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Steve 16-09-10 20:19

Steve's VL Calais Build
This is a story I've been meaning to write up for quite a while now, I've been around this site for ages, seen everyone elses work but haven't really shown what I've done or what **** I've come across!

My Calais build was going to start with a naturally aspirated 1988 S2 Platinum Gold Calais I bought as my first car some years ago. It was alright for a first car, looked alright, I seemed to think it went ok for an NA lol. I didn't know too much about VL's but I was learing heaps from this forum and by talking to other people.

I first pissed people off by entering this N/A Calais in Motorvation with all the sick VLT's and VL8's, but no one else wanted to take the already paid for entrant spot so I took it haha

After this, I bought an incomplete VLT from xibitor for $400 which came with a VLT 28 spline LSD diff. I had the center rebuilt nice and tight and put back together with 3.9 gears and then put that into my Calais. That was fun.... I was often down at the drags with it, deffinately wasn't the quickest car there but I was still having a bit of fun.

As everyone knows, VLT's are better than VL NA's.
I had planned to strip the car and respray it because the clear coat was peeling, and I was going to rebuild a VLT motor and Auto box which I had picked up along the way.
Car stripped, and wow what? This car was a cut and shut back in the day. From the strut towers forward it was another car welded on! Nice big crease under the drivers seat aswell. Wish I had known a little bit more before I bought this car, instead of buying 'the first one I saw!'

Then I gave up. Sold all the turbo gear I had acumulated and sold all the parts off that Calais. (well I didn't sell the diff though)

I Ended up buying a nice 5 speed '87 VL Berlina from OldGold. VLT Brakes, disc brake rear, extractors, RB20 box, Walky rims - it was nice and reliable and got me to work and back.

Then a decent job came along, I needed a new car! So I bought a VZ and sold the Berlina to _vendetta. Wow @ VZ! The aircon and cruise control worked and it was awesome! lol

But I still wanted to build a VL.
I bought an '86 VL Berlina from Stocs101 which wasnt running and the next day bought a crashed '87 VLCT from the wreckers, which actually used to belong to an old CT member GTA_1024

The plan was to put the driveline from the crashed Calais into the Berlina.
Well that didn't happen, I sold the driveline and bought an RB25DET with gearbox from SAU forums with the intentions of it all going into the Berlina.... which also didn't happen when I sold the Berlina to _vendetta (again) which gets me to my current Calais.

Now, this awesome specimen of a VL, some may have seen it when it was owned by someone else? Sent from WA to Rajab in VIC and was talked up to be the WA's first 9second VL?

Anyways, came with no engine or box, VL V8 LSD Diff, NA front brakes, mint interior, no front bumper, trans tunnel bashed out for a powerglide.

Here it is not long after I bought it, NA RB30 had just gone in as I was going to drive it to the CT BBQ cruise like that. (Didnt make it because I slept in after working to get it running all night)

K frame with cross bars chopped out (actually passed the pits like that)

Looking a little bit umm DISTURBED hey?

I ended up taking it to my mates paint shop to get stripped back, doors off boot/bonnet off etc etc and get fully resprayed (well actually engine bay hasnt been done, but thats currently gloss black)

We made up a custom gunmetal colour which looks MINT :cool: (since this I've seen to many new cars with factory gunmetal paint jobs but they're still not as good as mine! haha)

In the booth with the doors and bootlid back on

And outside once finished (please ignore the name on the boat in the background) :p

Starting to get it together slowly

Then took it home to clear space from the workshop

Lots of new clips, bumper parts, rear window seal, door seals, VT style single piece front windscreen seal, lights, garnish, went through basicly 2 interiors to find the perfect bits and pieces. And got it all together.

Next step was to pass the pits. Failed. Powersteering rack leaked right onto inspectors head. Many front suspension bushes needed replacing. Tailshaft center bearing stuffed. No charcoal canister, few other things.
Got them sorted and passed the pits 2 weeks later without a drama.

Steve 16-09-10 20:19

Anyways, here's how it sits now -

Still has an NA RB30 with my R33 gearbox behind it. I need the time to finish preparing my S2 RB25 to go in, and piss off the 3.08 V8 diff gears in favour for some 4.11's
I would actually rather drop in an V8 LSX motor, but I take too long to do things sometimes :rolleyes:
Otherwise theres some 3L plans brewing in my head................. :ninja:

Cheers, thanks for reading, and I will update this thread as things progress!!!

_vendetta 16-09-10 20:36

i didn't realise ol whitey was once neil's. Sorry neil, i fkd ur old car.

leb vlt 16-09-10 20:40

great read steve, colour looks mad in the sun

VL101 16-09-10 21:06

Nice colour, calais rims look really good!

inferno 16-09-10 21:20

nice! guess this means i gotta start thinking bout writing up a build... haha. looking good tho, hope you do choose the rb25det!

tzatziki 16-09-10 21:25

clean and original. good job bro.

calais-id 16-09-10 21:27

Very interesting write-up. I will follow the car's progress and will learn from it. It will help me rebuild the 2x VL Calais I have in Indonesia. Good luck!

VL-86-92 16-09-10 21:28

love the colour of it. and sits really nicely on the calais rims

good job!

zaksvl 16-09-10 21:40

looks the goods mate

VLWAGONIT 16-09-10 22:22

thats what i like to see, a picture book insted of an essay ( sorry jack - your posts need more pics)

and i thought i was bad at finishing my projects haha

i vote go the lsx!!!

BRAD.VR.S 16-09-10 22:26

looks great just needs the calais door moulds and it will be complete!

freEze_dK 16-09-10 22:29

great read.. awesome job.. every build ends with skid pics? ;)

Steve 16-09-10 22:34

Thanks for all the comments guys - words like them help get me motivated haha


Originally Posted by BRAD.VR.S (Post 2587909)
looks great just needs the calais door moulds and it will be complete!

Its got the calais door moulds, look harder ;)


Originally Posted by freEze_dK (Post 2587913)
great read.. awesome job.. every build ends with skid pics? ;)

While I wont deny that I've done skids in this, NA VL with V8 diff gears = gay therefore I have no good skid pics. But then again, this build hasn't ended yet :p

Stooge 16-09-10 22:43

Steve, ill say it again. Its a mint VL Calais mate. Very clean and spotless. Colour is awesome. Maybe put on some VX/VY GTS rims, would look tough :D Well done.

freEze_dK 16-09-10 22:47


Originally Posted by Steve (Post 2587922)

While I wont deny that I've done skids in this, NA VL with V8 diff gears = gay therefore I have no good skid pics. But then again, this build hasn't ended yet :p

best part :P

Mattuz 16-09-10 22:52

yeow go steve

this car is absolutely immaculate
cant wait to see it boosting around with the RB25 :)

rb25vlt8 16-09-10 23:03

Nice build mate can't wait to hear u spooling on the streets soon

Xibit0r 16-09-10 23:05

awesome read steve :) cheers for the plug from back in the gold chariot day haha

i have another vlt lsd diff sitting around if rob rob don't take it

joshhh 16-09-10 23:17

that gun metal grey is MINT

malpaso 16-09-10 23:37

it want that gold one :(
and i wish you would stay single cam!

but seriously steve daayum you know how to put together a nice looking car :mrt:

vlbt88 16-09-10 23:50

thatsaa beautiful calais welldone

VL-86-92 17-09-10 00:17


Originally Posted by BRAD.VR.S (Post 2587909)
looks great just needs the calais door moulds and it will be complete!

Asteroid Silver moulds.... it would become my new favourite VL :D

gold 17-09-10 00:59

that car is farken perfect, will be sick with a 25 in it!

turbo3l 17-09-10 01:48

Yeah pimp car steve, this thing looks gorgous in the flesh the sun beems into it :)

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