1989 Chevrolet Astro Van - Sin Wagon

Tank Tacti Got Started In The Business About 17 Years Ago, Thanks To A 1982 Datsun And A Big Can Of Bondo.

Joe Greeves
Aug 1, 2009
Photographers: Joe Greeves
Photo 2/9   |   OWNER: Tank TactiRIDE: 1989 Chevy Astro VanHOMETOWN: Orlando, Florida
It didn't take long for Tank to turn pro, and he currently owns Unique Autobody in Orlando, which has been in business for 14 years and counting. During that time, he has owned too many customs to list, but his current ride, this 1989 Chevrolet Astro van, had a very unusual beginning. It began life as an old parts car left at Tank's shop by a former customer. Although Tank and his business partner, Lewis, do collision work, customizing is the shop's specialty and the team quickly hit upon the idea of grooming the van as a rolling calling card for the business. After undoing the ravages of time and returning the body back to original condition, the pair began with the van's too-tall profile. They body-dropped it 31/2 inches, c-notched the frame, added drop spindles, and tubbed the rear to accommodate the 18-inch Budnik Cyclones. Firestone bags, two Viair 450 compressors, and twin 8-gallon reserve tanks introduced the Astro to the asphalt and brought it back up again. Body mods included shaving everything that wasn't custom, and while they were at it, they installed a fire-breathing 350ci V-8 with a rumble ominous enough to discourage you from a casual stoplight challenge. Interior customizing began with the large center console separating the bucket seats and the imposing stereo wall in the rear of the van. It holds eight Pioneer 12-inch subs for some solid thump. A pair of SPL 2,400-watt amplifiers, dash-mounted Infiniti mids and highs, and a Panasonic head unit round out the sounds. The team wrapped up the exterior with their own custom paint job, using complementing shades of Mazda Protg Blue and Dodge Silver. Mike "One Wing" Garcia added the perfect finishing touch, creating the exotic, sin-themed airbrushing. This Hometown Heroes' future plans include four new bucket seats and a sliding rag top, but in the meantime Tank is enjoying his rocker-scrapin', thumpin' Astro while publicizing the business.
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire:
18x7.5 Budnik Cyclones
Tires: Michelin 245/35R18
Chassis Modifications:
(Front): Modified spring perch, Firestone 2500-pound 'bags (Rear): 'bag cups with 2600-pound Firestone 'bags
Air Lines: 1/2-inch DOT
Control Arms: Extended
Spindles: 2-inch drop
Air accessories: Two Viair 450 compressors, two 8-gallon reserve tanks
Frame mods: C-notch, dropped frame horns
Gas Tank: 8-gallon fuel cell
Performed By: Unique Paint and Body
Body Modifications:
Door handles, license plate, filled cowl
Body-dropped: 31/2 inches
Front end: Phantom grille
Rear end: Custom roll pan
Taillights: Clear euro lenses
Exterior Bolt-ons: Mirrors, emblems, trucker girl side view mirrors, mud flaps, and grille
Performed By: Unique Paint and Body
Photo 6/9   |   1989 Chevrolet Astro Van interior
Brand and Colors:
DuPont Blue, Silver, and Black
Style: Two-tone tribal graphics
Airbrushing By: Mike "One Wing" Garcia
Performed By: Unique Paint and Body
Reupholstered '89 GMC Safari
Material: Tweed and leatherette
Dash: Monster tach and inset for stereo
Center console: Handbuilt with custom embroidery
Flooring: Blue carpeting
Gauges: Auto Meter
Performed By: Friends and family
Head Unit:
Amplifiers: Two SPL 2,400-watt amplifiers
Speakers: Eight Pioneer 12-inch subs built into a rear sub wall, Infinity mids and highs
Wiring: Stinger
Performed By: Unique Paint and Body
350ci V-8
Fuel Delivery: Holley 600
Intake: Edelbrock
Exhaust: Custom three-inch
Ignition: MSD
Battery: Optima Yellow Top
Location: Rear of van
Performed by: Unique Paint and Body
Special Thanks by Owner:
Special thanks to all those friends and family who helped make my ride worthy of a feature in Mini Truckin' magazine.



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