Custom 1990 Chevrolet Astro Van - Mom's Mini Van
Keeping the Youngest Son Entertained
For 10 years Brad's mom shuttled him and his friends to school and back in a 1990 Chevrolet Astro. After the faithful servicing of her and her family's needs, young Brad decided to purchase the van for a paltry sum, much to the chagrin of his friends. With youth and a positive attitude on his side he was off to prove that what wasn't cool could be transformed into something unique.
Beginning with the stock stance, his friend Mike Liley of Erratic Trends in Beaumont, Texas, tossed out a good portion of the suspension components to make way for an air ride setup. DJM drop spindles in front are combined with a custom fabricated two-link handling the rear. Contitech 'bags are actuated with 1/2-inch lines and valves. Wheels consist of 18x8-inch Budnik Raptors with slim 215/35R18 tires.
A fresh coat of black paint covers everything in the engine bay, making it all fresh again. Blue wire loom and miscellaneous billet caps adorn the 4.3L V-6 for added good looks. Not that Mom would approve, but a 2-1/2-inch Flowmaster exhaust system makes some noise when Brad roams the 'hood. Nearly 200,000 miles are on the odometer of the Bow Tie, proof positive that proper maintenance was on Mom's list of things to do.
The original color of the Astro is long gone because custom, it was not. Instead, Rick Chance at Autobody Excellence in Nederland, Texas, slipped a little bodywork on the shell to remove the accumulated dents and bruises sustained over the years. He managed to toss some goodies in along the way, though. All the emblems were removed, the taillights and body lines on the bumpers were shaved, and LED taillights found a new home in the now-smooth rear bumper. PPG Bahama Blue bases the Chevy and was actually sprayed by older brother Jeff Spencer, who is also credited with building the cowl hood. Brad taped up the flames himself before they were created in House of Kolor Silver Metal Flake. Buddy Eric Davis stepped in to pinstripe the flames in PPG Big League Blue before covering it all safely under a few layers of clear. Street Scene mirrors, APC clear corner lights, and a phantom billet grille make a statement of their own.
No young boy can live without tunes, and this owner is no different. Diving in headfirst and wiring up the system personally meant greater satisfaction in the end. An Alpine 7871 deck plays through Pioneer and Linear Series speakers spread about the interior space. Anthony Vaughan got the nod to make something happen interior-wise. He began by cutting the front buckets down four inches and removing the middle seat entirely. What seating was left got stitched with royal blue tweed and sapphire leather. Tweed also adorns the dash, headliner, carpet, and most of the rest of the plastic panels not painted Bahama Blue. A host of billet accessories finish off the details.
Brad tells us he is just getting started in the custom scene and that he plans to be around for years to come. With good friends and a good family he was able to achieve his dream of transforming the family truckster into something he could be proud of. We're willing to bet his friends are eating their words now. Credit older brother Jeff for inspiring the young man. We can only hope that Brad builds again, as he hit a homerun on his first attempt.