1990 VN Holden Calais – Today’s Sleeper Tempter

By: James Robinson, Unique Cars magazine

1990 VN Holden Calais 1990 VN Holden Calais

A monster lurks beneath the bonnet

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The VN Holden Commodore is the first iteration of the second generation of what is arguably Australia’s greatest automotive marque.

Built between August 1988 and August 1991, the VN was based off a hybrid platform of the Opel Omega and Opel Speedster.

Power came from a choice of either a 2.0lt inline four-cylinder, 3.8lt V6 or the venerable Aussie made 5.0lt V8.

The shove from these donks was sent to the rear wheels via either a five-speed Borg-Warner T-5 manual gearbox or a four-speed HydraMatic 700 automatic gearbox.

Body styles that were made available to customers consisted of a four-door sedan, four-door wagon or a two-door ute.

The VN was offered in a number of different levels of trim specification that included the Executive, S, SS, Berlina and Calais.

Now, this particular VN is a 1990 Calais and it is not exactly what you’d call stock; in fact it’s probably just about the furthest thing from a stock Commodore.

For a start, hidden under the newly two-pack painted bonnet hides a 5.7lt LS1 V8 fitted with COME Racing Brakemaster hydraulic cam, Tuff Mounts and NOS GMH V8 crossmember, YellaTerra lightened flywheel, 25 per cent underdrive pulley, Wilson fuel rails, hi-flo Magna fuel injectors, Walbro GSS294 in-tank fuel pump, BBK 85mm throttle body, LS6 inlet manifold and a mafless tune.

Accompanying the worked bent-eight donk is a new Tremec T56 six-speed manual gearbox with Textralia double clutch and Billet Products T56 Retro Six-Speed Short Shift kit, HSV pedal set, full aluminium 60mm radiator, rebuilt LSD with 4.11 ratios geared on a solid axle and a three-inch mandrel bent cat-back exhaust with dual four-inch Ballistic stainless steel cats. 

The chassis has been given host of modifications as well which include a full Bilstein suspension set-up with Eibach springs & Polyair rear coil adjustable airbags with an on-board pneumatic pump which is located in the boot and controlled from the glovebox.

This highly modified VN Calais is $25,000 and anyone interested in this deeply compelling package can view the full listing here.

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