Posts Tagged ‘calais’

Feature Car: Adam Wheeler’s Holden VL Calais


01 May

In a world where the norm’ is to ditch whatever is already in the engine bay in favour of an LS-based power plant, Adam Wheeler’s twin-throttle, Holden V8-powered VL Holden Calais is a breath of old-school air. Beautifully finished from tip to tail, the 340rwhp sedan was featured in the April issue of Street Machine.

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Adam Wheeler's Holden VL Calais

Adam Wheeler's Holden VL Calais

Adam Wheeler's Holden VL Calais

BETTER THAN EVER: Steve Spirovski’s 799rwhp RB30 Holden VL Commodore


27 Mar

Steve Spirovski's Holden VL Calais Turbo

BETTER THAN EVER

It’s been almost a decade since we last featured Steve Spirovski’s gorgeous VL turbo. After an unfortunate incident at Powercruise, it’s now back and…
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

We love it when we get to revisit past feature cars that have gone on to even greater things than when we first saw them – if for no other reason than to give newer readers a little glimpse into the glorious history of the Commodore scene while also featuring something fresh, new and awesome. So, when we heard that Steve Spirovski had rebuilt his VL turbo from the ground up, we got our arses down to the Canberra area as fast as we could.

Steve Spirovski's Holden VL Calais TurboOriginally featured in issue 125 of Street Commodores, his Calais clone was eye-wateringly yellow – a pretty trendy thing to do at the time, and also something people late 20s and early 30s are likely to do to a car. Fast forward to today and Steve is a 42-year-old husband and father. Bright yellow cars aren’t generally something people this age drive, let alone lust after (exotics are perhaps an exception!).

“I’ve owned this car for 25 years. It was my first car,” Steve says. Given this remarkable fact, it must have been a terrible shock when his good friend put the car into a wall at Powercruise. “We’re still really good friends,” he says. “Ben and his brother Toby Dobel repaired the car to what it is today. Ben welded up holes, fit a roll cage and fabricated a parachute bracket. He paid to fix the whole car.”

Fixing the car was no small task. We’re not talking about a small tap here. Both the front and rear ends were pretty much caved in and required a whole new front end and a new rear quarter. “It took 16 months to rebuild it,” Steve says. “It didn’t feel like such a bad experience once the car was back together and in primer. But otherwise it made me sick to look at it.”Steve Spirovski's Holden VL Calais Turbo

Steve didn’t simply fix the damage and repaint it, though. No, he took the opportunity to give the car a mechanical freshen, too. When we last saw the car, it was making around 700hp at the crank with a GT35/40 mixing PULP and a little methanol. During the latest rebuild, Steve swapped to a T51R turbo, E85 and an Autronic ECU (among other things). Adam Allen got the combo on the dyno where it made 799rwhp on 32psi. “Without Adam, this wouldn’t have been possible,” Steve says. “I put the car back together myself, with help from my mate Demitri Stamatis to get the engine and gearbox back in.”

Also overhauled was the interior, where the previously mentioned 6-point cage was expertly woven into the cabin, as close to the pillars as possible for an almost stealth look. Amongst all that is a classy charcoal leather trim using Scheel seats up front and Calais gear out back. Steve ditched the Autometer instrument cluster in favour of factory gauges (which still work with the 57L fuel cell via a custom sender unit) and the B&M shifter sits so clean you’d think it had been put there by Holden themselves.

Steve Spirovski's Holden VL Calais TurboOverall, while the crash was a shitty situation for all concerned (imagine how bad you’d feel rubbing the nose of your mate’s car into a wall); incredibly good things have come of it. Steve’s VL has never looked, or run better. It’s now in a style and colour that isn’t likely to date like the old yellow colour scheme and his pride and joy is all fresh and ready to fight another 25 years.

“I got this car when it was only a year old,” he concludes. “So, it was in really good condition when I got it. I love its clean appearance and it’s just a nice cruiser that I can take to the drags and have fun in.”

Amen!

 

Owner: Steve Spirovski
Model: 1988 VL
Bodywork: Calais parts
Colour: PPG Silver slate over Asteroid silver
Block: RB30ET
Engine Mods: CP Pistons (8.5:1-comp’), ARP head and mains studs, REV rods, ported head, Manley valves, double valve springs, G Tech hydraulic cam’, High Energy oil pan, PWR alloy radiator, Nissan oil pump, factory rockers, Romac harmonic balancer, under-driven water pump pulley, 90mm Plazmaman throttle, SPAL thermo fan, JPC intake manifold and plenum, 4in tapered K&N air filter, HKS T51R turbo (32psi), M&W spark amp’, Autronic ECU, alloy catch can, Aeroflow radiator overflow tank, SX FPR, 2x Bosch 044 fuel pumps (E85), 2L surge tank, 57L fuel cell, 1600cc injectors, custom fuel sender, custom fuel rail, Bosch 909 lift pump
Power: 799rwhp (595rwkW)
Exhaust: 4in dump pipe, 4in single system, single truck muffler
Gearbox: Jatco 4-speed auto’, 4000rpm Dominello stall, ‘stage-3’ kit, custom billet valve body, two-piece tail shaft
Diff: Borg Warner, 3.45:1 final drive, full-spool, 31-spline axles
Brakes: VT twin-piston front calipers and 296mm rotors, VT booster and master cylinder
Suspension: XYZ front coil-overs, QA1 rear coil-overs, Pedders panhard, mini tubs, manual steering rack, MacDonald Brothers 4-link kit
Wheels/Tyres: 19in Simmons FR (8in front, 10in rear)
Interior: Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel, Scheel front seats, Calais rear bench, charcoal leather trim, black super plush carpets, velour roof lining, Stuart Warner ancillary gauges, 6-point roll cage w/taxi bar, B&M Pro Ratchet
Stereo: Factory head unit, Alpine V12 2-channel power amp’, Fusion front speakers, Alpine rear speakers
Build time: 16 months (latest build)
Cost: Undisclosed
Contacts: “Johnson Performance Centre (JPC), Allen Engineering, Fyshwick Exhaust Centre, BMS, Diff Doctor, MacDonald Brothers, Duffy Panel and Paint, Top End Interiors, Canberra Hydro Graphics, Ben and Toby Dobel, my wife and kids for being so patient”

THE TRIBUTE: Shane Potts’ Holden VN Calais


26 Mar

THE TRIBUTE

No stranger to V8-powered VN Commodores, Shane Potts’ pristine twin-throttle Calais carries a deeper sense of sentimentality
Story and Pics by hoskingindustries.com.au

Shane Potts is a self-confessed V8 Commodore nut – in particular he loves VNs. This white 1990 Calais is at least the third V8-powered VN he’s owned, with the family shed still containing his pride and joy red Calais (see breakout). These two co-exist with Shane’s partner’s SV99 and the shed has previously played host to a white VN SS, VK Berlina and two VB sedans.

But this Calais in particular holds a special place for Shane. He was rebuilding the car as his father was battling terminal illness. “I was trying to get it finished before he passed away, so he could see it finished,” Shane says. “He’d often come down to the garage and just and sit and watch me working on it.

“We did get to give him a fitting ‘V8 send-off’ at his funeral, though. Five of the family’s V8s (including Shane’s brother’s VK Berlina, his wife’s SV99, his sister-in-law’s VY SS, his best friend’s blown VN Calais and this white Calais) escorting the funeral procession.”

Sadly, Shane didn’t quite get the Calais finished in time, but that connection makes this a special build for him. And we reckon it’s a special car. Using primarily GMH parts, the VN is like some kind of special edition that Holden could have released back in the day, complete with hi-po’ V8, six-speed, big brakes (for the time) and all the luxury the company had to throw at you.

Amazingly the four year rebuild started with a wreck of a car that Shane bought practically sight-unseen. “After searching for a white VN Calais on Carsales.com.au, I found this one in Melbourne – some 1200kms away,” he says. “I booked a flight on the Friday night, my wife dropped me off at the airport on Saturday afternoon and landed in Melbourne at 8pm.

“I looked at the car in the dark, exchanged keys for money then drove the car the 1200kms back home. I was at home by 9am the next morning. A big weekend!”

Shane says the VN was “very rough” when he got it. “But I didn’t care – it was a VN!” he says.

Today, ‘rough’ is certainly not a word you could use for this Calais. Perhaps words like pristine, immaculate and better-than-new would better suit. With its smooth, fresh two-pack white-over-silver Calais paint scheme, sunroof and SV3800 grille, the old girl looks clean from any angle and riding on those FR19s in matching silver, the car looks as classic and iconic as you could get. If it weren’t for the hole in the bonnet, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the story ended there.

Pop that bonnet though and you’re greeted with a super clean 355ci Holden stroker making 376rwhp through a T56 and Borg Warner rear end with 3.73:1 gears. Shane has done much of the work himself, being a mechanic by trade. This included wiring up the Haltech ECU and partially hiding the wiring for a cleaner look.

Inside, the Calais trim was given a thorough going over, with fresh carpets installed and a different rear bench sourced from another car. It all looks just about factory fresh, save for the manual stick with a VX gear knob showing six gears – a RIP Shifter hiding beneath. The cabin boasts other GMH parts, like the VY SS pedals and VP GTS steering wheel. A Pioneer head unit feeds two pairs of Sony speakers mounted into the factory locations and a shift light hides up against the A-pillar on the dash. It’s almost like some kind of wonderful HSV-Improved model from 1990.

Clearly of the mindset that a car is never finished, Shane has more plans for the white Calais. During our photo shoot he mentioned that a mate had his eyes on buying the long motor, with Shane eyeing off one of Torque Power’s Little Paw combos. Combined with a blower and this Calais will be a truly different beast – however he reckons this won’t be for a while yet.

Owner: Shane Potts
Model: 1990 VN Calais
Bodywork: Sunroof, SV3800 grille, hole in bonnet
Colour: 2-pack white over Asteroid silver
Block: VN 5L
Engine Mods: Mains girdle, Harrop 3.48in crank (355ci), ACL Race Series 10cc dish pistons (10:1-comp’), A9L rods w/ARP bolts, ACL rings, ARP head and mains studs, Camtech valve springs and retainers, Camtech hydraulic roller cam (0.579in lift, 230° duration, 110° LSA), Crane pushrods, Yella Terra 1.65:1-ratio Platinum roller rockers, Rollmaster timing chain, modified JP oil pump, VX thermo fans, PWR alloy radiator, 80A alternator, VN Group A SS twin-throttle intake setup, supercharged V6 injectors, modified Group A SS air box, Crane Hi-6 spark amp’, Crane LS92 coil, Haltec E6-GMX ECU, V6 in-tank pump, Bosch 044 external pump, 65L tank
Power: 376rwhp (280rwkW)
Exhaust: Pacemaker tri-Y headers (1-3/4in primaries), twin 2.5in stainless exhaust into single 4in, stainless mufflers, 2x standard cats
Gearbox: T56, RIP Shifter, single-plate clutch
Diff: BW, 3.73:1 final drive, LSD, heavy duty unis
Brakes: VN Group A SS front rotors and calipers, stock rear discs, TRW pads, braided front brake lines
Suspension: King springs, Monroe front struts, Pedders rear shocks, Pedders 27mm front swaybar, Whiteline adjustable panhard
Wheels/Tyres: 19in Simmons FR rims (8in front, 9.5in rear), Nankang NS2 tyres
Interior: VP GTS steering wheel, VN Calais velour trim, new grey carpets, shift light, VY SS pedals, VX HSV gear knob
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Sony speakers in front and back
Build time: 4 years
Cost: $30,000
Contacts: Diff Technics, Altopac, G-Force, “My wife Kristy, my mum and dad and brother Ricky, mates Matt Feeney, Dave Page, Mark Lambert. Car is dedicated to my dad, Greg”

 

Cover Car: Anthony Ivanovic’s 1050hp Holden VL Calais


15 Nov

Anthony Ivanovic’s 1050hp blown 403ci LS-powered Holden VL Calais graced the front cover of Street Commodores a couple months back. Combining the classic aesthetic of the iconic VL turbo with a smooth engine bay full of polished alloy and late-model power, it is a car that never fails to impress – whether it’s the VL turbo fan or the LS lover.

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Anthony Ivanovic's Holden VL Calais

 Anthony Ivanovic's Holden VL Calais    

Feature Car: Robert Maggio’s Holden VL Calais


18 Jul

My photo shoot on Robert Maggio’s gorgeous 454ci LSX/R-powered Holden VL Calais was featured in the latest issue of Street Machine‘s LSX Tuner special issue. It’s on sale now, so go grab a copy!

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Robert Maggio's Holden VL Calais

Robert Maggio's Holden VL Calais     Robert Maggio's Holden VL Calais

Daniel Petersen’s Holden VL Calais Turbo


10 May

My photo shoot on Daniel Petersen’s slick 700rwhp RB30DET-powered Holden VL Calais was featured on the front cover of the last issue of Street Commodores magazine (issue 263) which was on sale last month. Check out that interior!

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Daniel Petersen's Holden VL Calais Turbo

Daniel Petersen's Holden VL Calais Turbo     Daniel Petersen's Holden VL Calais Turbo

Feature Car: Dimitri John’s Holden VL Calais


03 Jan

We had the pleasure of shooting Dimitri John’s immaculate Holden VL Calais for issue 258 of Street Commodores, which was on sale a couple of months ago (sorry, we’re a bit slow on this one!). It boasts a flawless engine bay housing a 625hp 355ci Holden stroker V8.

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Dimitri John's Holden VL Calais

Dimitri John's Holden VL Calais     Dimitri John's Holden VL Calais

Feature Car: Nathan Van Steenbeek’s Holden VL Calais


26 Oct

Nathan Van Steenbeek’s killer 427ci LS3-powered Holden VL Calais is featured in the latest issue of Street Commodores magazine! Be sure to check it out for the whole story on this tyre-frying machine.

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Nathan Van Steenbeek's Holden VL Calais

Nathan Van Steenbeek's Holden VL Calais     Nathan Van Steenbeek's Holden VL Calais

Feature Car: Kit Hunter’s VL Calais Drag Car


28 Jun

Our photo shoot on Kit Hunter’s incredible Holden VL Calais drag car is in the latest issue of Street Commodores, issue 253. On sale now. Originally Rob Beauchamp’s Street Machine of the Year winner, the car now breathes fire for a living and Kit is working to get it down the strip in quicker and quicker ETs. It’s current PB is 7.09sec!

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Kit Hunter's Holden VL Calais Drag Car

Kit Hunter's Holden VL Calais Drag Car     Kit Hunter's Holden VL Calais Drag Car

Cover Car: Shane Potts’ Holden VN Calais


20 Apr

Our photo shoot on Shane Potts’ wild twin-turbo, twin-throttle stroker V8-powered Holden VN Calais made it onto the front cover of issue 250 of Street Commodores magazine, which is on sale now. This is the second time Shane’s VN has been featured in the magazine, with the first published about a decade ago when the car was a milder combination.

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As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Shane Potts' Holden VN Calais

Shane Potts' Holden VN Calais     Shane Potts' Holden VN Calais