Two models vie for best Holden ever

Two cars launched 40 years apart vie for the title of the best Holden ever, the company's design and engineering bosses say.

The top two are the 1971 Holden HQ, including its various offshoots such as the Monaro, and the VF Commodore, which came onto the market in 2013.

"It's always a difficult question, what's your favourite Holden or which was the best one," current design boss Richard Ferlazzo told AAP

"For me the podium stands at the HQ, the VT Commodore and the VE Commodore.

Mr Ferlazzo points to the level of local content in the models he's chosen, referencing Holden's iconic role as the Australian car company.

Director of Engineering Brett Vivian said, for him, the scales tipped slightly in favour of the VF Commodore.

"That was our baby. Every time you do a new car you build on the last one, you look to make it better again," he said.

"It's the whole package, it's the great size for a family, it's a sporty car, it can be an incredibly efficient car.

"We're rightly very proud, it's a cracking car."

The VF Commodore was built on Holden's own Zeta platform that was first used from 2006 for its predecessor, the VE Commodore.

The VE cost Holden more than $1 billion to develop and not only won the prestigious Wheels magazine car of the year but was also named among the 28 finalists for world car of the year.

It was the first all-new Commodore to come to the market since 1997 and helped Holden boost its export orders with sales to New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Lebanon, Oman, Fiji and South Africa.

Then Holden chairman Denny Mooney described it as one of the most significant cars produced by the company since releasing its first car in 1948.

The VF brought even higher levels of sophistication to the local large car market, adding touchscreen technology and forward and rear collision warning systems.

Similarly, the HQ was considered Holden's most sophisticated offering in its day, a car motoring experts considered to be "entirely in tune with the thinking of the time".

"The 1971 HQ was a smoother, better riding, safer and more elegant car than any previous Holden," author John Wright said in his history of company's first 50 years.

The HQ series also carried forward some of Holden's most iconic badges, with names like Kingswood, Premier, Monaro and the Sandman panel van.

By the time the series finished, Holden had produced almost half a million of the cars.

To the local motoring scene, the HQ represented something really fresh.

"And that's what excites designers," Mr Ferlazzo said.