By Ainsley Jacobs
Dwayne Hickman sure has a thing for Shelby Mustangs. The oil man from Spencer, West Virginia, has campaigned his familiar white-with-black-stripes 2011 Mustang GT in NMRA competition for years and just added its mirror image, a black-with-white-stripes 2010 Shelby GT500, to his collection.
The new car, known as “Blacksnake” wasn’t even on Hickman’s radar at first. He had been busy building another one of his Shelbys, his silver car, but when an opportunity to purchase the black one presented itself, he scratched the silver and moved on the black. “I was actually building my silver car to be exactly like the black one, so I wound up with a fully ready-to-go car that just needed some cosmetic changes to the color scheme,” explained Hickman of how he wound up with Blacksnake, which was actually blue at the time of the sale in May of 2019.
Originally built about five years ago by Chad Epperson at London Chassis Dyno in Kentucky with a 25.3 SFI chassis certification, the ’10 GT500 sat idle for a while as its previous possessor had decided to get out of racing. After Hickman picked it up, though, he sent it right back to Epperson for updating.
Under the MMR front end sits a 5.8 L engine from BES Racing Engines. Topped with a Hogan’s sheet metal intake, the engine itself hides a few secrets. “If I knew what was in there, I’d share, but BES is discrete and just told me ‘here, it’s gonna go fast’,” laughed Hickman when asked to divulge specs on the Modular motor, which is boosted by a Pro Mod 88mm Precision turbocharger.
The TH400 two-speed transmission was purchased from M&M and paired with a torque converter from PTC. An engine management system from BigStuff3 helps keep the drivetrain and bullet happy, while the power that’s produced gets put to the ground through a Mike Adams-built chromoly 9” rear end.
“It’s got Santhuffs all the way around, with a wishbone setup, but everything is still in the original position – the car hasn’t been four-linked or anything,” Hickman continued of the stock-style suspension setup on the Shelby.
A Racecraft front K member, Aerospace Components brakes, Weld wheels, and carbon fiber doors and a trunk lid also from MMR rounded out the quick task list for Blacksnake.
Hickman took the new-to-him Shelby out for a spin recently, but conditions at the track weren’t favorable so the testing didn’t go as planned – although everything on the car itself did work well, so that was a plus.
The newly-christened Blacksnake had been as quick as 4.62 at 158 mph when it last went down the 1,320 two years ago, and Hickman has high hopes. “It’s a fully dedicated race car, and built really well. We’ll be bringing it to the NMRA All-Ford World Finals at Bowling Green, and Chad [Epperson] will be driving it although we haven’t completely decided on a class for it yet,” shared Hickman, who expects the car will likely wind up in the Hellion Turbo Battle category while he drives his familiar white GT that weekend as well.