Shane's GT used to be just...
Shane's GT used to be just silver, which we're OK with, but an off-season graphics addition by Tony McPeters at Southern Paint really turned the car into an attention-grabber.
Horse Sense: Obviously, the addition of a wicked paint scheme to Shane's GT wasn't the only selling point for doing a feature on his car. Shane and his GT represent what we like-a reasonably fast, good-looking car with a story to tell.
In our travels from one race event to the next, we've seen racers come and go. A couple who have come and stayed are the Hindman brothers-Robert and Gene. Dating back to their Fun Ford Trophy Stock days, they've come, they've raced hard (even against each other at times), and they've both won their share of championships. At the NMRA Michigan race in 2001, we saw the beginning of another dedicated racer in Knoxville, Tennessee's Shane Williams.
When we saw him pitted with Robert Hindman, and also running in the Modular Muscle class, we weren't sure if he was going to be one of those flash-in-the-pan racers or if he was around to stay. We're still talking about him, so you can guess the answer to that one.
When we photographed Shane's...
When we photographed Shane's GT at the '05 NMRA Bradenton opener, the original seats were still in place, but plans are to change them out for a pair of racing-style buttholders. We think the Auto Meter gauges are there to stay.
Shane bought his '99 35th Anniversary GT roughly a week before that Michigan race with just 18,000 miles on it. "I bought it on a Friday and took it out to show my friends my new car," he says. Robert Hindman was one of those friends, and naturally he asked Shane if he was going to the NMRA Michigan race. "I told him I might go," Shane says, "but I wasn't sure." The next day Shane called Robert to say he was going to the dragstrip to do some testing. "Wow, was it slow," Shane says. "When I made my first pass and went to the ticket booth, my timeslip read a 10.05."
That's a stout time on a quarter-mile track, but that 10.05 was at an eighth-mile track, which isn't a good time. "I thought something was wrong," Shane says, "so I went back for my second run and I think it went even slower that pass. So now that I bought the slowest Mustang ever made, I was thinking again about going up there [to Michigan] to race." Showing the perseverance that's kept him in racing, Shane went to Michigan with Robert and Gene anyway.
"When I got to Michigan and wasn't the slowest car in the class, I was relieved," says Shane." He was further relieved when he and Robert were on opposite sides of the Modular Muscle ladder. "I was joking how fun it would be if we met in the final." It happened, but Shane rolled through the lights, handing Robert his millionth (just a slight exaggeration) win. Making it to the finals at his very first race with the car was a huge accomplishment, and Shane finished 10th in NMRA Modular Muscle points for 2001. "That's how it begins," he says.
"It" is the desire to race, whenever and wherever possible. This desire has made Shane want to go faster each time out, but in Modular Mustang-style racing, consistency is the key, along with reaction times. These days, unless your last name is Hindman or Davila, wins and final rounds are hard to come by. Shane knows-after that first final-round appearance at the Michigan NMRA race, he didn't go to another final round until the '03 Fun Ford Cordova race. But he redlit against Steve Ferguson that race, so his first win eluded him once again. Undeterred, Shane made the long trek to Cali for the Fun Ford Weekend race in late 2003, which was well worth it because he got his first victory there.
For the '05 race season, Shane made the biggest visual change to the GT. Robert told him he needed to spruce up the exterior in order to get more recognition. As you can see, it worked.