The vans are coming, the vans are coming! This is not as horrific as yelling fire or flash flood, but in the world of custom trucks, many people thought we were crazy when we proclaimed that vans are coming back. As explored in each of the '04 issues, Sport Vans are becoming popular, with new tricks that even the most hardcore van enthusiast could not have seen coming. Some of these mods include chopping the entire roofline, 'bagging the huge barges, and even adding blown and nitrous-equipped mills under the dog boxes. Teaching old dogs new tricks in the sport utility and van segment is Honda, with its new younger-audience-targeted Element. With total versatility and the aftermarket slowly coming around, the Element provides a unique platform for enthusiast to try something new and wild. Enter Diamond Bar Honda's performance division, DB Motorsports, located in Chino, California.
Taken directly out of the Element fleet at Diamond Bar Honda, in Diamond Bar, California, the Element began life as any multi-tasking sport utility, however, it would end up as a SEMA 2003 feature vehicle and ready for nationwide exposure. With wild paint and woodwork slated for the venture, the crew at DB Motorsports also planned on bringing the performance of the Element to a sport-like level. Starting out with big hopes and great minds working together, this small SUV found its home in a performance element.
After the sticker was removed from the passenger window, the Element was brought onto the rack in the DB Motorsports bay for an extensive suspension upgrade. First up, the crew modified the stock strut and coil setup to house a custom Air Ride setup, complete with a small air tank mounted underneath the body and an air gauge underneath the dash, with two switches for front and back action. Now, the crew needed the perfect wheel and tire combo to add both sport and new-age styling to the Element. Ace Alloys were chosen for its superior wheel design and manufacturing process, and shortly thereafter, a set of Ace Alloy Zeus wheels were mounted in Falken Azenis rubber. Measuring a staggering 20x8.5 inches, the wheels completely fill the Element's wheelwells and, with the air out of the 'bags, almost tuck inside the fenders. Moving on to the body, a custom design was created using both paint, real wood, and Honda Original Accessories for an all-out, in-your-face Honda no one would forget.