Featured Vehicles / From the Summit Racing Catalog

Problem Child: Tyler Moss’ 1984 Chevy C10

(Image/Summit Racing)

Like so many projects, Tyler Moss’s 1984 Chevy C10 got out of hand in a hurry. “When I first bought it, I was 15,” Tyler said. “I thought it’d be nice to just drive it to school. But it’s one of those situations where you’re like, ‘I want to make it like this,’ and then you get there and say, ‘I’m gonna build an autocross truck,’ but then it was too nice for autocross, so I had to fully commit to it being a show truck.”

Tyler’s commitment resulted in a finished product that seamlessly combines all-original sheetmetal, rowdy small block power, a chassis that can carve up West Virginia’s twistiest backroads, and tons of subtle details.

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The transition from bone-stock squarebody to show-winning masterpiece was no walk in the park, though. It involved an on-and-off eight-year build, an unplanned off-road excursion, and an unfortunate encounter with a rock on the way to a show.

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Fortunately, Tyler has had a family of enthusiasts behind him every step of the way. His father Kelly’s pride and joy is an immaculate Pro Touring 1970 Dodge Challenger (not to mention he daily drives a Challenger Hellcat!) and his grandfather Steve and great uncle Ronnie are 2017 inductees into the West Virginia Drag Racers Hall of Fame. As Tyler put it, “I’ve been going to car shows since they could pick me up and take me somewhere, so it’s been in my blood for a long time.”

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The fun was almost over before it began. It was June 2018, and the C10 was finally finished. Tyler fired up the 383 stroker, pulled out of the shop, and accelerated down the road, on his way to get a state inspection and make the truck official. But just a quarter-mile from home, he crested a hill and found himself face-to-face with a landscaping truck. The one-lane road wasn’t big enough for both vehicles, so Tyler swung the C10 off into a pasture where, as he put it, “I went plowing and torqued the entire body.

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Cranking the RideTech air suspension up to its highest level got the pickup unstuck and back onto the road, but the damage was done—both bumpers and the right-front fender were bent, the bed floor and front inner fenders were cracked, and the underbody was filled with mud and gravel. That off-road excursion kicked off a several-month repair project, but the Chevy wasn’t done getting more than its share of bumps and bruises. In October 2019, Tyler arrived at the hotel for the Goodguys Kentucky Nationals, hopped out of the tow rig, and discovered that a rock had taken out the C10’s windshield and dented its roof. A windshield was quickly sourced and installed, and the Chevy went on to win the All American Truck award—even with a damaged roof. The roof was later repaired, of course, and now the immaculate pickup travels in an enclosed trailer. It begs the question: is the C10 cursed? “I refuse to say that it’s not,” Tyler said, laughing. “It’s always something. Something as simple as changing the headlights—a brand-new one goes in there and doesn’t work.”

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While perfection is the goal of most show vehicles, it’s the unique touches that set this square body apart. The PPG Poly Blue and Pure White two-tone echoes an early-’80s factory paint job, but in person the matte finish has an understated glow that begs a closer look. Tyler almost regrets the choice of finishes. “The matte gets a ton of attention, but it’s so sensitive and hard to take care of,” he laments.

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Contrasting the paint is plenty of original brightwork. Kelly’s obviously a fan of chrome. “If you shaved the mirrors, door handles, and locks, it’d wash out…I’ve never painted a bumper in my life, and I never will,” he stated. Looking at the results, it’s hard to argue with him.

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The bed also merits a closer look. It appears stock, but Tyler notes that “it was a lot of work,” sporting wheel wells 50% wider than the originals, plus a one-of-a-kind storage box that wouldn’t exist without the vision and craftsmanship of John Terry and Perry Propst of North Carolina’s Hat Creek Customs. “The first thing everyone asks when they see it is ‘Where’d you buy it?’ We didn’t buy it. It was trial and error through three boxes. It had to work, handle the sun, and not leak. We found out that those things can’t all be done on the first try,” Kelly said.

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When Tyler’s asked what part of the build he’s most proud of, the answer is a bit surprising: good drivability from the built 383. Thanks to a custom tune for the FAST EFI, the strong-running engine starts easily and reliably logs 1,500-2,000 road miles per year. But isn’t the small block an old-school choice for a decidedly modern build? Grandfather Steve thinks so: “This truck will probably end up with an LS,” he said. Smiling, Tyler’s quick to interject, “…which it won’t!”

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The interior is yet another combination of classic style and modern tech—a hallmark of this build. The ULTRALEATHER-upholstered bench hides a custom speaker enclosure, driven by a beautifully integrated Pioneer head unit. Twist Machine paddle shifters control the TCI Auto-X 4L60E transmission, as well as a Lokar floor shifter topped by a number-10 pool ball—a nod to the truck’s half-ton heritage and a great match for its color scheme. Lokar window cranks adorn the door panels, but require just a nudge to actuate the Nu-Crank power window switches. Finally, the reshaped dash houses Classic Instruments Auto Cross gauges and Vintage Air controls and vents.

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Grandpa Steve, who has an impressive—and diverse—fleet of his own, plus a 6.0L LS-powered ’72 C10 in the works, sums up Tyler’s first build perfectly: “I really like this one. He didn’t butcher it up. You look at it, it’s an ’84 C10. Underneath, it’s really a super truck.”

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It might be a show winner, but this truck will continue to rack up miles on the road. Tyler has a mini tour/car show planned with friends and family that will include a four-hour backroad drive to the family cabin. And as for this truck’s original purpose, autocross? “We’ll build something else to autocross. Maybe a Nova,” Tyler said, smiling.

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Tyler Moss’ 1984 Chevy C10 Fast Specs

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Chassis

Engine and Transmission

Exterior

  • Bodywork: Hat Creek Customs, Salisbury, NC
  • Paint: PPG Poly Blue and Pure White with matte clearcoat
  • Body Modifications: Widened and raised front inner fenders, widened rear inner fenders, smoothed firewall, custom bed box

Interior

Awards

  • 2019 Goodguys North Carolina Nationals Square Body Truck Pick
  • 2019 Goodguys PPG Nationals YoungGuys Award
  • 2019 NSRA Street Rod Nationals Classic Instruments Specialty Pick
  • 2019 Goodguys Kentucky Nationals All American Truck Pick

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