Paul Matwijow’s 355 stroker-powered Holden VL Calais

Paul Matwijow has wanted a VL Calais since driving his parents' car when he was a teenager

Photographers: Ben Hosking

This article on Paul’s VL Calais was originally published in the January 2019 issue of Street Machine

“MY PARENTS have owned modified cars since the 1970s, and ever since I drove their VL Calais when I was 17 back in 1988, I’ve wanted to own one myself.

In 2015 my dream finally came true when I purchased a pretty standard 1987 VL Calais 333 pack, with a 5.0-litre V8 up front and optioned with a sunroof. Since then I have given it a complete overhaul.

She now runs a 355 stroked to 396ci, topped with fully ported heads, Torque Power high-rise manifold and a Holley 750 Street HP carb. The engine is backed by a stage-three manualised Trimatic with 2800rpm stall, and a Torque Loc diff with 3.45:1 gears.

The car has been resprayed in Alabaster White, while the interior has been custom-trimmed in tan leather and carpeting.

The brakes are VT twin-pistons up front with VL V8 items out back, with slotted and drilled rotors all ’round. Wheels are Simmons FR1s; 20×8.5 on the front and 20×9.5 at the rear.

Thanks to DC Tuning (Wyong), AC Upholstery (Gosford), Angel Smash Worx (Gosford), Peninsula Car Repairs (Woy Woy) and Bettsy’s Cylinder Head Reconditioning (Gosford) for their help transforming it into my dream car.”