1988 Holden Calais VL 5.0 V8 from Australia and New Zealand


A V8 lover's delight


Seats have started to wear.

But it has been constantly been driven day to day.

Snapped two rocker arms and bent two rods.

But the car has taken more than its fair share of abuse.

General Comments:

The torque and power are amazing, minor engine work is needed and the outcome is more than noticeable.

Interior is Calais, has to be kept clean as most of it is cloth (door trims, Roof lining, Glove box) but for factory interior it surpasses most new vehicles I have been in.

Engine is suprisingly durable, it can take a sharp rev up-to 6000 rpm with no problem.

The car is not for people who prefer comfort. The engine revs and shakes the car as a V8 was meant to.

Suspension is stiff and well balanced as the V8 comes with FE2 suspension, which is the suspension that the police models use.

Fuel economy is effected by the most minor alteration, at the moment the car has, extractors, a stage 2 cam shaft, full 3 inch exhaust, limited slip diff, and minor head work, and now uses about 27 litres per 100km.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2004

1988 Holden Calais VL 3.0 petrol turbo from Australia and New Zealand


A Modifiers Dream car with loads of potential


No problems since full engine service.

Only needed new head gasket due to age.

General Comments:

For all the people considering owning a VL Turbo.

I say get its still one of the best performance cars under $10.000.

When I got the car fully stock I got a full 3" exhaust system from the turbo.

Full cold air Kit and Stage 2 Intercooler and boost set to 12PSI.

Went down to Calder Park and did a best E. T of 13.8.

As you can see it doesn't take much to get these cars really fast!

After a rebuild and high flowing the turbo it will get into low 12sec pases.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2004

1988 Holden Calais 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Lot of car for not much money


Before I purchased the car, the air conditioning was faulty.

When the dealer had this fixed, they knocked a wire off the anti-theft system, making the car cut out intermittently.

Water pump needed replacing at 109000 kilometres.

General Comments:


Heaps of power.

Very economical for a 3.8 V6 (7.6L/100 km) on a trip.

Could corner better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2002

1988 Holden Calais 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Comfortable cruiser with power in reserve


Rough start up from cold.

Right rear hand central locking packed it in.

Front passenger power window jams sometimes.

Speedo and tacho stick.

Can't see the speedo in the dark - light not working.

General Comments:

Very powerful off the line - so easy to lose traction in the wet especially.

Take care in the wet or you won't stay on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd November, 2001

1988 Holden Calais VL 6.0 litre from Australia and New Zealand


The best deal I have done with cars


The timing belt went when I first got it, then the brake pads needed doing, the air conditioning and tyres.

General Comments:

The car absolutely rules, I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd June, 2001

11th Jul 2001, 00:09

6.0 litre manual?? VL Calais only comes with a 3.0L and 3.0L turbo. Don't know what you are talking about!!

30th Sep 2001, 03:26

Actually you are wrong, they come with a 3.0 and a 3.0 turbo (which is the engine out of the Nissan Skyline), and a 5.0 litre V8.

22nd Aug 2002, 19:29

You are wrong also. The 3.0L turbo did not come in the Skyline. It was the naturally aspirated 3.0L motor that was in the R31 Skyline. The turbo motor was unique to the Holden VL range. VL Calais could be powered by the V8 or either the N/A Nissan 3.0L RB30E or the Turbo Nissan 3.0L RB30ET.

1988 Holden Calais RB30 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


A street lethal weapon


Crank angle sensor.

Electrical problems with the motor.

General Comments:

This one would be the quickest VL Calais going around producing 379 Kilowatts.

Getting 26 pound boost from a turbo sure does help.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th May, 2001

31st May 2001, 04:48

Sorry your VL Calais isn't the quickest. If you have a look in the May 1997 edition of Commodore Crazy you will see my VL Calais Twin Turbo that produces 465kw. They could hardly keep it strapped to the dyno at the time.

28th Oct 2005, 02:28

That's quick buddy my one I pulling 200kw and mine is quick, but yours must fly sorry about your problems mines got the same thing.

21st Jul 2006, 08:44

I'm sorry boys I own a Vl Calais 308 twin turbo need I say more.

1988 Holden Calais VL RB30ET from Australia and New Zealand


I need help!!!


Has blown black smoke since I got it, once the engine reaches about 3000rpm, it gets too rich and has trouble accelerating any further and black smoke billows out the exhaust until I back off. Had it fully checked out by a mechanic, he changed everything including injectors, computer, airflow meter and oxygen sensor trying to find the problem. He finally got the mixtures right on the dyno, but after a week of having it back it's beginning to happen again.

General Comments:

Could someone please help me, I don't know what the hell is going on. He suggested it could also be the charcoal canister, maybe filling up with fuel and being drawn back into the engine at high RPM.

It's a beautiful car but I am getting very frustrated, apparently the last owner sold it because he could fix it (nice of him to tell me before I bought it, not). But for the week it went well it was fantastic and was producing 100kw at the wheels.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2001

7th May 2001, 20:25

They actually produce around 114Kw, but the Calais also has a lot of power options which could drop it down to 100Kw.

Your smoke problem could be one of two things: your tires are too bald and you can't help smoking it up when you plant your foot, or I don't know. If you have replaced all that stuff you mentioned I can't really narrow it down to anything besides the exhaust (possibly the resonator or maybe the full system??)