This 1966 Ford Mustang is built for a well-known car enthusiast and has never been offered for sale. Mike and Jim Ring, collectively known as Ringbrothers, wanted to create a vintage muscle car that pushed the envelope, not only in looks, but also performance. So, they commissioned Sean Smith Design to draw up a sizzling ’66 fastback, purchased a solid, original car and began a project that practically redefined the term ‘pro-tourer’.
Affectionately dubbed ‘Bailout’, the rust-free Ford was stripped to its main structure and separated from everything but its original rocker panels and factory quarter skins. With that teardown complete, solid, original floors were exchanged for a ‘false bottom’ pan that’s married to a custom roll cage and Dynamat sound deadening material. When that pan was fully integrated, the car’s roof shed its traditional steel panel in favor of a custom carbon fiber piece.
Once that roof was successfully mocked up and carefully installed, a longer rear valence was complemented with a custom, tightly tucked bumper. After that bumper was seamlessly fitted, the car’s profile was fleshed out with a reworked front valence and custom cowl panel. And finally, Stimulus Blue Glasurit was buried in glossy clearcoat, accented with a Grand Sport-style hood stripe and, in traditional race car fashion, branded with subtle sponsor decals. The result is one world class Mustang that’s an exceptionally well-done evolution of Ford’s fiercest SCCA competitors! Read more!
Despite its rather traditional appeal, this pro-tourer is the epitome of detail. Of course, that’s not really a surprise given Ringbrothers primary goal of peddling styling components. At the front of the car’s body, a prominent mesh grille hangs a familiar Ringbrothers emblem between Harley-Davidson-sourced headlights, custom, red-finned brake ducts and bright, halogen driving lamps. At the top of that grille, a custom Ringbrothers hood centers a carbon fiber scoop between color-keyed Ringbrothers pins and lightly tinted glass that’s framed in custom-textured trim.
At the sides of that hood, a clean profile is only interrupted by color-keyed racing mirrors, Ringbrothers door handles, high-mount fuel fillers and flush-fit exhaust tips. And at the back of that profile, a gray and red valence hangs a second Ringbrothers emblem between modified ClassicLED tail lights, a trim-matched trunk lock and a flush battery disconnect.
Hoist this Ford’s lightweight hood and you’ll find 427 cubic inches of autocross terror. Straight from Keith Craft Performance Engines this stroked and tuned powerplant pushes stout 10 to 1 compression into a killer 602 horsepower and an even 600 lb./ft. of pavement-busting torque. And with the help of ARP bolts, an Eagle crank, Eagle rods, Mahle pistons, and a Comp cam, the big mill transforms this Mustang from wild to flat-out wicked!
At the top of the Dart Windsor block, a custom Ringbrothers air cleaner funnels wind into a coated Quick Fuel carburetor that’s centered between a Quick Fuel regulator and an Edelbrock Victor Jr. 351W intake. At the sides of that intake, Keith Craft Brodix heads hang Scorpion roller rockers between ornate valve covers and a slick pair of custom Ringbrothers headers. At the front of those heads, a Crane distributor sequences fire between American Autowire harnesses and Keith Craft plug wires. And at the front of that distributor, a cowled Be Cool radiator cycles coolant around an Edelbrock water pump, Ford Racing timing components, a TCP power steering pump and two electric puller fans.
Visually, Bailout’s engine compartment comes together just as well as its highly modified exterior. To enhance the car’s track-dominating chops, the big V8 rides precisely six inches back from its original location. Everything, from the car’s Melling oil pump and Moroso front-sump oil pan to its JEGS throttle linkage and Ringbrothers shock tower brace, is well-planned and professionally executed. And spotless fenders, which don a flat rendition of the aforementioned Stimulus Blue Glasurit, perfectly contrast Metallic Silver engine skin.
Whip this Mustang into a grip-induced rear and you’ll find a fully finished undercarriage that’s a product of professional grade customization and a whole roster of top notch pro-touring hardware. Behind the gaited stroker, an American Powertrain-supplied Tremec T56 6-speed utilizes a Science Friction Street Slayer clutch to produce great bite and hard kicks. Out back, there’s a fresh FAB9 rear end that, thanks to big 4.11 gears, keeps the car galloping at optimal RPMs. Up front, custom, NASCAR-style Woodward steering utilizes relocated arms to provide smooth turns and quick reflexes. That rack is saddled to a mini-tubbed double A-arm suspension that’s comprised of TCP tubular control arms, fresh VariShock coilovers, custom shock towers and custom ’70 Mustang spindles.
Holding the car’s rear end off the ground is a TCP Watt’s Link set up that’s fitted with a Ridetech sway bar and two more VariShock coilovers. Momentum comes courtesy of 265/35ZR18 and 335/30ZR18 BF Goodrich G-Force T/As that spin around powdercoated Forgeline WC3s. Stops are supplied by 6-piston Baer Pro Plus calipers that squeeze 14-inch drilled and slotted rotors. Exhaust rolls from the aforementioned Ringbrothers headers into 3-inch, ceramic coated pipes that employ an X-shaped crossover and coated Flowmaster 44 mufflers. And with its body-matched chassis affording a full seven inches of suspension travel, this awesome pony is ready to scorch the longest chase and carve the fastest clover!
Open this Ford’s carefully aligned doors and you’ll find a tasteful custom interior that, thanks to skilled stitch work by Upholstery Unlimited, pays homage to the car’s simple, striped down purpose. Firm Recaro Expert M seats are covered in fine leather hides and fitted with Simpson 4-point racing harnesses. At the sides of those seats, stylish door panels hang sculpted armrests and small, billet handles behind integrated kick speakers. In front of those panels, a painted and reworked dash anchors Ringbrothers-branded Classic Instruments gauges behind cool ‘bomber bezels’, controls for the car’s Vintage Air heat system and a remote-controlled Alpine CD/DVD/Navigation system.
Beneath that dash, a broad transmission tunnel frames a short Hurst shifter in a red-stitched boot. At the sides of that tunnel, clean floors center a custom pedal step between textured sill plates and Tilton NASCAR-style foot pedals. At the back of those floors, a leather-lined cargo hold features a small fire extinguisher, two roll cage-mounted Alpines and an impressive Alpine Type R subwoofer. In front of the driver, a simple Lecarra steering wheel spins around a tilting Ididit column. And behind the passengers, a Dynamat-layered trunk hides a big Fuel Safe fuel cell between two Optima batteries and two Alpine amplifiers.
Innovators like Carroll Shelby, Boyd Coddington and Chip Foose have systematically and permanently influenced how our entire culture views Detroit’s finest metal. And when it comes to pushing the limits of both performance and aesthetics, it’s safe to say the reign of Mike and Jim Ring is upon us. Over the past several years, the Ring brothers have made an art out of building stunning hot rods, like this killer 1966 Mustang featured on Muscle Cars World, that edge ever closer to a perfect balance of raw street prowess and lethal curb appeal.