Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
February 15, 2012
Photos By: John Jackson

It's easy to say you're a fan of the Mustang. True, we all have our favorite years or body styles, but every once in a while you bump into a person who is such a Mustang fanatic that you start to wonder if it's some sort of disease (my wife says it is, so I guess it's true!). Mustang fanatics have intimate knowledge of the Mustang and often have memories of being around Mustangs long before they could drive them. This often starts with family members or neighbors with a classic Mustang and the fanatics spending their time with said family members or neighbors. Case in point is Jack Alex Stoner of Chandler, Arizona. Jack has been a Mustang guy since he was just a toddler, and while it's easy to state that to anyone who will listen, Jack easily backs it up with a photo of him circa 1967 driving his Mustang pedal car around the house with his little sister.

Things got serious later that year when his grandmother Otty (a cute name that stuck when he couldn't pronounce "grandma" as a youngster) purchased a new Lime Gold '67 fastback. Little Jack would spend hours helping grandma Otty take care of her new Mustang and he loved to wash the car with her. His grandma promised Jack the fastback when he turned 16. Many years later Jack came to collect on her promise. She was kind of hoping he'd forgotten about their conversation so many years earlier, but she kept her word and turned the keys and the title over to Jack. The '67 became Jack's daily driver and pride and joy, maintaining the fastback for fear of grandma Otty coming to collect the keys back from him.

Like most men Jack's age, a career in the military started a new life with stops all over the world, and like most entering the military, there was no way Jack could keep the fastback while enlisted. Throughout his career in the Air Force as a mechanic he kept thinking about that fastback and he knew someday he'd get another Mustang. That someday came just a few short years ago when Jack and his long time companion, Jayne Roorda, started looking for a Mustang to build as a fun street car to enjoy around their Arizona home.

Jack and Jayne found a '66 fastback and felt it would be a good choice for his return to the hobby. Jack felt it would be easier to build and cheaper to get into than the more popular '67-'68 fastback that everyone seemed to be building at the time, not to mention the '66 would be emissions exempt in Arizona, too. During the buildup of the '66, Jack started taking notice of the Mustang builds coming from Ringbrothers in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Jack discussed the '66 with Mike and Jim Ring and had the fastback shipped out to Wisconsin for the Rings to do the final bodywork and paint, and to put their iconic spin on it. Unfortunately for Jack, when Mike and Jim dropped the trailer door and rolled the '66 shell out into the Wisconsin sun, the Ring brothers declined to finish the car.

"No one blames the bodywork, it's always the painter. You paint it, you own it." Jim Ring told us. Ringbrothers knew it couldn't take this '66 to the standards that it is known for. Frankly, we can't say we blame Ringbrothers, as most painters we know insist on doing the bodywork as well to guarantee their work.

While dejected about the '66 and the investment in the project to date, Jim Ring discussed an alternative with Jack and Jayne. That alternative was a '70 Mustang SportsRoof sitting in the corner of the Ringbrothers' shop. The '70 was a rust-free and solid California car that Mike and Jim purchased some time back, and having built multiple '65-'68 projects, they figured they'd get to building it someday as the next progression of the Ringbrothers' Mustang lineage. Jack, being a fan of all Mustangs, liked the '69-'70 Mustang body style as well, and while upset about the '66, Jack and Jayne gave Ringbrothers the OK to begin a replacement project using the '70 they had there in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the '66 headed back to Arizona where it was sold off to recoup some of their initial build costs.