ONE of our top picks from SEMA 2014 is this ’66 Chevelle, built by Mike and Jim Ring of the Ringbrothers shop in Wisconsin.
Dubbed Recoil, the car was built for a customer, Mark McPhie, who had never even seen a single photo of it before it debuted on Wednesday. “The build took 18 months and Mark never saw it the whole time,” says Mike Ring. “He was real clear about wanting a race theme, with a hand-fabricated interior. He wanted a subtle colour and for the whole thing to be minimal and cool. He seems happy!”
It is rare for a street machine shop to have a signature style, but the Ringbrothers do, specialising in custom carbon-fibre panels, one-off trim pieces and serious race vibes. Recoil has all of that, but taken to another level. “It is hard to answer the question of what we’ve done with this car; there are so many subtle features, we’ve almost forgotten some of them,” Mike says.
“We’ve extended the sills, cut the fenders off and tweaked the wheel wells a little bit. There is a lot of carbon work throughout the car, including the deck lid, the bumpers, the hood, the dashpad, the inner fenders and the hoodlining. The interior and the trunk are made out of aluminium. We then hydro-dipped each piece and then cleared them to produce a texture without putting material over the top.” Oh yeah, and the carbon fibre is weaved with a polished copper wire to make it gleam.
Other interior features include bomber-style seats made of tubing, aluminium sheet and individual cushions; five-point harnesses; and a Racepak gauge cluster sitting in a Ringbrothers billet housing.
Underneath it all is a Roadster Shop chassis, with a C5 Corvette front end, four-link rear and massive Baer brakes. Rims are 19x9.5in and 20x13in custom HRE items. All necessary when you have damn-near 1000hp at your disposal!
“It’s got an LS7 with a Whipple supercharger that makes 980hp,” Mike says. “It’s an animal. I’ve just had one ride; I don’t want another, not with my brother driving – he can’t drive anyway [laughs]. You can’t go mad with this car, it will come loose at 80mph – there is a limit to horsepower and we’ve reached it.”
And where does all this creativity come from? “These cars just evolve, you don’t know how they are going to turn out,” Mike says. “We’re so blessed to have such a great time in the shop, especially being in a small town. We just bang off ideas off each other and this is the result.” Look out for a full feature soon!