If you’re planning to buy a classic car, it’s worth spending time on research first. Understanding the history and specifications of the car you’re buying will potentially help you avoid buying a sub-standard vehicle, or worse, not getting what you think you’re paying for!
When researching the Sandman, understanding the date codes found on identification plates and parts is critical and can mean the difference between buying a genuine Sandman and a clever copy.
By 1974 Holden had adopted its own date code system for engine blocks. The engine cast date is located just behind the water pump on the passenger side, as pictured.
Here we look at the GM Holden date codes which are specific to the various Holden Sandman models.
This is the key used to determine the month of manufacture:
|Jan -||A||Jul -||G|
|Feb -||B||Aug -||H|
|Mar -||C||Sep -||J|
|Apr -||D||Oct -||K|
|May -||E||Nov -||L|
|Jun -||F||Dec -||M|
Interestingly, the letters “I” and “O” were not used because they could be confused with the numbers “1” and “0”.
The pictured block has a code of “17L6”. The “17” represents the day of the month. The “L” corresponds to November in the key listed above. The “6” represents the year of manufacture. So the cast date of this particular engine was the 17th of November 1976.