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Tatum Motorsports Black Widow Spyder Buggy - The Black Widow

Posted in Features on August 1, 2009
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For as long as he can remember, Nathan Whitson has had a need for speed. For years he satisfied this need by drag racing alongside his sister, Laura Collins. Whitson kept building and racing cars, culminating in a 1200hp, 8-second Ford Mustang. In 2004 Whitson lost his sister to cancer, and drag racing was just not the same for him. When his friend Anthony Dixon took Whitson to the sand dunes, his need for speed was in full force once again.

Nathan Whitson purchased a Sandcars Unlimited rail and soon was spending all his time in the sandy arroyos around his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and making trips to Glamis, Dumont Dunes, and Saint Anthony's whenever time permitted. With 500 hp and weighing a svelte 2,000 pounds, the Sandcars Unlimited rail had a great power-to-weight ratio, but it did not provide room for the whole Whitson clan. Whitson sold the rail and purchased a Tatum Motorsports Black Widow Spyder.

The Black Widow Spyder is a four-seat sand rail with enough room for the whole family. The full chromoly structure, Jet Trim seats, and Crow five-point harnesses ensure that the family is safe and sound, even when Dad pulls the front tires all the way up on Competition Hill. Whitson wanted the keep same power-to-weight ratio as his previous buggy with the new, 800-pound-heavier Tatum car. To do so he took a page out of his drag racing experience and had Venom Racing build a serious LS2 engine.

The high horsepower engine is mated to a Mendeola S4S sequential transmission. "It is probably not enough transmission for the engine" Whitson comments, "but it keeps me from acting stupid." The transmission has held up admirably thus far, and the car can still do 114 mph with the four speed transmission. Power from the tranny is routed through 934 CVs with super cages and 300M axles. Midboard hubs and six-piston calipers mate to Douglas beadlocked rims fitted with 35-inch Yokohama Geolandar M/T tires.

We were in for quite a ride with this fine buggy.

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