Life is fond of throwing wrenches in the works of even the best laid plans. Sometimes the derailment is disastrous, but every once in a while it proves out to be a blessing in disguise. Luckily for Alex Stoner, his circuitous quest to build the Mustang of his dreams ended up following the latter path.
It all started with a ’66 fastback that he and his significant other, Jayne Roorda, had sent to a shop, which shall remain nameless, to receive the necessary bodywork and modifications. In a brief retelling of a story we’ve heard too many times in our careers, too much money was spent, and far too little good work was done. Sometimes you have to take a bad situation and just make the best of it. Other times, all that can be done is to cut your losses and walk away. Sadly, it was the latter case for this fastback.
At the time Alex shipped it to the Ringbrothers for final body and paintwork, however, he had no idea; he had been a fan of the Ringbrothers’ style for years and just wanted some of their influence on his project. When it arrived at the Ringbrothers’ shop in a trailer, Jim and Mike Ring rolled it out, looked it over for a few minutes, then rolled it right back in. They hated to do it, but the fastback was just far too hodgepodged to be suitably fixable to their standards and they had to turn down the opportunity.
Needless to say, Alex and Jayne were completely crestfallen. Not just because money had been burned, but so had their dream car. Jim had an alternate idea to salvage the vision though; he offered up a ’70 SportsRoof he and his brother Mike had bought and just set aside. “I told him, ‘Well, I’ve got a ’70 here we could build you instead.’ ”
Call it a serendipitous SportsRoof; Jim and Mike had originally bought the California car simply because it looked like a good deal on a solid project. There were no initial plans of what to do with it, so the Mustang sat untouched in the back corner of the Ringbrothers’ shop. Coincidentally, Alex and Jayne had both always wanted a Mustang of that generation, so a deal was struck to begin their project rebound; Jim and Mike sold it to them for what they paid, and the ’66 was sold.
Usually those who’ve been burned become a bit wary, but that wasn’t the case here. Alex knew the pride of workmanship the Ringbrothers put into every car they turned out, and felt entirely at ease entrusting them. Plus, Jim and Mike had never had the chance to try their hand on a ’70 Mustang, and already had quite a few new ideas floating around. They immediately began sketching these out with artist Sean Smith. Alex and Jayne had a few specifics they wanted, but they loved the concepts Jim and Mike were concocting and essentially gave them free rein.
The 427ci Roush small-block...
The 427ci Roush small-block Ford cranks out 585 hp, and the custom shaker airbox is functional, but the engine had to be dropped as low as possible in the chassis for clearance. Details like this put the Dragon in the Top 5 for this year’s Street Machine of the Year competition.
“There are few things I can look at on the car that I know are my influence,” Alex says. Most outstanding would be the rich BASF hues selected for the paint. The Castle Gray accents were actually originally going to be the body color, but Jim and Mike convinced him that the car was going to warrant something more impactful. A custom crafted color christened Dragon’s Blood easily won Alex over. After all, the car is called Dragon.
So where did that name come from anyway? Alex had wanted a name to match the car’s strong and slightly sinister presence, and during the time he spent in Europe he developed a fondness for the mythology surrounding medieval Europe and its mythical malevolent dragons. From what he saw in the renderings, this Mustang would fit the name nicely.