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This is a Book
Code: 9781876077006
Specs: 160 pages. 230 mm x 230 mm
Foreward: A chronicle of Australia’s wild panel van era and social commentary on Australian culture in the 1970’s.
Author: Sturat Scott
Source: Streetlight Publishing
Type: Book
ISBN: 9781876077006
Price: $34.95
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THE VANS THAT ROCKED AUSTRALIA’S TRICKED-UP panel van phenomenon swept Australia in the 1970s and were a unique era in our car culture indeed and our motoring history – in fact they were a social phenomenon. This is the first book to chronicle that panel van boom, the time of the Holden Sandman, the Ford Sundowner and Chrysler Drifter.

Packed with classic old photographs, including a whole chapter on the never-produced WB SANDMAN complete with secret GMH design drawings. “The Vans that Rocked” by social historian and veteran motoring writer Stuart Scott, brings to life again the inside stories from the car companies which jumped on the bandwagon, the people who sold the vans, the specialists who dressed them up ... and their hordes of eager young customers.

From surfies to petrolheads, show-van enthusiasts to drag racers, a panel van was the must-have vehicle for the beach, the drive-in, the milk bar or a cruise around town on a Saturday night.

In that era of change and rebellion, it was the perfect way for the younger generation to make a statement. After all, owners proudly attached bumper stickers like `If It's Rocking, Don't Bother Knocking', and `Don't Laugh, Your Daughter May Be Inside'.''But while sex and vans sometimes went hand-in-hand, the vanning revolution was about much more. Aussies, through their vans, showed a new and wholly Australian streak of creative independence where young men—from committed surfers to Westys—bought the tradesman’s primary tool, the van, and did almost everything imaginable (thing) to them.

Many people and companies saw them as a great way to make money. Holden, Ford and Chrysler latched on to the craze as a way of selling more panel vans with high profit options. And the nationwide cult, it definitely became, spawned a significant after-market accessory industry which sold everything from mattresses to high-end car stereos and custom cocktail cabinets to deck out vans – not to mention the many, many amazing pieces of airbrushed artwork which adorned their sides. Promoters jumped on the bandwagon with hugely popular panel van shows.

``The panel van craze was an era which has always fascinated me because it was a uniquely Australian phenomenon, that comparatively-brief period when what had been the most humble of worker vehicles shot up the desirability scale.

``It was only here that car-based vans acquired such big engines and high price tags, being bought in their thousands. And it was a revolution which came to a halt as abruptly as it started’’, explained author Stuart Scott. His book examines the phenomenon that started in the Sixties, raged wildly through the Seventies and finally became a niche movement in the early Nineties before utes became a fad and the tradies moved on to Japanese and Korean work-horses like the Toyota HiLux.

This is true Australian history not to be missed by any motoring enthusiast. A must-have book.

A chronicle of Australia’s wild panel van era and social commentary on Australian culture in the 1970’s.


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