If a vehicle was to define Australian youth culture in the 1970s, before the advent of social media, the Holden Sandman certainly has its place.
Australian surf culture was embodied in the bright colours, V8 motors and carefree lifestyle the vans offered, and if nothing else, a mother’s worry.
The design trends at the time saw the basic tradies Belmont van being modified with decals and wild interiors that had mattresses, stereos with speakers and wall linings being sold to younger buyers that led to the purpose-built Sandman.
The Holden HQ series is a range of automobiles that was produced by Holden in Australia from 1971 to 1974. The HQ was released on 15 July 1971, replacing the Holden HG series. It was the first ground up redesign of the Holden line since its original release in 1948, and included an all-new body, chassis, and suspension. The HQ was later developed into a series of successor models, finally ending production when the WB series was discontinued in 1984.
Production of the HQ range totalled 485,650 vehicles. Holden HQ series cars were produced at GMH plants in Adelaide (Elizabeth, South Australia), Melbourne (Dandenong, Victoria), Sydney (Pagewood, New South Wales) and in Brisbane (Acacia Ridge, Queensland).
Engines, transmissions, and final drive assemblies were produced at the engine casting plant at Fishermens Bend in Melbourne.
Many local automotive component businesses in all these states across Australia supplied the main plants with many other parts, such as wiper arms, glass, carpets, electrical systems, fasteners, and the like.