The Ford Mustang had a good innings of almost ten years from 1964 until 1973. Yet it hasn’t disappeared into the mists of time like so many other automobiles and remains an iconic muscle car.
Of course cinema has played its part in this – films like Bullit (Steve McQueen and a ’68 GT390 Fastback) cemented the Mustang into legend, while a couple of Bond films and Tom Cruise’s 1966 Shelby GT350H in War of the Worlds have kept the iconic status topped up over the years.
Frankly, even a dilapidated Mustang can still draw the eye, so when Ringbrothers decided to soup up and restore a 1965 Fastback you just knew it was going to be a striking car – meet the Mustang Fastback SPLITR.
The SPLITR was commissioned by Michael Schmalz, an Iowa based designer. Michael had been putting the pennies aside for around ten years before deciding that Ringbrothers were the company to do his dream justice. Good choice I’d say, though he still expected to wait a further year before they could fit him in such is the demand for their services and their attention to detail, which means absolutely nothing is rushed.
Yet it all happened much faster than that; just as Michael settled into the mind-set of having time to prepare, Ringbrothers called him within days to say that they could fit the project in immediately.
While Jim and Mike Ring’s 6-speed manual Mustang looks very much like a Ford Mustang, it’s had one hell of a lot of work to turn it a modern car for the 21st century. Finished in a lush deep red paint colour called Ford Race Red (by Waterborne should you be tempted) it echoes the Ford racers of the era this car comes from. The lacquer finish, rather surprisingly, is actually satin to reduce the shine slightly.
Aluminium and carbon fibre keep the weight down (a rough estimate is that 60 per cent of the body work is now carbon fibre) and a powerful 427 cubic inch Ford Racing engine sits under the carbon bonnet. Ringbrothers designed the custom ‘airbox’ that feeds the engine themselves and built it out of aluminium and Lexan glass. The bulletproof glass (or polycarbonate resin thermoplastic to be precise) allows those of curious mind to see the MSD Atomic fuel injection mechanics.
The aim was to achieve 500hp – this was deemed to be the holy power grail in relation to the car’s power to weight ratio, along with Michael’s desire to own a car that was perfectly suitable for the streets as well as being a bucket load of fun on the racetrack. With all that power, some decent uprated braking is a must, and Ringbrothers settled on a set of 6S calipers from BAER with 14-inch rotors.
Up front the Mustang sits on sticky HRE Performance Wheels and 265/35/18 ZR Nitto Invo tyres. At the rear 2 more HRE wheels are clad in 325/30/19 ZR Nittos.
Where some might have been tempted to be minimalist on the interior and push this as a pure racetrack car, the interior of the SPLITR had to take into account the owner’s desire for it to also be a daily driver, so the Mustang enjoys comfortable leather Recaro seats, while Vintage Air takes care of the temperature and a Kenwood stereo is in the dash. The dash is also adorned with gauges from Classic Instruments.
If you’ve got a dream car in your head and the money, there’s not too many out there that can rival Ringbrothers.
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