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.
The Ringbrothers crew immediately got under way with the build concept. Jack had spent time in Europe while in the Air Force and took a huge interest in the history/folklore and mythology of medieval dragons while over there, which he has a deep appreciation and passion for to this day. As such, he knew he wanted the Mustang to have a strong and sinister like feel and look to it—hence the Dragon name. Jack and Jayne requested some specific items built into the car, but otherwise relied on the Ringbrothers to come up with a killer design and build concept.
"The car was to be a tribute to my grandmother Otty," Jack tells us as well.
One strange discussion centered on the original color for the car. Jack suggested two colors for the build, a gray and a dark red, with the red eventually being dropped and the plan became to paint the car Castle Gray. As the build progressed, however, Ringbrothers felt the original dark red color would actually work best for the base color and it had to talk Jack back into the original color. Based off of a BMW color, the Ringbrothers tweaked it to come up with "Dragon's Blood Red" and Jack and Jayne couldn't be happier with the final result.
While the Dragon has racked up numerous awards, from the SEMA Show to Goodguys events, Jack intends to drive the car to events and cruises and not let it sit and gather dust. Unfortunately, Jack has only been behind the wheel once so far, as the Dragon is currently making the rounds of all the major shows, including the 2010 and 2011 SEMA shows.
"We felt like we were at the center of the universe at the SEMA show," Jack tells us, as they were in attendance for the passing of their 2010 Mother's Shine award to the 2011 winner. "We never intended to build a car of this caliber, but the project just grew and we loved what the Ring brothers did. We've met all of the previous Ringbrothers vehicle' owners and it is a close knit family of great people."
After winning the Mothers Shine award at the 2010 SEMA show, Jack was checking the Internet blogosphere to see what people were saying about the debut of the Dragon when he came across a comment about the Dragon's "cheap" plastic hood vents (which are actually coated billet). The billet vents are of such high caliber they look like an injected molded plastic cover! While at first it upset Jack, he eventually came to realize that it's that build quality that sets the Ringbrothers builds apart, and now considers it a funny memory of the 2010 SEMA show.
Getting back to that one time Jack drove the Dragon (to date); it was at the Columbus Goodguys show. As a contender for Street Machine of the Year, all cars had to make a pass through the autocross.
"Jayne was worried about me driving the car and getting hurt, while Jim (Ring) was more worried about the car!" Jack explained about the day. On his autocross pass, however, Jack had a clean run with no issues and when he flew by Jayne and Jim, they were stunned at his driving skills; to the point Jayne turned to Jim and said, "Crap, he can drive!"
Jack and Jayne will be taking delivery of their SportsRoof this spring. One last trip to Wisconsin for final inspection is in order and then the Dragon will be shipped to Arizona for Jack and Jayne to enjoy fun Sunday drives, cruises, and shows. Although Jack tells us Jayne has already been driving the Dragon in her dreams!
"She recently had a dream where she was driving the Dragon at full chat with a friend strapped in. Now she can't wait to scare the crap out of them!" It sounds like she can't wait to show their friends that the Dragon is indeed a fire breather and ready to live up to its namesake.
Jack Alex Stoner and Jayne Roorda's '70 Mustang SportsRoof "Dragon"
- Roush 427IR crate engine
- Dart 9.5-inch deck iron block, four-bolt mains
- 4.125-inch bore
- 4.00-inch stroke
- 4340 forged steel crankshaft
- 4340 forged steel H-beam connecting rods
- Wiseco forged pistons
- Roush hydraulic roller camshaft
- 205cc aluminum cylinder heads
- 2.08-inch intake, 1.60-inch exhaust valves
- 1.6:1 roller rockers
- Eight-stack "Weber–style" EFI
- Dry sump oiling system with Peterson Fluid Systems reservoir
- 560 hp, 540 lb-ft torque
- Tremec TKO-600
- McLeod twin-disc
- John's Industries 9-inch Ford axle housing
- Strange Engineering center section
- Eaton Truetrac
- John's Industries 3.89 gears
- JME custom headers, 1-7⁄8-inch primaries, 3-inch collectors
- Flowmaster 44-Series mufflers
- 2-1/2-inch custom dual exhaust
- Front: JME SLA double wishbone system, 6061 T6 billet aluminum control arms, 2-inch drop spindles, Penske double adjustable shocks with remote reservoirs, Fox Mustang power steering rack
- Rear: Detroit Speed & Engineering Quadralink four-link, adjustable control arms and Panhard bar, Penske double adjustable shocks with remote reservoirs
- Front: Baer Pro Plus, 14-inch disc, six-piston calipers
- Rear: Baer Pro Plus, 15-inch disc, six-piston calipers
- Front: Forgeline custom, 18x10, 7-inch backspacing
- Rear: Forgeline custom, 19x12, 6.5-inch backspacing
- Front: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar, P275/35R18
- Rear: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar, P325/30R19
Custom Ford GT inspired dash and console, wrapped in leather, leather Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel, Classic Instruments custom gauges, Alpine audio with Kicker speakers/amps, Nurelics power windows, Vintage Air heat and cool system, four-point harnesses, interior by Ringbrothers and Upholstery Unlimited of Clinton, Iowa
Custom mix "Dragon's Blood Red" paint with Castle Gray accents in BASF Diamont basecoat/clearcoat; custom carbon-fiber front valance, front and rear bumpers, trunk lid, and trunk endcaps; reshaped steel hood to accommodate custom Shaker setup; custom belly pan and rocker covers; custom billet cowl vents, door handles, through hood billet filter covers/Shakers, hoodpins, taillight panel, gas cap, and foglight trim rings; billet grille; roof splitter with integral third brake light; flush-fit glass
The Ringbrothers Look
Over the years, Ringbrothers has built numerous award-winning cars for its clients, and while Jim Ring admitted the company doesn't do a great job of marketing its parts business, it is working on getting the word out.
"If Ringbrothers created it, you can buy it. It may not be on our website, but we can sell it," Jim commented to us in a recent phone conversation. From the body parts from the Reactor to its brand-new wide body Mustang debuted at the 2011 SEMA show called the Producer, items like doors, fenders, fascia, end caps, and so forth—in both carbon fiber and fiberglass—are offered. There's also their line of billet parts like hood hinges, door handle, fasteners, and more available, too. Every part the company made a custom mold for it can produce, as it has kept those molds just for this reason. So, if there's something you see on a Ringbrothers creation you like, give the company a call. You might be surprised as to what it has in the shop ready to sell you.