Opel Calibra
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Thread: Opel Calibra

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Default Opel Calibra

    In working out what to spend 10 grand on for a new toy, I have been leaning towards an Mi16. But I had a look at a couple of Opel (I refuse to call it a Holden...) Calibras and am tempted.
    Anyone had anything to do with these things? They seem to me to be a cruiser rather than a full on sports car, and was a bit surprised to see a basic semi trailing arm rear end that looks suspiciciously like a commode suspension , but it has all the kit and a nice 16v donk.
    If it drives anything like a big Astra, it cant be all bad...

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    Nothing like the current Astra.

    The Calibra is based on the old 80's Vauxhall Cavalier/Opel Vectra, whose platform was also shared with the SAAB 900/rebadged 9-3.

    Not a great platform for ride or handling, looks nice though.

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    I know nothing about these except the turbo 4x4 version is suposed to be quite nice.

    The std calibra though.... I've seen about three of them stating rebuilt engines at about 150-160kms so doesn't say much or those three were severly treated

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    Remembering what they said about them in old English CAR magazine, the Vauxpelden Calibra seems a bit of a cruiser car in in the same format as a Fuego. More designed for Grand Touring than Grand Sports driving.

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    An interesting stat I found on the reliability of the Calibra, in the latest What Car? reliability article, the Calibra was 9th least reliable of all cars in the study.

    More info here: http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/sho...8703#post78703

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
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    nJm
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    The Calibra is generally considered to be up there with the mid 90s Toyota Celica in terms of being a bit of a hairdresser's car I think. They do look nice, but the interior is pure 80s Cavalier/Vectra A. Likewise engines etc. I think you're better off looking at an equivilent Honda Prelude (or a froggy )
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

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    1000+ Posts Renomad's Avatar
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    Icon3 Aussie Opel site

    Check out the Australian Opel web site at www.opelaus.com.au, I think! There'll be plenty of Opel (euro Holden) owners who can help you out with your enquires.

    Cheers Renomad

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    1000+ Posts Renomad's Avatar
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    The Opel site address has changed to groups.msn.com/opelaustralia. Sorry about that!

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    I've heard they can have early cam belt problems. Besides that, they're nothing like the car an Mi16 is - just my opinion, you understand...

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Took a Calibra and a Mi16 for a run today back to back as it were. I now understand all the raving about the Pugs handling - bloody revalation. Love that power band thing too - hits ~3500 and launchs!! Though might get a bit tiring after a day in traffic - I quite like an engine to lug easily from low revs. Very easy to make it dance, steering and chassis control pretty darn spesh. Drives like a car half its size.
    But the styling and interior do little for me - very much showing its age.

    The Calibra was pretty much as expected. Steering pretty dull, but not too bad. Very nice engine, much like the Pug to drive, but a much flatter power curve, pulling better at lower revs. Doesnt mind a bit of revving though. Certainly feels like the heavier car that it is, and does drive a bit like a big Astra (someone in the Calibra club reckons Lotus had a hand in the chassis, but cant verify that one...)
    Handling not too bad though, no rampant torque steer, pretty well balanced.
    If the steering can be livened up with some noelthane bushes or something, it would be a very competant machine. Ive heard tell of steering rack mount mods on Saab 900 that help hugely with the high powered versions - apparently the rack mounting is a bit flexible.

    But very much like comparing chalk and cheese, the Opel is very much a cruiser and not as happy on mountain roads I would imagine. Pug a whole lotta fun and still very bloody tempting...
    Wonder what else I can get for 10 grand.
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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    Haakon, I'm looking at that price range too, and along with the Mi16, have been looking for BX16V's and 205 GTi's. Trouble is, they're pretty rare over here, to it's hard to drive enough to compare. You'd get a top one of either of these for 10K.

    Happy hunting.

    Stuey

  12. #12
    nJm
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    You could probably get an early model 306 for that much.

    I understand what you mean about wanting an engine with some torque. On monday I drove a 306 1.8, Focus 1.8 and Astra 1.8 all back to back. The 306 was ok although a bit noisy really. The Focus needed heaps of revs, and it had the bite point on the clutch uncomfortably high. I think it could get tiring to drive in stop start driving. The Astra's engine (probably a slightly newer version of what was in the Calibra you drove) was extremely flexible. It had both heaps of low down torque and plenty of umph in the high revs. Sweeter sounding than the pug's engine, but not quite as smooth as the Focus. The Astra was actually a great drive, although it felt a bit too soft in the handling department when compared to the Pug and Astra. Mind you, at the same time it had the worst ride quality.

    I think it is fantastic that we're getting a better selection of european hatches. Just a pitty they are still too expensive for many of us .
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm a bit of fan of the astras. Did some silly speeds on a long country run in one across undulating backroads in the Mallee. The handling really comes alive at 120 kph +. The engine is a descendant of the Calibra engine, and they are all very good motors, very flexible. The Calibra motor even has some niceties such as hollow camshafts, factory polished ports, headers, a nice Motronic sequential injection and sodium cooled exhaust valves.
    For 10 grand I think I'd only get an 8 valve 306, at a low spec level - the Calibras are decked out with a lot (full electrics, sunroof, abs, ac, etc) and a sweet motor. Just a shame about the steering....Will have to keep looking for something.
    I really do prefer froggy cars, and will always have one (at least), but would like something modern for daily use (and give the R25 some time off for good behaviour and allow some serious work to done to it - 240K km and a trip to WA are showing on the poor old thing) and am not so one eyed to ignore all non froggy cars.
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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    nJm
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    Glad to hear .


    The 306 I drove was an 8v and it went ok actually (well, compared to my 505, and even the 2L auto Xantia I drove that day). The one I drove was at a Nissan dealer. Was a 1997 XT (I think. 8v N3 5 door). I loved it actually. Had electric everything, nice velour interior, 5spd manual, only had 41,500km, full Regans service history etc. They were asking $14990 although I'm sure you could get it lower as I was the first person to come look at it (and it has been in their yard for a month). It was at Camberwell Nissan, on Camberwell Rd (just up from Harriswood Toyota).


    Actually I'm keen to drive a Calibra now, could be fun to try something else

    What about Honda Preludes?
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Cant see myself in a jap car (well, maybe a series 7 RX7, or an NSX), but any prelude/celica/skyline etc I can afford is of no intrest to me and is old enough to still feel very jap. The Opels at least have a very Euro feel to them. A lot more solid (pretty well built actually - the one I drove had over 200K km on it and was rattle free and drove well on an untouched motor)
    They also have the advantage many froggy cars have - because they are not "popular", you get a lot of car for the dosh.

    But mainstream enough for me not to cry when it gets smashed/trashed in everyday driving, leaving my R25 at home smug and safe and polished with what will hopefully be an expanding collection of fun froggy cars Still want a good round eyed R10 and a rally prepared Fuego....
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    OK, moment of madness now over. Took a couple of more Calibras for a run, and they are indeed a dissapoinment. No substance in the chassis to back up the style.
    But what has turned me off the most was the Calibra Club in Oz - what a bunch of idiots
    All the topics on their forum consist of lowering tips, how to install neons and led dash lights, body kits and whats the sikest doof doof system - no talk about making it handle better (apart from the lowering - must be better if its lowered ) And they all got a bit silly when I mentioned froggymobiles, telling me how crap Pugs handled compared to thier fully sik Cally mate
    A lot of them have Calibras because they cant afford a sik new Monaro...

    Mi16, here I come...

    ps these new smilies are very funny - the trick is to find an excuse to use them all. (or I could just put them in at random )
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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    Fellow Frogger! crosspug's Avatar
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    Oh thank *Someone* that you stopped right there.

    I only just found this post.

    I've seen about three of them stating rebuilt engines at about 150-160kms so doesn't say much or those three were severly treated
    Its not the treatment BELIEVE ME......

    My dad owned a Calibra for about 18months. Of that time it went into be fixed for problems for 5 of those months (yes 5 and months). Problems started with air-con and peaked with a Head Gasket at 9months of owning (from new), coolant leaks were popular etc.

    And this was an AUTO I hate to think what a thrashed Manual would be like.

    Jono
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    Fellow Frogger! seesully's Avatar
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    HOORAH!!! He's seen the light! I don't know how I've missed most of this post.

    After working for a few years in the motor industry a few years back, I found out many things about many cars.
    The Calibra in particular is not a very nice car at all. It has a tired wheezy engine and handling is not it's strongest point. As you have just discovered, Calibras are generally owned by younger folk who are looking for a sporty looking car on a budget.

    Congratulations on your decision in obtaining an Mi16. I'm sure that you won't regret it, especially in 10 years time when it is still going strong and all the Calibra's on earth are at Pick-a-Part!!

    Cheers
    Les hurlements de lion.
    504 GL (gone)
    205 GTI Classic (gone)
    505 STI (gone)
    I can feel a GTI 180 coming on!

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