Young Gun’s VX Calais – LOO5KD

Kaleb Harris might only be 13 years old, but he already has around 50 skids under his belt

Photographers: Simon Davidson

When your old man is Russell Harris, who runs a successful mechanical workshop and pilots the well-known LOO5E VL Commodore burnout weapon, there’s a damn good chance you’ll be into cars. And at just 13 years of age, Kaleb Harris can certainly skid with the best of them, putting on a great showing in his VX Calais at the recent LOO5EFEST in Stawell – an event put on by his dad.

Kaleb’s automotive future certainly looks bright – and smoky.

You threw down some killer skids at LOO5EFEST. How long have you been doing burnouts?

I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now. I reckon I’ve done 50 or so skids. I’ve been driving cars at the farm since I could reach the pedals, so I’m used to sliding in the dirt and understand what a car feels like when it’s loose.

What can you tell us about your burnout car?

It’s a 2001 VX Calais originally bought as a parts car. We only paid 1500 bucks for it. The driveline is the NA driveline from Dad’s pink VL [LOO5E] before it went blown: LS1 with Higgins cam, lifters and valve springs; built 4160E by Rick Smith Fluidrive; and a 3.45:1 diff. It’s good for 350hp at the wheels.

Any special bits in there?

Not really, just new valve springs. The gearbox has been skidding for 12 years. We put a new clutch in it last year.

I believe you have two other cars in the build, too?

One is a white VK Brock replica with an LSA and Powerglide, which will be a tough streeter. It’s been getting bodywork done by a local young apprentice panel beater. The other is a VH burnout car. It’s been tubbed and will run a 5.3 with a Big & Ugly 6/71, backed by a Turbo 400. She’ll be turquoise on 12×20 Simmons wheels. It’s at Dad’s workshop at the moment getting the fabrication work all sorted. I’ve been tinkering with them and finding bits and pieces for them in Dad’s collection of stuff.

That’s a couple of sweet projects. Do you have a job to help fund these cars?

Yeah. I work with my dad; he has Harris Automotive in Ararat. I’m there working three nights a week after school and pretty much every night during the school holidays. I was in there every day that school was shut during the lockdowns over the past few years, too.

You must have picked up some good skills working at the shop.

I’ve been learning how to weld. Dad said it doesn’t look so good, but it does the job.

Reckon you’ll keep working with your dad?

Yep. When I finish school, I’ll start a mechanics apprenticeship with Dad. I want to finish school now, but Mum and Dad said I have to stay until the end of Year 10.

I heard a rumour you once swapped cars with Andrew ‘LYNCHY’ Lynch. Any truth to that?

Yeah, we swapped cars in June 2020 at a test day at Stawell. It was really hard to drive his car – I don’t know how he steers it the way he does. He blew up my gearbox, but I threw out the rods in his Corolla!

Aged around 21 or younger and have a neat ride? Send some pics and info to: Young Guns, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166 or email us at: [email protected].