Slowly, inexorably, the van is on the comeback. In the last two years since we declared the renaissance of the custom van era, we have run just a handful of the vehicles in our mag. Not enough to populate a happening, but certainly sufficient to illustrate a van's potential for customization.
On these pages we have a 2002 Honda Odyssey that belongs to Pam Armstrong, who lives in Ashland City, Tennessee. It's sick. But, wait, it's a minivan. By sick we mean unwell or deficient, right? How the heck can a minivan, the automotive metaphor for the mundanity of middle-class existence, be anything more than ill? Take a look at it. Pam teamed with her hubby, Tim Armstrong, who owns Kreative Customs, to build the minivan. Don't jump to the conclusion that it's Tim's van! Pam took the first grinder to the vehicle to demonstrate her seriousness about the project. In the process, they freed their minivan from the ball and chain of bourgeois mediocrity.
Let's start with the way that it lays frame (thanks to Chassis Tech air springs). Yeah, it's lowered on 17-inch Velouche wheels, not necessarily a bold size for the rolling mass, but it eliminates the need to cut the frame or wheelwells and still looks good. Look up from where the rubber meets the road and you can see the body kit from BC Auto Design that, combined with the aggressive cowl-induction hood and hand-fabricated style lines around the license plate, lends a rocket-ship shape to the Odyssey's factory sleekness. That sleekness, however, is also accentuated by the shaved door handles, shaved hatch taillights, shaved body moldings, shaved roof rack, the hand-fabricated grille insert taken from a 1992 Mustang, and relatively simple and two-toned House of Kolor paintjob. Regarding that paint: The colors are Candy Tangerine atop Orion Silver, split by an Organic Green beltline tribal flame outlined by Lilac pinstripes. The green and silver also show up on the hood as two lines of flame that resemble the beltline. Those shaved taillights, by the way, got replaced by VW Beetle reverse lights. And a stainless tip dresses up the exhaust.
Pop the hatch and be impressed! Five MTX amps overarch three 10-inch Xtant subwoofers in the rear cargo area. All of it is painted to match the minivan's exterior colors. Up front, the dash is also painted to match the body, as are the door panels. The doors have custom speaker enclosures with tribal-shaped fabricated grilles. A Blaupunkt AM/FM/CD/DVD head unit with 7-inch screen sources the sound system and the video for the ICON-TV flip-down and headrest monitors. StreetWires wires it all together. King's Kustom Upholstery in Joelton, Tennessee, laid aluminum, orange, and shamrock green vinyl onto the seats.
Aside from the sponsors, Pam and Tim send special thanks to Manny, Jason, and Craig at MTX, and to Scott Tovan, who helped throughout the project.