For many years, the bulk of Ringbrothers' business was stock restorations, however, when the opportunity arose to exercise their creativity, they pounced. "Whenever you do a stock restoration, someone's always telling you what you can and can't do. We went to Catholic school with ruler-wielding nuns, so we don't like following rules," Jim says. "One of the first cars we built was a '68 Camaro that we cut up quite a bit. That made some people mad, but more and more builders started doing it so it became more of the norm. Building a car is like walking a tightrope, and if you put too much stuff on the car it just won't work. Some of our early cars were over the top, but our approach has definitely evolved over the years. In the early days we'd have to build a car three or four times to get it done right, but not anymore. We have a much better idea of what we want to accomplish, and we've learned that you can build a very aggressive-looking car without going too extreme and throwing on too many parts."
Maybe it has something to do with the laid-back Midwest culture, but Jim and Mike make a dedicated effort to remain humble even as their recognition grows. "Not to take anything away from any of the awards we've won, because we're very proud of them, but when you get back home from these shows life is still the same, and you're no different from the next person. You have to stay true to your roots, and build cars because you're passionate about them, not for awards. We've developed a reputation for doing high-end builds, but that's not entirely true. We still do tons of midrange builds and regular paintjobs too." -Stephen Kim