In this edition of the Forza Horizon 3 Garage from Playground Games, our ongoing series of car reveals before the game is released on September 27th, we’re staying true to the Australian setting of the game and leading with three cars from the country’s famed Holden marque.
Digging into the past, we’ve got the legendary ’74 Sandman panel van and an early 1950s Ute that helped establish Holden’s line of unique utilitarian vehicles. Unfortunately however Holden will be shutting down operations in Australia in 2017, so it’s fitting that we also include the 2016 Holden Special Vehicles GTS Maloo, a car that pays homage to Holden’s Ute history, while still being built to perform very much in the present.
Elsewhere in this week’s lineup of announced cars in Forza Horizon 3, we have a famed example of early supercar style in the 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, and an Italian concept SUV that will feel right at home cranking through the dusty backroads of the Outback in the 2014 Lamborghini Urus, along with some fine examples of American muscle like the 1970 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 and Australian muscle in the 1973 XB Falcon GT.
1974 Holden Sandman HQ Panel Van
Few vehicles are as distinctly Australian as the Sandman HQ panel van. Originally, these sedan deliveries were derivatives of the 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.
2016 Holden Special Vehicles GTS Maloo
As you bang through the gears and are rocked back in your seat at the release of the clutch, you’ll quickly understand why the GTS Maloo is referred to as the “Ferrari of utes.” It’s one way for Holden to say thank you in big way before the Australian manufacturer closes its doors in 2017. While utilitarian in purpose, this ute is all about going very fast. Take the supercharged V8 under the hood or the upgraded brakes and suspension. This Maloo is ready for track duty straight away.
1951 Holden 50-2106 FX Ute
The roots of the Holden Ute go back to the to a post-World War II era, when the world couldn’t get enough Australian wheat and wool. When “Australia’s Own Car” – the 1948-125 Holden four-door sedan –launched, it only had one model and Australians had to wait more than two years for a load-hauling version. With just 60 hp in its stock form, the FX is a far cry from the powerhouse utes of today. But the heart and soul is all there.