Not to be outdone by its back end, the front of the Fairlane packs plenty of trick pieces as well. The entire unibody from the front of the firewall forward is completely custom. The result is flat inner fenders that seamlessly blend into the radiator core support and fan shroud. Likewise, the custom carbon-fiber hood is a story in and of itself. Inspired by the GT40 race car, it features a pair of inverted scoops that expel hot air from the fan shroud. It was first cut and welded from steel, primed, and ready for paint. Next, molds were pulled from the top and bottom of the hood, and they were sent off to Gemini Racing in East Troy to complete the carbon-fiber transformation. The front and rear bumpers are also carbon fiber, and were built using a similar production process.
Nearly lost in all the custom ingenuity is a powertrain, suspension, and chassis that ensures that Afterburner has the chops to back up its pleasing aesthetics. Scoot comes from a Roush-built 427 crate motor that uses a Dart 4.125-inch bore block, a forged rotating assembly with 10.25:1 compression, CNC-ported aluminum heads, and a hydraulic roller camshaft. Adding some serious eye candy is a Roush eight-stack intake manifold featuring individual throttle stacks for each intake port. The combo produces 560 hp and a stout 551 lb-ft of torque. It's backed by a paddle-shifted Bowler AOD-E transmission, and a 9-inch rearend. Custom tubular control arms and Penske coilovers take care of ride and handling duties at each corner. Out back, the stock leaf-spring setup was ditched in favor of a custom rear suspension design similar to what's found on third- and fourth-generation Camaros. Custom lower control arms attach the rearend to what used to be the front spring pockets, and a Panhard bar locates the rearend laterally. Forgeline 18-inch EV3 wheels wrapped in Goodyear rubber provide the stick, while Wilwood disc brakes bring everything to a halt.
A vent located between each...
A vent located between each pair of headlights channels air to the front brakes. The rectangular panel below the headlights is a radar jammer. The headlights themselves are custom pieces with jeweled elements for a decidedly Euro look.
As no surprise, Afterburner commanded plenty of attention when it debuted at last year's SEMA show. Not only did it win the Ford Design award, an enamored Dearborn executive commented that the Fairlane was the easiest pick for the award since its inception. Furthermore, it's quite possible that Ringbrothers might take home another Street Machine of the Year award with their latest piece of mechanical genius. While the Ring boys appreciate the recognition, they find the building process much more gratifying. "Awards are nice, but that's not why we build these cars. Our goal is to express our passion for the hobby by building cars that push the envelope of design," Jim says. Regardless of why they're built, any car worthy of the big red "R" will be doing its part to elevate high-end street machines to the next level.
The Brothers Ring
Despite their success on the national stage, Jim and Mike Ring think of themselves as ordinary car guys. They just happen to do extraordinary work. The brothers come from a family of seven kids, and grew up hanging out at their dad's gas station in rural Wisconsin. "We were always looking for things to take apart, and did a number on quite a few lawn mower engines," Jim says. The duo was always into cars, but like most people, they got regular day jobs when they got older and worked on cars for fun on weekends. After a while, Jim got sick of sitting behind a desk and wanted to pursue his true calling. "I had to move to Chicago for my day job, and I hated it. Sitting in an office wasn't any fun, so I decided to move back to Wisconsin and open up a body shop. After I got settled, I called up my brother Mike and brought him on board, too."