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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Truckin' Magazine 5 Page Feature

Thanks a billion to everyone who helped make this happen. The Beast was featured in the November 2009 Edition of Truckin' magazine with a 5 page spread.

Brock Chobar 1987 Custom Chevy Van Truckin Magazine

Brock Chobar 1987 Custom Chevy Van Truckin Magazine

Brock Chobar 1987 Custom Chevy Van Truckin Magazine

    Brock Chobar, from Mesa, Arizona, is all about recycling. The one-of-a-kind '87 Chevy van you see here used to belong to his father, where it served as his Snap-On Tools van for thirteen years, traveling all across Arizona as well as making half a dozen trips back and forth between Illinois. With all the time that Brock spend driving with his dad in the van, he grew attached to it. When his parents decided to let him sell the van to buy his own car, Brock had other plans.
    The first custom iteration of the build came after Brock couldn't bring himself to put a "For Sale" sign in the window. He cut 2 1/2 coils out of the front springs and did a flip kit on the rear springs to drop the van over a fresh set of 17-inch Boyd Coddington wheels. Two JL Audio 12-inch subs and two Flowmaster mufflers later and the van was sounding good inside and out. Just one week after Brock's mini-customization, the van was stolen. Two weeks later the police found the van, minus the audio and wheels, but at least the thieves were nice enough to leave the engine. Unfortunately, the engine was toast. After 330,000 miles and unknown amounts of abuse in the short time it was out of Brock's hands, the engine had finally had enough. Still not discouraged, Brock wrangled up a set of 18-inch Boyd wheels, bolted in a new engine, and was back on the road. Another setback came a few months later when Brock was in an accident. The van was totaled, but Brock wasn't ready to part with his van. After buying the van back, a new front clip was installed and while he was at it, he added some purple flames. That version fo the van lasted for seven years until the custom bug bit him again.
    This time around, Brock ditched his cut coils and mounted a set of 2600 Firestone 'bags and Air Ride shocks into control arms that were shortened 1 1/2 inches. The front of the frame was Z'd three inches, while the rear was given an 11-inch bridge notch using 1/4-inch plate before it too got a set of Firestone 'bags and Air Ride shocks. The 'bags made the leaf springs obsolete, so Brock fabbed up a two-link with Panhard bar. The suspension allows Brock to drop the Chevy over 18x8.5-inch Boss wheels, but not before some serious sheetmetal fabrication, including new front and rear wheeltubs and a new rear floor that was moved up seven inches were built and put into place.
    One of the few aspects of the build that Brock didn't handle was the bodywork, which he trusted to his friend, Chad Anderson, owner of Metal Asylum Kustom Finishes in Glendale, Arizona. There, the door handles, side markers, taillights, body seams, and antenna were shaved and the bumpers were brough in 1 1/2 inches closer to the body. In place of the now-shaved taillights, Metal Asylum incorporated a set of '39 Ford taillights before blocking the immense body until it was smooth and true. Then the red base was laid down and yellow hot-rod style flames were applied. Each lick was accented with orange airbrushing and green pinstriping. If the sign of a van laying rocker doesn't get your attention, this paint will!
    The other aspect that Brock left up to the pros was the interior, where Tooter Weaver Upholstry in Mesa, Arizona, cut down the factory front seats and wrapped them in tan and red Ultra leather, just like the Tahoe seat that was mounted in the rear. Metal Asylum was also involved with the interior, as the dash was shaved, smoothed, and painted. Brock got back into the act by wiring up the stereo, which consists of a Pioneer head unit and Rockford Fosgate components in the doors. Out back, two Rockford amps were mounted in front of the large sub box, which is home to four 12-inch Rockford subs. At a moments notice, Chad's van turns into a party on wheels with plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the ride.
    An off-the-shelf replacement engine would have powered this cruiser just fine, but Brock stepped up and built a Chevy 383ci V-8 that is sure to surprise some lollygagging left laners. A set of Bow Tie aluminum heads equipped with roller rockers breathe through JBA ceramic headers and Flowmaster 3-inch exhaust. A Comp 280H Magnum cam is gear driven, so there's plenty of noise to keep a gearhead entertained. The high-powered engine is bolted to a Turbo 350 transmission and a new driveshaft, three inches longer than stock. The driveshaft is connected to the factory rearend that's filled with 3.43 gears and a limited slip.
    Brock's only regret is that now with the van so nice, his son wants it. We're not sure if that's because of the genes he passed on or just because they Chevy looks so good aried out on the pavement. We think it's the latter, as we won't be surprised if we see more vans like Brock's at shows next summer.

VOLUME 35, NO. 13, NOVEMBER 16, 2009    TRUCKIN'

The original feature is available at this link:

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