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Custom 1986 Chevrolet S10 - Born in Captivity

When Customizing Is in the Blood, It's Only Natural a Killer Truck Follows

Kevin Aguilar
Aug 1, 2006
Photographers: Brandon Burrell
Photo 5/12   |   "The work on the truck took so long that my set of 18s for it were stolen. Since I had to buy new wheels, I decided to get 20s and body-drop the truck over them." -Charles "Big Tony" Mooney
When you see a custom truck like this, you may step back to just admire the work without realizing how it all came to be. In most cases, it has been a long road to the finished product, because there are factors that can delay the buildup. One major factor is often a lack of design or foresight to the end product. It takes a clear vision to figure out how the various parts of the truck will work together. Without any past experience building vehicles, it's hard to just throw out ideas to make a completely finished truck.
In the case of Charles "Big Tony" Mooney's '86 Chevy S-10, it was this factor that ate up about one decade before a full custom truck could be completed. From his perspective, a true enthusiast is bred, and in his experience, he believes that only one out of every five guys is truly into autos. Since he was lead into the whole thing by his dad, he is one of the few who share the appreciation working on machines of beauty. Since his old days of illegal street racing during the musclecar era, his father was deep into the automotive world. Though Big Tony had an interest in vehicles all his life, he didn't get to work on a truck until his teen years.
Photo 6/12   |   1986 Chevrolet S10 custom Interior Dashboard
While his dad lured him into cars, he discovered the truck world via his mom. During countless trips to the grocery store to help his mother grab items from her shopping list, he made little detours to the magazine section. He saw custom trucks that were presented to him on the pages of Primedia print magazines. After he saw what other kids were doing with trucks, his mind was set to do the same when he had the ability to do so.
Since it was in his destiny to build trucks, he picked up his first ride, once he was legally old enough to drive one. His dad bought him a Mazda pickup that Big Tony set to customizing. Unfortunately, his first ride was involved in a wreck, and he was forced to get rid of it. A few trucks later and after his drivers license was suspended, Big Tony found his new project at a used car lot. He saw this very truck and he saw a vision of it completed. He was instantly taken over by it and purchased it from an elderly man that very night.
The truck started out as a means of transportation, and slowly Big Tony got around to working on it. Once he got another vehicle to get him around town in, he dropped the truck off to get 'bagged and cut to lay flat over 18s. The work took time, and unfortunately, the 18-inch wheels that were purchased for the truck were stolen. Then, he decided to move on and get crazy with the truck by body-dropping it over 20-inch wheels instead. When the truck was apart for the suspension work, Big Tony took advantage of the time to paint and chrome anything he could to finish the project. Though he was delayed by his lack of truck-building experience, Big Tony got that down, and this truck turned into a truly clean S-10. Truck styles tend to reflect the personality of the owner, and from the super-clean look of this Chevy you can see that Big Tony was born to build it.
The 411

Owner/hometown: Charles "Big Tony" Mooney / Mt. Holley, North Carolina
Year/make/model: '86 Chevy S-10
Engine/drivetrain: Four-cylinder Chevy engine / Flowmaster exhaust
Wheels/tires: Eagle 20x8-inch / Nitto 245/35R20
Suspension: Body drop 3 inches / boxed frame, smoothed, painted black and silver / (Front)DJM 2-inch drop spindles / 2,500-poundFirestone airbags / (Rear) four-link suspension / 2,600-pound 'bags
Fabricator: Dezine Werks, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Body Mods: Shaved doors, gas door, wiper cowl, firewall, tailgate skin, and bed floor / chrome bumper / 36-inch LED taillight
Custom Paint: PPG '99 Honda Civic Mica blue
Bodywork/paintwork: Charles "Big Tony" Mooney and Ben Helton, of Mt. Holly, North Carolina / Steve Jolly, of Rockwell, North Carolina
Interior: Grand Am seats / custom dash with 15-inch monitor and head unit / sand tweed and soft touch vinyl / wool carpet / mini center console / Billet Specialties steering wheel
Upholsterer: Rick's Auto, of Mooresville, North Carolina
Audio/video: Sony X-110 head unit / 6-1/2-inch Audiobahn speakers / 15-inch monitor / PlayStation 2
Installer: Fast Lane Car Audio, of Cornelius, North Carolina
Club: Negative Camber
Special Thanks: Wife Shannon, Ben Helton, Steve Jolly, Fast Lane Car Audio, Rick's Auto Upholstery, and everyone in Negative Camber


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