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An American custom builder has made this 959bhp Mustang
And there’s an equally cool Pantera and Chevelle, too. Time to meet Ringbrothers
When people mention ‘Ring Brothers’, we immediately think of an ultra-macho Nürburgring fraternity full of badly-maintained BMW M3s. That, or a speciality circus featuring high-wire acts, strongmen and comedy clowns riding unicycles.
But in the car world, Ringbrothers is something altogether more serious. And much, much better. Ringbrothers makes cars. And not just any cars, but some of the most striking Pro-touring customs we’ve seen in a while.
Essentially, the Ringbrothers collision and repair shop base in Spring Green, Wisconsin, doubles as a community panel beater and high-end speciality builder, turning out one or two show stopping one-offs every year for themselves and official manufacturers to display at car shows like SEMA. They call it ‘re-defining’ classics. We just call it cool.
Run by Jim and Mike Ring, Ringbrothers takes on pretty much anything, modifying and improving various kinds of American muscle into cars that win awards. A lot of awards. Its style is fairly specific, and though it probably isn’t to everyone’s taste, you can’t argue with the quality of the work. This is top-line custom fabrication from people who have a lot of passion for the subject matter.
Take its latest car that featured at SEMA 2015; a 1965 widebody Fastback Ford Mustang with an all carbonfibre body, called ‘Espionage’.
Pretty much everything is changed, and it’s not just the two-inch widening of the composite bodywork. Under the bonnet is a supercharged 7.0-litre LS7 V8 punting out some 959bhp and 858lb ft of torque. Which means it’s probably fairly rapid.
The interior is all new, retro-themed but modern as you like, and although this will never be mistaken for a resto-mod, there’s definitely a lot of thought gone into the look.
Another favourite from the Ringbrothers stable is 2013’s ‘ADRNLN’, designed in conjunction with Nike’s innovation skunkworks team no less.
Apart from a worrying lack of vowels, this 1971 De Tomaso Pantera is what the Italian supercar might have actually looked like in 2016 if its maker hadn’t imploded sometime in 2004. Though the name is now owned by Chinese company Ideal TeamVenture, so the company might not quite be dead and gone just yet.
But whatever happens to De Tomaso, the new Chinese owners might want to give Ringbrothers a call to see if ADRNLN could be made into a production car: in keeping with the original Pantera’s ethos of an Italian supercar that used an American V8 for motivation, there’s a 600bhp 6.2-litre LS3 V8 to continue the tradition, driving through a five-speed ZF manual. Which sounds pretty good to us.
Not enough for you? Then let us suggest 2014’s ‘Recoil’, a 1966 Chevy Chevelle given the full Pro-Touring track treatment. There’s another Whipple ‘charged 7.0-litre LS7, this time with an astonishing 980bhp.
And that V8 is tucked into an engine bay you could eat your dinner from, while there’s a ‘race-inspired’ interior fabricated entirely by hand from sheet metal.
TG approves wholeheartedly of the sort-of aero seats and cracking mix of old and new. Although the pads that cover the rear seats look suspiciously like technical toilet seats to us….
So, simple question. Which is your favourite?