SlideSandman New


The Hot 100 Sandman is an iconic piece of Australian motoring history. The panel van, whilst short lived made a significant impact in the 70’s, quickly becoming the symbol of freedom and rebellion. 

First things first, our Sandman is very sadly not a genuine Sandman, ours is a 1975 HJ Holden Panelvan. The Sandman name was a nickname it inherited whilst it existed in a sadly dilapidated state in Cairns FNQ. Back then the name Sandman was used as a derisive comment on the very poor state of the vehicle.

So it seemed only fair the once restored to it’s former glory it retained the nickname.


The Hot 100 Sandman had 2 major stages in its life, the beginning of the stage 1 rebuild in Cairns, then it’s relocation and stage 2 rebuild in Darwin. This vehicle has undergone a massive amount of rebuilding. 3 years ago the vehicle, like many older vehicles was in a very poor state with major rust and engine issues. At the time located in Cairns FNQ the panel van was destined to be decommissioned.

However a group of Cairns based businesses very quickly agreed to back the rebuild project and from there emerged a 2 year process of rebuilding.


First on board were Leigh and Liz Holman from SVS Auto Repairs and Dyno Tuning Cairns. Initially approached just to get the vehicle running reliably their enthusiasm and willingness to go further with vehicle played a major role in it’s restoration.

Leigh quickly rounded up other much needed businesses to join the project. After SVS had rebuilt the motor and carried out extensive rebuilding throughout the rest of the vehicle it was handed over to Scott Street Panel where Tory and Luke Petryszyn dedicated a huge amount of time removing and repairing rust throughout the vehicle and respraying the entire vehicle.

At this time Autobarn Cairns were approached regarding improving the existing stereo system. What resulted was the highly customised fit out you see today. This was a massive high quality system in terms of the Focal audio system installed and the complete custom rear cabin and front door speaker unit build and fit out. 

The work the guys at Autobarn Cairns did was superb and the result is a beautifully fitted out rear end, which unfortunately doesn’t have room for the traditional mattress.


The Focal audio systems consists of: 

  • 4 x Focal K2 330mm 800wmp Subwoofers
  • 4 x Focal K2 165AC 6.5” 2 ways
  • 4 x focal K2 Inverted dome TN53K tweeters
  • 4 x Focal FPS high powered amps
  • 2 x Focal 165 KRX3 front doors
  • And Flat screen tv for good measure


From here it was a full front cabin upholstery restoration including dash, doors, seats, roof and rear panel.

Then, almost 2 years after it started the Sandman emerged in it’s current form. Shortly where after it was acquired by Hot 100 Darwin and relocated.

On arrival in Darwin stage 2 of it’s restoration was begun, and still continues.

First stop Denny Ross’s D&T Performance in Pinelands for a much needed cooling system upgrade and mechanical overhaul once again.

A vehicle of this age needs constant care and attention and Denny and his team at D&T Performance continue to provide constant servicing and performance improvement to not only keep the vehicle on the road but to constantly improve it. With parts supplied by Burson Autoparts


Next was the need to once again address some rust issues, and Kristen from KC Customs was quick to offer his services, so once again the vehicle was stripped back, rust removed and repaired and resprayed.

Rebranded as the Hot 100 Sandman the vehicle is well into it’s stage 2 rebuild. Upgrading trims, bumpers, replacing old or corroded parts, with simply finding them the biggest challenge.

Keeping the Sandman on the streets are a group of valued sponsors who have recognised the high profile value of such an iconic vehicle and have committed to keep it out and about. 

The Sandman is out and about Darwin giving out heaps of prizes and free stuff, so listen out for it, you can’t miss it!

SPARE PARTS: With a vehicle like this we are always looking for spare parts, and at times they can be hard to get hold off, so if you, or someone you know may have spare parts please call us, currently we are looking for:

  • Brake proportioning valve
  • Front brake calipers


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