(No affiliation) Not exactly whats portrayed on this Forum, but an interesting build none the less. Would be a fun to throw a couple Surf Boards on the roof and head for the Beach
Starting with a rather non-descript Chevy Astro van doesn't seem like the route to a wild custom build that's due for SEMA, yet here it is. Cosmetically, there's pretty much nothing that's factory on this one-off build, from the loud Prowler Orange paint that's been augmented with Corvette Purple flames and PPG Hot Lime airbrush accents (the business lettering you see on the back panel is a wrapped decal that can be easily removed), to the brightwork on the grille, bumpers, and undercarriage components that are exposed due to the gigantic lift. All that and more (quite frankly, we don't have the space here to list all the trick add-ons) give it a bespoke look that results in the most attention-grabbing vehicle we've probably ever featured. Because it's only been exposed to bright show lights and dropped jaws since it was completed, the finish is in excellent shape with only minimal imperfections here and there, likely from cleaning up drool marks. The billet aluminum grille and bumpers add some contrast to the bright paint, but the star of the show is the undercarriage, which can be viewed from all sides without so much as having to bend your neck down for a closer look. All of the frame, the structural cage for the lift, and major components have either been powder-coated, painted, or chromed to match the body, and these details were executed masterfully to ensure this Super Astro wins a trophy whenever it's shown. Cool features like the fender flares, the sliding side door, rear barn doors, and rear step bumper are reminders that this vehicle was actually a real van at one point in its life, and if you did have the gumption to use it as such, it would still get the job done. And if you want attention for your business or you just like to talk to people everywhere you stop, this is the van for you.
It was painfully plain and utilitarian when it was new, but as you'd probably imagine, it's anything but now. You almost need a ladder to get in (caution: don't attempt to pole vault inside, we've lost three photographers already) but when you do, note the pair of custom high-back buckets up front and the bench in the rear that haven been wrapped in a two-tone upholstery with a similar texture to soft burlap that looks great and feels even better. The door panels, cargo panels, and headliner were wrapped in matching upholstery and accented with 3D sculpted flame patterns, while the plush orange carpet is very clean and provides plenty of insulation and noise cancellation. The entire dash was completely reworked, and it is extremely trick with both painted and upholstered parts that match the prevailing theme, along with custom gauges, an AM/FM/CD player, and a slick Colorado Custom billet aluminum steering wheel just ahead of the driver. Billet flame pedals match the billet flame rear view mirror, and it even has a compact middle console with built-in cup holders, because it is a van after all. Take a deep breath, because it doesn't stop there.
Mechanically, this Uber-Astro is powered by a recently installed 355 cubic inch V8 that barely has 100 miles on the clock. That means it's still ready, willing, and able to work if called-upon, and with that added horsepower, it can move all that extra weight confidently just in case you want to drive it to next year's SEMA. There's also a TH350 3-speed automatic transmission that's heavy-duty enough to handle the horsepower, a 205 Chevrolet transfer case for the 4x4 system, and power steering and power front disc brakes made the trip as well. The custom frame and suspension work are where this van steals the show, and with even a quick examination anyone can see how this build cost upwards of $115k. A brief look at the highlights: the 100% custom-built, steel square channel and round tube frame acts as the foundation, augmented with 16 chrome shock absorbers, a quad-shock steering stabilizer set-up, super-duty arched leaf springs, and a massive Dana 60 rear end. The lift is enormous, and the van sits on 15-inch chrome wheels wrapped in massive 44-inch Interco tires to complete the one-of-a-kind look.
Professionally finished with some of the best parts and expertise money could buy, this wild Astro van is incredibly unique and super cool. All it takes is the desire to be a little different.