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Australia, this is your new favourite race car

Forty years ago, Holden released a car called the Sandman. It was a panel van: a van version of a ute - which is a car version of a pick-up truck - but, more than that, it was a one stop shop for surfers.

There was enough room to strap two surfboards to the roof, a big V8 up front, and, most importantly, “105 feet of party room in the back” (their words): that’s enough to comfortably fit a mattress.

With its Swiss Army knife-style usability, the Sandman was literally sex on wheels to some surfers. It quickly became and Aussie icon and would command a raft of shaka salutes each time one would rock up shoreside.

But for last weekend’s V8 Supercars’ Gold Coast 600, Red Bull Racing Australia engineered a one-off, 21st century re-imagining of the seventies Holden Sandman with the help of Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Where the original was based on a Holden Kingswood, the latest version uses Jamie Whincup’s V8 Supercar chassis from the 2013 season.

Complete with a 705bhp 5.0-litre V8 race engine, six-speed electro-hydraulic paddleshift gearbox, F1-inspired fly by wire throttle control and racing brakes, it’s quite a departure from the original.

But some authentic hallmarks are maintained. There’s enough room for two 6ft carbon fibre surfboards on the roof and you can apparently still fit a mattress in the back. However, Sandman enthusiasts may not appreciate the new crippling race suspension, if ya know what we mean…

Finished in a monochrome livery with red accents, plus having that unruly V8 soundtrack, we think a racing modern day panel van is absolutely bloody bonzer. Now all we need to do is apply some corks to our racing helmets.

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