"Usually they aren’t expecting the car to be mine, or they’re thinking, ‘He’s letting her drive it'."
1988 Holden Calais (VL)
Name: Danielle Williams
Location: West Auckland
Occupation: Real-estate administrator
NZPC: It’s not often you see a chick driving a VL — does it get much attention?
Danielle: Plenty, and it’s from a lot of different people — usually they aren’t expecting the car to be mine, or they’re thinking, ‘He’s letting her drive it’. Luckily, though, the majority of people [that] I’ve encountered appreciate it, as there aren’t too many VL turbos rolling around Auckland.
Is it your first one, or have you had a few before?
This is only the second car I’ve owned, the first being the car I learned to drive in, so I thought I had better upgrade!
Nice choice. What drew you to the VL?
I was after something that looked nice but also had a bit of power behind it. This one [had] already had a few things done to it that would save me a bit of time and money, plus I’ve always loved older Commodores, so it was perfect.
This VL ain't no slouch either, packing a Holden produced RB30E straight-six with a DSR430 turbo slapped on the side; and it's hiding a 38mm TiAL wastegate and screamer pipe for the appropriate turbo noises, too
Since buying it, what work have you done on it?
The first thing was to get it dyno tuned and make sure it was all healthy — that was done by Darren at Revolution Dyno — and it made 208kW at the wheels on 14psi. Following that, I took it to Taupo Powercruise, and, unfortunately, the wastegate gave in on the first run. That’s been replaced now, and it drives a lot better. Mostly just upgrading things as needed, and tidying it up.
That’s respectable power. What do you plan to upgrade in the future?
I want to fully black-out the engine bay and focus on making that look a bit nicer. The injectors are also maxed out on the current system, so I will swap those for some bigger ones, [and] while [I’m] there I may as well upgrade the rest of the fuel system, too. Then it will be back on the dyno for a retune to see what power we can pull out of her. The further I go, the list just gets bigger and bigger, so I’ll take it one job at a time for now.
Most importantly, does it dose?
Is it really a VL if it doesn’t?
Thanks for the yarn, Danielle.
Engine: Holden RB30E, 3000cc, six-cylinder, DSR430 turbo, 38mm TiAL wastegate, screamer pipe, front-mount intercooler, front-facing plenum, 2.5-inch exhaust
Drivetrain: Holden five-speed, BorgWarner BW78 LSD, heavy-duty clutch
Exterior: Custom purple paintwork
Wheels/tyres: 19x8.5-inch Advanti S920; 225/35R19 Neuton
Suspension: Super-low springs, shortened shocks
This article originally appeared in NZ Performance Car issue No. 239. You can get your hands on a print copy or digital copy at the links below: