SAND­MAN MAR­KET RE­VIEW

Unique Cars - - THE HUMBLE UTE -

BUY­ING A Sand­man without panel-van body­work does kind of de­feat the pur­pose of hav­ing one. If en­joy­ing sun, sand and sex­ual free­dom are (or were) your in­ten­tions, then nestling down for the night in a tray that was open to the el­e­ments or un­der a claus­tro­pho­bic ton­neau cover didn’t hold a lot of ap­peal. It is there­fore ac­cepted that far fewer Sand­man utes were sold new than were vans, how­ever find­ing ac­cu­rate pro­duc­tion num­bers is not pos­si­ble. What we can say with some cer­tainty is, de­spite be­ing less com­mon, the ute is go­ing to cost you less than a van of sim­i­lar qual­ity. Buy­ing a cor­rect Sand­man util­ity can still be costly. Not long ago it would have been near-im­pos­si­ble to pay more than $50,000 for a util­ity. To­day that price is now a start­ing point and $70,000 is look­ing vi­able for one in ex­cep­tional con­di­tion. Au­then­tic­ity re­mains a big is­sue. Gen­eral be­lief is that all Sand­man vans and utes were based on Bel­mont mod­els but some own­ers in­sist they have a Kingswood-based util­ity. Num­bers on the body plate can be a help but five min­utes with a drill and rivet gun can move plates from a rusted or dam­aged gen­uine Sand­man to an en­tirely dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cle.

CLIFF CHAM­BERS

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