Central West Car Club | Who doesn't love a panel van?

MOMENT IN TIME: Hugh Egan loves everything about the iconic panel van and its part in Australian motoring history. Photo: Jeff McClurg
MOMENT IN TIME: Hugh Egan loves everything about the iconic panel van and its part in Australian motoring history. Photo: Jeff McClurg

The craze for a panel van was particularly big in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the Holden Sandman being the iconic Aussie van.

Other makes and models existed on the scene as well and are a little less commonly seen these days so I was eager to find out more about Hugh Egan's van.

Hugh is a member of the Parkes-based Central West Car Club (CWCC).

He made the move to Forbes about eight years ago from Sydney where he first owned this van.

He originally bought it in 2010 from Ballina but sold it in 2012 to fund his move out west.

"I'd had enough of driving buses in Sydney so I decided to make the move out here " Hugh said. "Sadly I had to sell the van to fund the move, but the deal was, that I'd always have first option to buy it back if ever it came up for sale." And that's precisely what happened.

The craze for a panel van was particularly big in the late 1970s and early 1980s

Eight years later Hugh was tracked down on Facebook with the chance to buy the van back and he was in a position to buy! "

I sold 3 cars to get it back and I won't be selling it again" said Hugh.

It's a 1971 HG Holden Belmont with the original 6 cylinder 186 engine and a 3 speed manual column shift transmission.

From what Hugh tells me it has the factory option side windows and disc brake front end and also the factory/dealer option 14 inch Hurricane mag wheels.

It's all original inside and out having had a backyard re-spray 15 years ago in the original white duco and no "decking out" with crushed velvet or mirrors in the back!

"In my day people were picking these up as ex-council vans for about $500" Hugh laughed.

"I knew this was a good one when I first owned it, hence why I was eager to buy it back."

Hugh says he's always been a Holden fan after owning a GTR Torana as one of his first cars.

Since joining the CWCC he's enjoyed a few of the monthly car runs which are slowly kicking off again as COVID-19 restrictions are being eased a little.

The CWCC meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Parkes Leagues Club and welcomes visitors and new members with a passion for any vehicle.

You can find out more at www.centralwestcarclub.com or follow them on Facebook.

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