National

Holden’s five best cars

By AAP Newswire

HOLDEN'S FIVE BEST CARS:

* Holden FJ: It's impossible to kick off any list of Holden's best cars without starting with the iconic FJ, the second all-Australian car that followed the original 48-215 into production. Built between 1953 and 1957 it dominated the local market at a time when half the cars sold across the country were Holdens. With almost 170,000 produced, it also accounted for the company's first exports to New Zealand.

* Holden HQ: The HQ was produced from 1971 to 1974 and is considered by many to be the best Holden ever, taking into account it's features, styling, and engineering for the period. It was the company's first all-new car since the original Holden in 1948 and still holds the title for the most sales from a single model line with close to 500,000 produced. It also gave rise to some classic variants, such as the Sandman panel van.

* A9X Torana: Part of Holden's motoring pedigree in Australia has come through its exploits on the race track and this is where the A9X was a cracker. A high-powered variant of the LX series Torana, it was unashamedly produced to win the Australian Touring Car Championship and the famous Bathurst race. Racing great Peter Brock put it on pole position in its first race at The Mountain in 1977, but was beaten by the Ford Falcons of Allan Moffat and Colin Bond. The A9X roared back to win both the championship and at Bathurst in 1978 and 79.

* VT Commodore: The VT was produced from 1997 to 2000 and represented a major shift forward in design excellence and vehicle refinement for Holden. It won the coveted Wheels magazine car of the year in 1997 and was the top selling car in the country. Regarded by many as the best Commodore of all time, it also provided the basis for the re-introduction of the famed Monaro coupe in 1997.

* The Monaro: Named after the Monaro region in NSW, even though the two are pronounced differently, it came to the market as Holden's first coupe in 1968. It proved an instant success and also gave Holden its first win in the Bathurst 500 with Bruce McPhee and co-driver Barry Mulholland at the wheel. The Monaro was revived in 1997 in a secret project with designers working on the car without telling senior management until a prototype had been produced.