We have received a flood of positive response from our readers ever since we started featuring vans again, so we figured we'd keep the ball rolling with Troy Carbo's '99 Chevy Express 15-passenger van. Even for those who aren't really into vans, it would be rather tough to deny this low-slung and graceful people mover its due praise. And even though this Chevy didn't personally experience the classic vannin' days of its ancestors, the resemblance of their character is still intact. Custom paint and a party-minded attitude come standard with any tricked-out van build but, in the case of Troy's lounge on wheels, modern styling and just a wee bit of cutting went a long way.
Now, before you read too far into this story's title, Troy didn't need to destroy any other vehicles in order to upgrade his Express. He did, however, have the frame cut up quite a bit since he wanted his van to lay bumper. Rocky Fox handled the 6-inch stock-floor body drop, as well as the custom Pahhard bar-equipped rear four-link setup. Firestone airbags are present and accounted for in each corner, and to set off the van's low profile strut just right, Troy dipped a set of chrome 22-inch Eagle Alloy 109 wheels into Cooper 265/35R22 rubber. When everything was all said and done, Troy's van lost a tremendous 13 inches off of its stock stance, which is a feat that most custom vans can't brag about on their resume.
Now that the Express had its low and lean stride dialed in, Kelly Boyt was recruited to perform some very minor bodywork to the already clean surface before spraying an assortment of House of Kolor paints. Black, Orion Silver, Viper Red, and a hint of lime green pinstriping all come together to create a crisp and clean, hot-rod inspired appearance.
Casual luxury abounds inside the van's confines, as Jimmy Jam, at Insane Customs chopped the stock seats and created limo-style, black leather and suede covered bench seating. Light wood flooring has taken the place of the played out, stock carpet and a full audio/video system was wired up. This move increased the interior's entertainment value a hundred-fold. Jimmy is also responsible for creating the fiberglass enclosures that houses four 12-inch Diamond D3 subwoofers in the rear and another box that holds an assortment of 41/4, 6x9, and 4x6-inch full-range Diamond speakers as well as a 171/2-inch monitor. Two Autotek 1,500-watt amps supply the power to the starving army of high-powered speakers, while a Pioneer head unit serves as the central control source.
Some degree of criminal offense should be attached to rolling around in such a brilliantly executed custom van such as Troy's Chevy Express, but we aren't going to be the ones to drop the dime on him. Troy would like to express his thanks to his son Dylan and his wife Jeanne for the support along the way, as well as Kelly Boyt, Rocky Fox, Troy Tull, and Insane Customs for all the great work and dedication over the course of the build.
The interior's laid-back atmosphere is a perfect combination of cool and class.
Who knew a Chevy Express could lay 22-inch wheels like this?