When building a car there are several approaches that can be taken. One is to try and keep the build as subtle as possible with limited cues of what changes were made. Then there’s the opposite that wears the badge of pride of showcasing and flaunting all the features the new ride has been equipped with. Somehow, Ringbrothers continues to provide both within one build. This year, it was their 1969 Mustang Mach 1 nicknamed PATRIAC that caught many eyes and left me wondering what easter eggs lay in store for me to find.
From the factory, the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 came with an aggressive appearance package. These styling cues can still be found, but when comparing a Ringbrothers car to the original, you’ll notice just how many changes were made to the chassis. The PATRIAC body was sculpted by the fabricators of Ringbrothers to not only widen the body by two-inches, but also lower the rear quarter panels.
“The Mustang Mach 1 has always been an aggressive-looking car, and we wanted to add to those classic good looks with subtle but critical changes,” added Ringbrothers co-owner Jim Ring. “Over 5,000 hours went into building PATRIAC and perfecting the aesthetics. And, like all our builds, it has the performance to match its new-found aggression. Teaming with our trusted partners BASF, Motul, Miller Welding, Painless Wiring, GFS and others helps make it all possible.”
Metal isn’t the only element used on the build, as carbon-fiber and 3D-printed items can be found through the exterior and interior. The spoilers, diffuser, quarter panel intakes, and hood are all made from carbon-fiber, while the rear bumper, seat backs, and arm rest are 3D-printed.
While the original and PATRIAC both share an aggressive appearance package that alludes to powerful engine combinations, the latest reimagined Mach 1 drops the liters down to 5.2 from the original. However, the difference in liters is made up for in horsepower with a Ford Performance Aluminator 5.2 XS making 580 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque.
The Mach 1 was meant to be a driver’s car, meaning you won’t be finding an automatic transmission hidden in the interior. Instead, a shifter gives the control of the driver to pilot the Mustang while shifting the gears of a TREMEC Magnum six-speed transmission. Once the power is sent through the transmission it heads towards the Strange Engineering 9-inch rear differential.
To keep the power planted, the Mustang features front and rear independent suspension that utilizes RS Edition Penske Racing shocks. As the power is applied, four HRE G-code edition wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires try to maintain traction. When it comes to stopping, the Baer Brakes 14-inch rotors with six-piston calipers hide behind the massive HRE wheels.
While it’s easy for the enthusiast’s eyes to capture the 5.2-liter Aluminator XS under the hood or spot the HRE crest on all four corners, it’s the items that aren’t easily recognizable that set the build apart. Unlike the original side scoops that were bolted onto brackets on the wheel wells, the carbon-fiber side scoops found on the PATRIAC are fully functional and create an internal path for wind to enter on the sides and exit at the taillights.
Under the carpet, Ringbrothers replaced the factory floor pan and transmission tunnel before adding the custom interior and roll cage. Keeping things cool is a Vintage Air Gen IV Magnum climate control system with a complete row of gauges from Dakota Digital.
Ringbrothers builds are known for its over-the-top imagination in creating custom cars. However, what I like most is the fact that it takes a keen eye to spot all of the differences that have been made. Their cars are more than art and more than just a build — they’re a tease that taunts the average car guy into guessing what changes have been made. As always, we look forward to the challenge and we can’t wait to see what comes out of the Ringbrothers facility next.