THIS adored 1978 Holden HZ Sandman was purchased by Dartmoor owner Graham Mutch after searching Australia-wide to find the distinct panel van.
First discovering a Sandman vehicle to purchase in Tasmania, Mr Mutch made the long journey to inspect the car.
However, when arriving to finally see it at the owner’s property after finding it online, Mr Mutch was met with a pile of metal as opposed to his dream car.
“I was very disappointed as I had already payed a $1000 deposit and planned to take it onto the Spirit of Tasmania with me,” Mr Mutch said.
As he was now left without any transport due to relying on the car once in Tasmania, Mr Mutch then had to book an expensive last minute plane ticket home.
This setback however did not defeat the determined car enthusiast as he continued to search for his dream Sandman.
“I eventually found one in Cowra, New South Wales, after three years of looking,” Mr Mutch said.
“I was ecstatic as I have wanted the vehicle ever since I was 15.”
The vehicle has since been resprayed an Atlantis Blue and other luxurious additions include dragway mag wheels, six speaker stereo, a DVD player, two amplifiers, two subwoofers and a television.
With a 308 five-litre engine, the car was first valued at $38,000 and is now worth $65,000.
“I was once offered $100,000 for it, but I will never give it up,” Mr Mutch said.
As part of the South East Street Machines, the vehicle has accumulated an impressive 15 trophies over 18 months, having travelled to Millicent, Naracoorte, Edenhope, Warrnambool, Mount Gambier and Port Fairy for events.
“It also won the Panel Van Nationals in Port Fairy,” Mr Mutch said.
Adding to the list, Mr Mutch’s dedication to his vehicle was recognised at the recent O.G. Roberts Holden is Here to Stay event, winning the people’s choice award.