It was a laborious process for Athens Complex Faculty student Thomas Dickerson to tote his “homework” — a 1967 Ford Shelby GTO 350 Mustang — to and from campus, but the really hard operate of totally rebuilding the automobile has paid out off.
Dickerson will look on an episode of “2021 SEMA Battle of the Builders” on the Heritage Channel at 9 a.m. Sunday.
He is just one of the three recipients who gained a Young Guns Golden ticket with all expenditures paid to take part in the Specialty Gear Suppliers Affiliation level of competition in Las Vegas in November.
Dickerson was awarded Best 10 in the Younger Guns (builders below the age of 27) and Top rated 40 general for his do the job. It also caught the eye of the Television display producers who interviewed him about his encounter as just one of the youngest to enter the levels of competition at age 21.
“I started off with a stock 1967 Mustang Fastback and experienced to cautiously craft pieces to switch it into a Shelby (Tribute),” said Dickerson. “I built my Mustang with quite a few modern-day factors, taking it all the way to the issue exactly where you can travel a brand-new Mustang and not sense a variance between it and my auto. In some situations, it will generate much better and conduct exceptionally improved, also.
“All of this took an enormous amount of engineering and tailor made fabrication to make it conduct the way I had intended. I had to make lots of of the sections because they simply just did not exist or perform with my technical specs.”
The venture took Dickerson about a few decades to full.
“This was the first car or truck I at any time painted. It took more than 26 hours to paint about two times, and I expended two to a few weeks soaked sanding it afterward,” Dickerson claimed. “I designed my very own heart console using classes listed here that we have — mechanical engineering technology — and I developed my entire console on SolidWorks.”
The car or truck is outfitted with fuel injection, LED headlights, electric cooling, digital analog gauges, a 7-inch touchscreen radio, press-button begin and a critical fob. Seats from a 2017 Mustang had been utilized as perfectly as personalized upholstery built to his hand-drawn style.
“Seventy p.c of the car is brand name new, and every panel on the exterior of the car or truck is 100 p.c new. When I acquired the auto, I was interested in mechanical engineering but it was not as palms-on as I had imagined, so that is when I enrolled in the automotive collision repair service software at Athens Tech,” he mentioned.
“Thomas was a great university student and labored incredibly difficult to master the competencies necessary to develop the dream he experienced envisioned,” explained Greg Thomas, application chair for automotive collision repair at Tech. “With his skills and difficult get the job done, he was capable to construct a certainly stunning car or truck. He was also capable to go toe-to-toe towards the very best builders in the place at SEMA with astounding results! I could not be prouder of him for his accomplishments.”