Dressed in polished white with a set of radials in the rear, Jimmy Dolan’s 2004 Ford Lightning has been stripped bare of just about everything except for the body panels. The truck is powered by a 2,000-horsepower Ford small block engine and I was fortunate enough to see it go down Maryland’s hallowed strip last year November.
As social media revelled in the WCF explosion, so did Jimmy’s truck back in South Africa. It slowly perked the interest of many South Africans whom, as we all know, have a strong attraction to anything that resembles a “bakkie”. Nicknamed “The Yetti”, Jimmy’s war machine is said to be the quickest small block truck in the world.
“I started the build 6 years ago. The truck was used a daily, but I’ve always wanted to build a fast truck because everyone else had fast cars. Paul at Outlaw Racecraft began the transformation process, removing excess weight and making sure the truck was fitted with a 25.3 certified chassis which retained the stock front-end and interior parts.”
The front end is where the magic happens: the engine is a 2000hp-plus Ford small block using Diamond Pistons and GRP ally rods. But it’s those two 88mm Bullseye turbochargers that lures the masses to The Yetti’s camp where, most of the time you’ll find Jimmy’s right hand man Nicky Mancuso aka Nicky Notch either wrenching or grabbing data off the Haltech 2500 engine management system.
“After racing the truck for a few years, I always knew there was more power in it. I met up with Nicky at a Kentucky race and the rest is history.” After some further testing, changing the rear gear set and adding a custom-built Greg Slack convertor, the team competed at World Cup Finals where The Yetti ran a 6.98s on its first run. Nicky continued to work his magic on the laptop and got the truck to run a 6.72 which made them the number 1 qualifier. They progressed to the semi-finals but ultimately parts failure ended their chance to win their class.
“Our goal in 2018 was to get the truck to go 6.90-seconds over the quarter mile and to see how fast we can go in an aerodynamically challenged truck! We ended the year on a high, blazing to a 6.72-seconds at 334km/h at WCF!” explains Jimmy.
In ending, Jimmy thanks everyone for their support including his wife Tara, his biggest supporter. “Not sure of our goals for 2019 but I know winning some races is a definite priority – Nicky says there’s a bit more so stay tuned!
I hope to meet more South African fans at WCF in the future.” Follow the truck’s adventures on The Yetti’s social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram.