Jim Ring had a stuffy job and a stuffy life in Chicago before returning home to Spring Green, Wisconsin. There he joined up with his brother, Mike, to form Ring Brothers, where they now create custom cars of the '60s and '70s. To pay the bills, the brothers opened as a collision shop, performing mostly insurance jobs. They managed to squeeze in some fun restorations here and there. Dealing with the insurance companies got kind of old, and their reputation allowed them to re-open as a restoration and custom shop. Now the guys could create the cars we see today.
We expect a lot from the shop that garnered a Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award, but we expect more from Ring Brothers, as they won twice in a row; Jim and Mike built the winning 1967 Mustang fastback from 2007, and the 1969 Camaro for 2008.
They are currently building this '64 Ford Fairlane for Richland Center, WI, resident Ken Smith. The plan was to update the drivetrain and brakes, but as many projects do, that plan evolved. They wanted to modify the car in a way that Ford would've today from the factory. Subtle updates like flush-mounted glass and a lowered front air dam are touches you wouldn't notice, unless you'd studied the original. Not all of the changes they made were of this nature, however. Ring Brothers completely redesigned the rear of the car, incorporating their own tail lights, gas cap, custom Ring Brothers stamping, and smooth undertail. They went through two separate designs before arriving at this one. They keep working until they decide it won't work, instead of going halfway. Many great things happen by accident, and they would hate to miss out on a wonderful mistake.
Once the car is done, it will be paraded around the country as a display of what they can do, as if they needed more proof of their creativity. Apart from this particular build, they have a couple more in the works; do we smell Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award number three coming?
You have to look hard to see...
You have to look hard to see the door handles. Ring Brothers fabricated these handles to follow the body line. A little paint and they should disappear.