Miles Cook
April 28, 2015
Photos By: Robert McGaffin

While brothers Jim and Mike Ring have placed their signature style on numerous models of cars over the years, including several Camaros, a Chevelle, a Pantera, and a radical ’64 Fairlane dubbed Afterburner, it often seems their spiritual home has been the ’65-’70 Mustang fastbacks, since a lot of them have come out of their Spring Grove, Wisconsin, shop. Bail Out, Dragon, Producer, and Reactor are all examples of this, and you can add to the mix this latest car, a 1965 fastback named Blizzard. And as with all the others, it’s a 100 percent custom build that dazzles all the way down to the carbon-fiber–accented trunk latch striker.

Owned by Dominick and Becky Farbo of Buffalo, New York, Blizzard is, as usual for a Ringbrothers car, jam-packed with innovation and one-of-kind touches that you simply won’t see anywhere else. They include a first for even a Ringbrothers project. Mike told us, “This is the first car we’ve built with carbon-fiber doors. We now offer these ’65-’66 doors made of carbon fiber for those who would like to have them on their own builds. We made them a while back and were sort of sitting on them. They’re now on a car for the first time. In fact, numerous other pieces on the car are carbon fiber, including the hood, roof, trunklid, rear bumper, rear end caps, and side scoops. The G.T. 350 R-model-style front fascia is made of aluminum.”

The 427 Windsor uses a Dart block with a 4.125-inch bore, a 4-inch stroke Eagle crank, Callies rods, and JE pistons that produce a 10.8:1 compression. Topped with Cleveland-style heads and built by Wegner Motorsports, other pieces include a COMP hydraulic roller cam, an MSD distributor, Edelbrock intake, and a 750-cfm Holley aluminum Ultra HP carb. The custom air cleaner/induction setup along with headers and exhaust were custom-built by Ringbrothers. Flowmaster Super 40 mufflers along with a BeCool radiator and electric fans make up added bits of exhaust and cooling componentry. On Wegner’s dyno, it all adds up to 707 hp at 6,400 rpm—exactly the same as a new Dodge Hellcat, but without a supercharger.

Asked about how the fit, finish, and detail of Blizzard were achieved, Mike’s answer was actually pretty straightforward. “What really helps Jim and I is that we’ve maintained the collision-repair part of our business. The OE (original equipment) manufacturers build pretty great cars today. We are big fans of the OE manufacturers and how they build things and appreciate their fit and finish. Jim and I study them, and their detail helps us with our detail.”

Surprisingly, Mike commented that Blizzard uses a number of stock panels and modified those as the foundation. “We’re really about keeping a lot of what Ford did on the ’65-’66 design, but we updated it and made it a little bit, well, more modern. We did, however, eliminate all the pinch welds throughout the body.”

Recaro seats are the bones here for an interior with a classic Ringbrothers vibe, which is to say one-of-a-kind. Upholstery Unlimited did the sewing and other pieces of note are Classic Instruments gauges, a MOMO steering wheel, an ididit tilt steering column, and Alpine sound equipment. As mentioned earlier, the floors aren’t covered with carpeting but rather seat material similar to what’s found in various GM cars and trucks, such as a Chevy Trailblazer. The billet shift handle is connected to a Bowler five-speed manual.
Baer brakes with six-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors up front (and 13s in the back) are hiding inside HRE 560R wheels, 18x9.5s up front and 19x12s out back, with Nitto Invo tires (P265/35ZR18s and P325/30ZR19s, respectively).

Moving inside there’s an invisible rollbar seamlessly integrated into the futuristic (nothing like 1965 anyway) cabin. Furthermore, we were told a Ringbrothers car hasn’t had carpeting for the past five years or so. What is it then on the floor inside? Pretty simple stuff, actually. “It’s a fabric from a GM seat material. I think it’s from a Chevy Trailblazer,” Mike muses.

Other details abound on Blizzard to be sure—easily enough for a 100-page book. But a directly visible cue is the fuel-tank treatment—or lack thereof. It’s an Aeromotive fuel cell but with a twist. “We always seem to raise the tanks on a Mustang to give us more room for the exhaust,” Mike said. “The tank took up a lot of space, especially on this car, because the exhaust is coming out of the quarters. And we also think that when the tank hangs down, it kind of looks like a diaper. As on Blizzard, we usually build a little bellypan for the back to clean up the look.”

Blizzard is equipped with a complete Detroit Speed Engineering suspension. Up front, that includes a unique cast-aluminum cradle, tubular upper and lower control-arms, rack-and-pinion steering, aluminum coilovers, and an antiroll bar.
DSE’s rear coilover four-link design uses high-durometer rubber bushings, an antiroll bar, and an adjustable Panhard rod. The 9-inch rearend has 31-spline axles, a TruTrac centersection, and 4.11 gears.

We certainly enjoyed discussing general ideas and concepts with Mike as they relate to a car like Blizzard, and another thought we were surprised to learn was his logic behind a popular and maybe even common practice: powdercoating. “We do a lot of powdercoating on our cars. There is some cost savings,” Mike told us, “but I don’t know if we would do it any differently even if it wasn’t a cost savings.” With a Ringbrothers car, one doesn’t often think of saving money as a mitigating factor. But if Mike Ring thinks enough of it to mention, then it’s certainly worth considering in terms of any project.

That includes a full custom car such as Blizzard, or any vintage Mustang project in one’s garage. Cheap or expensive, simple or complicated, cars such as Blizzard serve an important purpose. And that is to provide inspiration for one to create a dream Mustang exactly how they want it to be.

While Blizzard is the latest in a line of several Ringbrothers ’65-’70 fastbacks, a ’65 convertible was actually Jim and Mike’s first blank canvas of choice (it graced our Feb. ’05 cover). More than 10 years later, Blizzard extends the lineage of vintage Mustangs getting the 21st century Ringbrothers touch. Although the Blizzard White is a worthy rename of the color, Mike divulged its more pedestrian roots, noting it’s the same as used on a Volkswagen Touareg.

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