Few vehicles are as distinctly Aussie as the Sandman HQ panel van. Originally, these sedan deliveries were derivatives of the typical ute with a metal or plastic shell enclosing the cargo tray. They developed into a phenomenon that escalated to its height in the 1970s before falling off in popularity. The most famous Sandman was driven by Mel Gibson in the original 1979 “Mad Max” film. Like many, Max’s panel van was converted for camping. During the climax of their popularity, Sandman panel vans were tricked out with mural paint jobs, custom windows and details that spoke to each owner’s passions. Sure, some were used for more utilitarian uses but in some cases, what went on in the backs of many of the funky Sandman HQs around the country was often more exciting than merely hauling around the tools of the trades that helped build urban Australia.