could compete against the super cars of Europe in their own terms, and win. Instead we have learnt that our erstwhile opposition treasurer now thinks that he is in government, cutting funding to a large part of our manufacturing industry is a great place to start. Holden and Toyota are the only two auto makers left after Ford announced it was quitting Australia to become an importer instead.

Regardless of politics, what was to be the proclamation of the best car ever to be designed and built in our country is instead to be its obituary.

The great Aussie Muscle Car is dead, long live the Aussie Muscle Car (to be made in the USA or Korea, or Europe). People over use this phrase, but it is with a heavy heart that I write the story of the best car ever produced and designed in Australia, will probably be the last. I apologise in advance for the sombre tone but perhaps we can celebrate what we have while chiding our government on what is possibly the single worst decision ever to be made by either side of Australian politics.

LIKES:- astounding performance, killer interior, sensational audio system

DISLIKES:- there will be no more HSV Commodores


Delicious. The classy exterior of the stock standard Commodore has been given the HSV spit and polish. The stunning exterior gets a full body kit with a startling pair of taillights as its crowning glory replete with full LED illumination that has become the bling signiture of the HSV range. It’s all most people will ever see of them as the R8 leaves all in a cloud of dust.

New in the R8:

Side Blind Zone Alert (with Reverse Traffic Alert)

Electric Park Brake

Electric Power Steering

Passive Entry/Push Button Start (with Remote Start

*available with the automatic transmission)

Automatic Park Assist

Front & Rear Park Assist

“R8 SV Enhanced Option

HSV has also announced the introduction of a new “SV Enhanced” option to be available exclusively on its R8 models.

The “SV” option includes a power and torque upgrade to 340kW and 570Nm, achieved through the addition of some unique componentry to the LS3 engine including a Bi-Modal Air Intake system, high-flow headers and catalytic converters, a high-flow zip tube and a high-flow Bi-Modal exhaust system. Unique styling cues are provided in the form of a 20” SV Performance forged wheel in Satin Graphite, unique “pitch black” accents on the fender vents and mirror scalps and, for the sedan variant, a lo-line spoiler, also finished in distinctive Satin Graphite.

New “R8 SV” and “340” badges adorn the decklid. “The ClubSport range has formed the back-bone of much of the sales success HSV has enjoyed over the years”, said HSV’s Managing Director, Phil Harding. “Combine enhanced styling and a raft of new technologies with the availability, for the first time, of the 340kW SV Enhanced option on the R8 models, and we have every reason to be confident that ClubSport will continue to be a popular choice for HSV enthusiasts”, said Harding.”

The interior feels softer and more luxurious than previous models without losing any of the edginess that attracts well healed boy racers. It’s the sort of place for the man who has everything. I often mention the “Feel” a car, the one closeted deep inside.

Let me explain: All of us enjoy feeling special. We all know someone who has said: “last night? I don’t know what it was but it was gorgeous”. Some might even say “it made me feel like a movie star” and that is the kind of car we all want to be see in whether we admit it or not. Being inside the R8 feels that kind of special. The brochures give the specs and HSV’s view but even I was surprised at how deliciously driveable the R8 was. Obviously the manual is the business! Coupled to the superb 340KW LS3 6.2L V8, the clutch is light and the gears precise. With 6 speeds and 340KW, the V8 can chug around all day in 2nd gear but who would want to? It will sprint to 100 in a smidgen over 5 seconds.

Most impressive is the quality of the cabin which is punching way above its weight. Old HSV’s had very firm seats, which while supportive, felt like riding on leather covered bricks. They have power adjustment for good measure. Unlike the racing seats you might find in an Evo, the R8 feels more like a posh lounge chair on steroids.

The classy appointments now extend to a sound system which punches out some serious sound. Previous audio systems always sounded like someone had strangled the bass player but the HSV has Bose throughout which feels like being in a live concert. The MyLink means you can stream internet music as well but this is a problem on the open road. As we all know the coverage can be moody with frequent stretches of nothing at all. Caching is the answer and there are some very good apps for Iphone which will allow you to cache you playlist while on WiFi then play then back in the car. It takes money though and costs about $12 a month.

The leather has been sprinkled about with gay abandon and it makes you feel cocooned like a luxury car should. Even the back seat gets the same car and attention so should you fancy an airport run your guests will receive the same VIP treatment as we do in the full-priced seats. It’s soft to touch and for the most part the stitching lines up just as it should. The leather cover instrument cluster is a nice touch though it doesn’t extend over the whole dash board. I’d like to see a final special edition completely lined in leather and suede with a Band and Olufsen audio system. Holden might also look at the cheaper Chrysler 300 SRT 8 for inclusions like heated and cooled cup holders and electric steering wheel adjustment.

Because the HSV Commodores are at home on a track they up upgraded brakes and put extra beef in the engine, but at the end of the day it’s the cabin that you see each and every time you’re in the car even it’s a quick trip to the shops. It’s the bit a car maker has to get right if they are not going to be thought of as “making do”. Much of the success in the R8 is the sensational donor model they had to work with. Imagine a sports equipped Calais fitted with racing upgrades and price tag starts to make sense..

The drive, well, it drives the way it looks, fast and blingy. In sports mode it can be loose in the rear end in a beautifully controlled nuclear explosion. The (pushrod) engine is superb. Its low down grunty tones are enhanced with a gentle push on the “sports” button. It makes things sportier but more importantly it makes the bi-modal exhaust louder. The one fault with most Holden V8’s is they have muffled the beautiful sound so much that it’s almost inaudible. Needless to say the Sports setting is what most of us would use.

On a quiet section of private road I took the chance to switch to “PERF” which is the track mode for performance. It feels rather like a jet powered lounge room. It’s easy to light up the back wheel without meaning to and is best left to a professional unless you want to damage yourself.

The steering is sharp and the brakes precise. Everything feels alive as if you had pulled on an expensive running shoe soled with spent nuclear waste and bits of Usain Bolt. Normally such vehicles are impossible to drive sensibly especially in the city traffic but the ease of the clutch makes shift-em-yourself gears as smooth as an automatic and far more pleasurable.

Unlike modified special Holden V8’s of the past, you can drive the R8 around all day like a nanna in comfort and luxury, then light her up when the mood takes you. I did the La Perouse loop at night. For those who don’t know it, the La Pérouse point is a place where the “lads” hang out in the Evos and other small Jap turbos. At a set of lights nearby, a couple of (gorgeous) boys in an Evo pulled alongside. Inevitably they said “hey man wanna race?” I had just come that way and knew a police car lay in wait around the next corner so I said “yeah sure man”. Do people still speak like that? He roared off without us. As we came round the corner doing well under the speed limit we saw the rozzers having a quiet word with our racing chaps. I hated to do it to a couple of such obviously hot boys but needs must. I’d have happily helped them out of just about any other fix they found themselves in!

Finally, if you are tired from all the gear shifting you can ask the car to park itself when you arrive at your destination. It’s the first time I used automated parking in a manual and it worked beautifully. As with all of those fancy self-parking setups you have to control the brakes and accelerator.

Commodore SSV Redline Ute: Hairy Chested V8 Sex On Wheels


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Likes: Classy inside and out, full of cool tech, fabulous sounding engine

Not so much: ute looks like the old model with a nose job

When Holden killed the Monaro off, again, they left themselves without 2 door muscle, or did they? A ute has 2 doors plus the added benefit of a big cargo hold. The ute’s possibilities are endless if only we can get over the fact that hot, sweaty, tool-belted tradies are usually seen driving them. Just imagine it: A hot sweaty bear-chested tradie with his tool belt full of tradie’s thingummies leaning against the tailgate pouring water down his rippled stomach on a hot steamy day. Suddenly, the Ute seems all shiny and new. One might even fool oneself into thinking driving a big butch Ute may attract the right kind of boy? Who knows, it may well do exactly that.

Think about it for a moment, the cargo area could just as easily fit picnic hampers and gingham table cloths as it does bags of cement and boxes of nails. The Commodore ute in SSV guise is cool and sexy and very very fast.

The VF is a different beast altogether from the car it replaced regardless of how similar the sheet metal looks. The nose is all VF with side vents looking decidedly Aston Martin-ish. But from the windscreen back it is almost the same as the VE. Larger 19” wheels look particularly aggressive without making the ride feel slightly worse than sitting on a pile of broken bricks. This isn’t one of those cars where it is form over function. The European look is a very heavy makeover of the previous VE Commodore but is much more than just a pretty new frock. Holden tested the VF at the Nürburgring, Germany’s famous racetrack and it did very well indeed. The thought of an Australian designed and built car giving the Nürburgring a thorough seeing to should have us all bursting with pride. The racetrack is usually the home of hot Mercs, BMWs, Porsches and Audis with some Italians thrown in for good measure.

The sharper handling (strut front, independent multilink rear) shares suspension tuning with other members of the Commodore range. The ride is also common across the range so no longer do the uber sporty models jar fillings loose and the base models wallow like a blancmange. There is a comfortable amount of body roll but anyone wanting a track day will be the type to get a couple of chaps to fiddle about in her gusset. They’ll add bracing, map the engine and strengthen the struts in order to tempt 20 or 30 KW from the ironwork up front. In my experience it ruins your fuel consumption and your ride for the sake of a few hours a year. What comes out of the factory feels pretty good without the fiddling.

New in the VF is electric power steering and Holden has done a bang up job. I’ve not driven anything under $120,000 with as much feel and finesse. It’s nice to drive something so sure footed that was made here. Holden is sending this little gem across the pond to big daddy GM in the USA making the point all the more picante. GM love the Commodore so much they are getting them by the ton to sell in the USA as Chevy SS. It says a lot about our designers. The slight body-roll doesn’t seem to affect the steering overly but even with the nannies switched on the rear can become a little wayward. Experienced drivers use this liveliness to help steer but the rest of us might need to use a bit of caution.

The Brembo brakes are brilliant with no sign of fading in normal use though it must be said I have not had the pleasure of thrashing that gorgeous V8 round the racetrack. The handling is superb even with the lively rear end.

Most impressive is the classy cabin. There are acres of leather, comfy seats, stunning audio and brilliant quality designed to provide a real home-grown alternative to an expensive import that usually gives much less. The quantum leap from the last model shows that a carmaker can move like the wind when they have to. Holden saw Ford’s Falcon sales being decimated and pondered the future of its own big car and found it wanting. Holden started from scratch redesigning the look and feel with particular care taken on the quality of material used and the way it’s been put together. Everything about the interior design points to a car which costs a more but the Commodore range is now less expensive than before.

One slightly worrying is the suede panels which adorn the top models and looks to be high maintenance. Once dirty, the lighter colours will look shabby but all that can be replaced if you can be bothered. It is the little things like that which age an interior.

Finally, Holden stuffed the Commodores chock-full tech such as:

Sensor key, electric self-releasing park brake, Hill Start Assist, Blind Spot Alert, reversing alert, rear camera and My Link to name but a few. Adding to this the fact that Holden has reduced the prices by up to ten grand (on the top Caprice). There is no other car sold here which can touch Commodore for the price and value. Anything imported is going to cost you another $100,000 at least. Where else will you find a large V8 coupe with room for a special friend as well as bags of luggage space?

Would I buy one? Yes I would, and it’s worth every centime. I’d shell out more shekels for the hard rear cover and bars, and perhaps even option up the wheels.

Engine/trans: 270kW/530Nm 6.0 litre V8/6spd manual ($2200 adds 6spd auto)
Fuel consumption listed: 11.8 l/100km (up to E85 compatible)

PRICING (excludes on-road costs)

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer delivery and government charges:

Ute (auto)

$35,490 (Omega)


- $2,500

SV6 (manual)




SS (manual)




SS-V (manual)




SS-V Redline (manual)




Automatic transmission adds $2,200 including GST
Prestige paint adds $550 including GST

VF Ute Factory Fit Option Pricing (includes GST)

Holden Ute
Blind Spot Alert and Reverse Traffic Alert- $350
Satnav – $750
Soft rear cover – $490

Satnav – $750
Leather seats – $1,000

Satnav – $750

VACC Statement: Holden


VACC, which represents more than 5,000 businesses in the repair, service and retail sector of the automotive industry in Victoria, is disappointed that GM Holden will cease production in Australia in 2017.  The retail automotive industry has been a staunch supporter of automotive manufacturing and VACC had previously called on the Federal Government to continue its financial assistance for Holden.

VACC, the peak automotive industry body in Victoria, is disappointed to learn that GM Holden will cease production in Australia in 2017.

“Holden is an iconic brand and has manufactured wonderful Australian cars for nearly 70 years. This would have been a very difficult decision to make,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

“It’s a huge blow to the State and National economies and we trust the 1,600 workers in South Australia and 1,300 workers in Victoria losing their jobs will receive all the assistance they need to transition to new employment.

“The news from General Motors is not wholly unexpected, but this announcement comes at a time when the Productivity Commission is reviewing automotive manufacturing in this country. The last few days of media speculation and public political comment have overshadowed the review process and potentially scuttled the interim report, due for release next week,” Mr Purchase said.

VACC says car buyers should not be put off by Holden’s announcement. Among VACC’s more than 5,000 members are new and used car dealers, many of them Holden dealers.

“History shows us that when Mitsubishi and Ford announced they were ceasing car making in Australia, the popularity of the brands did not diminish.  We expect Holden’s VF Commodore and Cruze, in particular, to be just as appealing to car buyers this week, as they were last week. The Holden range includes many great cars and buyers should not be concerned about buying a Holden, the availability of parts, servicing or the brand’s resale value,” said Mr Purchase.

VACC has also reiterated its call for State and Federal Governments to review the whole automotive industry. In support of its national association, the Australian Motor Industry Federation, VACC has repeated its call for a considered approach to how the entire automotive industry will look in the future.

“We are pleased to hear that Holden will retain sales, parts distribution centres and its design studio in Australia after 2017. What we need now is for all automotive industry parties, including the retail sector, to be involved in mapping out a sustainable industry for the future,” Mr Purchase said.