1976 Holden HX Sandman Panel Van

HIGHLIGHTS: – Genuine HX Sandman -Documented GMH Test vehicle from factory – Factory Papaya with Tan interior – Factory 5.0L V8 engine – Factory Turbo 400 automatic transmission – Factory power steering – Factory air conditioning – Unique rear fit out and bubble windows by Holden – Holden historical report and history file

This 1976 Holden HX Sandman is a unique example of an Aussie Icon with great history. The Sandman panel van is one of those cars that defined the 70s here in Australia. The freedom that came along with driving where ever the road might take you and spending the night in the back of your van was something that really appealed to young Aussies. As far as Sandman’s go, they didn’t come much more loaded with options than this one. According to its Holden Historical Services Report the car was delivered in factory Papaya Orange with a 5.0L V8, Turbo 400 automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and integrated air conditioning.

Not only was the car fully loaded, but the HHS report also denotes that the car was a GMH Test Vehicle. The car was built at GMH’s Elizabeth plant in Adelaide in December of 1976 before being delivered to GM-H Engineering at Fishermans Bend. It’s not known exactly what testing the car was used for however there is a stamping on the top of the firewall that reads ‘GMH TEST VEHICLE’ and aligns with the reported history. It is believed that the car may have been used as a motor show car to display holden accessories because when it was finally sold new in 1978, the car was fitted with bubble windows, roof rack, a unique fit out in the back and an accessory Sandman Camper tent that is different from others we have seen. As was common with ex-test vehicles, Holden fitted the car with a new engine in 1978 before going through an internal tender process and heading off to the dealer for sale.

At some point in the late 70s, it is believed that the van was fitted with a Premier style twin headlight front end. The rest of the body has been fully repainted in its original colour of Papaya with the current owner taking the opportunity to repair a small amount of rust under the drivers scuff plate and some surface rust and scratching from the roof. The current owner painted the centre of the grille black and purchased the black headlight surrounds for the twin headlight front. The external look is completed with a set of GTS style wheels with chrome dress rings and red striped tyres.

Inside the car, the factory Tan interior remains in place with unique GMH factory fit out in the back. The front carpets were removed and fitted with sound deadner and acoustic lining. The GMH fitout includes mattress on the floor (which was recently replaced with the cover retained), side storage cupboards and curtains all round. The current owner has fitted coloured LEDS into the back that can be controlled through a phone app.

Under the bonnet is the 5.0L V8 engine that was put into the car in 1978 prior to sale. The engine bay is well presented in a factory style presentation. The engine is paired to a Turbo 400 automatic transmission, a rare option that not many Sandman Vans came with and certainly a desirable combo today. Interestingly, the HHS report shows this Sandman coming with a full payload capacity of 2200kg rather than the derated GVM on most Sandmans of this era.

This is a rare opportunity to purchase a fully loaded HX Sandman Panel van with a super unique history and interesting story. Discovering vehicles with history like this one is what makes our job exciting, if only the cars could talk, we think this one would have a bunch of great stories to tell!


IMPORTANT: Vehicle information is provided to us by the consignee. We do everything we can to qualify the best cars in the Australian market to represent on consignment for private sellers however, they are still old cars and we can’t capture everything in the photos, we don’t drive them any significant distance and can’t know everything about them. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected the vehicle, and to have satisfied themselves as to the condition and value and to purchase based upon that judgement solely. Vehicles may have been sitting for some time and it is suggested that to protect your investment, you allow to change fuel, oil, fluids, filters and inspect brakes prior to use. All vehicles are sold under standard auction conditions, consignment and auction vehicles are sold as is, without registration unless otherwise stated and there is no cooling off period or warranty expressed, written or implied. All sales are final. Independent inspections are welcome and strongly encouraged to help with your decision making.

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