Vanning goodness had the Eastern States stitched up for the October 2017 long weekend, with Majestic Vanners Australia Van-Ins

Photographers: Karl Vanzuyden, Russell Slocombe

VANNING goodness had the Eastern States stitched up for the October 2017 long weekend, with Majestic Vanners Australia Van-Ins held at both Hervey Bay on Queensland’s Fraser Coast and the NSW-Victoria border towns of Albury-Wodonga.

As Australia’s first nationally based van club, spreading the love across essentially three States was trialed last year – to make attendance more accessible for otherwise long distance travelers – and the success of these respective events has cemented this concept for future years.

The revival of the QLD State Titles was an added bonus to the Hervey Bay program, and healthy attendance numbers at both shows is proof that vanning is still gaining in popularity at a steady rate.

The mirroring meet’n’greets, cruise time, charity auctions and general public show’n’shines kept entrants and visitors busy, while the family-friendly vibe and emphasis on fun is a surety that these twin events will continue to grow in popularity.


Rusty Smith1. Russell ‘Rusty’ Smith is making steady progress on the rebuild of the famed ex-John Strachan ‘Alley Cat’ HJ, best remembered for its Jag V12 running gear and six legged ‘Banth’ Frank Lee mural. Awarded Australia’s Top Van in 1983, Rusty has taken the finish and detail of the van to the next level with selective use of modern componentry, however is being respectful with his choices to retain the identity of such an iconic van

Craig Sherman2. Craig Sherman’s gorgeous orange XB Falcon Surferoo is a neat mix of modern and old school styling cues and took home Most Popular Ford at the Hervey Bay Van-In and a Top 10 berth in QLD State Titles judging

June Opperman3. This tidy yellow HZ is a regular on the Queensland show scene and is owned by June Opperman. It was treated to some recent upgrades and looks neat with colour coded bars and redwall tyres

Justin and Kerry Harding4. Justin and Kerry Harding have been wowing the crowds in recent months with their suitably named ‘RARE AS’ XD Sundowner. The couple won Best Sundowner at the QLD Van-In and Queensland’s Top Van at the State Titles

Alan Potter5. Alan Potter hails from Bairnsdale but this year decided to head north to Queensland to mix things up a little and give the banana benders a firsthand look at his survivor showvan, Foxy lady. After his tow vehicle broke down in Sydney he unloaded Foxy and hit the road, covering the remaining kilometres and return trip with ease. Alan was rewarded with the Most Popular Holden, Most Popular pre-HQ/XA, Legend’s Pick, Longest Distance Travelled and Hard Luck awards for his efforts! Phew!


Graham Pain1. Drop-dead gorgeous is the best way to describe Graham Pain’s ‘Kool Mint’ factory decal-delete HZ Sandman, and the fans thought so too, with Graham taking out the Cleanest Van Award

Ken Malcolm2. Ken Malcolm’s ‘Sunset’ tunnel-rammed HQ Holden goes from strength to strength, and the latest addition is a full grille treatment and quarter bumpers for its later model front end. Ken left his mark at Albury-Wodonga taking out Majestic Vanners Choice, Best Light & Sound, Entrants’ Choice, Most Popular Engine Bay/Driveline and Best Tailgate Mural

Barend Van Delft3. Not all vans have mags and nor are they all Sandmans; Barend Van Delft’s beautifully restored windowless HZ Kingswood retains six cylinder power and is neatly finished throughout. The Most Popular Holden (non Sandman) award was an appropriate choice

Adam Harrison4. ‘The Night Watchman’ owned by Adam Harrison is an ex-show van from the 80s that has survived the ravages of time. Guard flutes, a twin-port sunroof, twin aerials, Dragway 5 spokes and murals illustrate what was all the rage when vanning was at its peak

Casey Johnson5. The arse of Casey Johnson’s cool 70s-inspired XC dubbed ‘Superbird’ gets higher and higher as each year passes. A whopping set of 285/70s on 10in rims along with extended shackles helps achieve maximum sniffer rake

Wade Sheales6. Wade Sheales dragged this Uncle Buck-spec XB out of a paddock a mere five weeks before the Van-In, and a mad thrash turned the roller into a running and driving entity, screwing the rego plates on the day before the Van-In and setting sail from Wagga to Albury!