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Sydney show: Sandman dreaming

Joint-venture: The Sandman is the result of collaboration between Holden and surf and streetwear company, Mambo.

Holden goes back to the future for its Sydney Motor Show concept car

Holden logo13 Nov 2000

By GAUTAM SHARMA

DON'T throw away that shag pile carpet yet.

Holden has shown a modern interpretation of the legendary Sandman at the Sydney International Motor Show.

Although purely a concept at this stage, Holden chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger hinted a positive public response to the car could alter things.

"It needs some soak-in time and research," he said. "It needs good feedback." The stunning panel van is decked out in eye-catching livery designed to help promote the interests of Holden's partner in the project - surfwear specialist Mambo.

The idea for the Sandman began in 1997 when young Holden designed Andrew Smith came up with the first sketch.

Based on the VU ute, the Sandman features a "Bushfire" custom paint finish in the vibrant combination of red, orange and tangerine.

Inside, Mambo has been equally extravagant with the rear compartment transformed into a "chill out" zone complete with freeform seating and a surround sound mobile theatre system.

Up front there's red leather, tangerine suede and orange velour, as well as translucent red instrument fascia.

Meanwhile, Mr Hanenberger said a decision on a Commodore-based off-roader was imminent.

"We will make a decision on the four-wheel drive project before the end of year," he said.

Mr Hanenberger said the four-wheel drive platform could be adapted to all Commodore bodyshells - which means ute, wagon and sedan variants are feasible.

The four-wheel drive system will have low and high range capability, so the off-roader should have genuine all-terrain capability.

It seems likely the off-roader could be in production by 2003.

"We did the Coupe in 24 months, but the four-wheel drive is a bit more complicated," Mr Hanenberger said.

"I don't know the investment involved yet, but we are doing a business case." Mr Hanenberger said the four-wheel drive had good export potential to the Commodore's existing offshore destinations.

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