4 mind-blowing, all-American hot rods from Ringbrothers at SEMA 2022
At Las Vegas’ annual Specialty Aftermarket Equipment Show (SEMA), fantastic builds and eye-catching new products abound. Most hot-rod shops are proud to execute a single SEMA-worthy build; The Ringbrothers outfit commands so much attention and respect that it could unveil not just one, but four vehicles here, each to a crowd.
If you’re not familiar with Jim and Mike Ring, the brothers Ring we’re referencing and the custom-car shop they created, you might be new to SEMA. The two have worked together, along with their crew in Spring Green, Wisconsin, to debut some of the show’s most memorable custom cars and trucks every year for more than a decade. Each new unveiling is guaranteed to reveal some new concept in design or interior vision that gets people talking and drives more innovation.
SEMA 2022 hosts four fantastic builds from Ringbrothers, and while we were there to see each up close and find our favorite details, we’ve also got excellent photos to share that were taken before the vehicles were packed up and shipped to Vegas. Here they are.
Ringbrothers has experience building first-gen K5 Blazers and “Bully,” its latest 4×4, shows it has plenty of imagination left. The 1972 Chevy K5 rides on a Roadster Shop chassis with Fox shocks and Baer brakes. Its tires, 325/65R18 Cooper Discoverer STT PROs, are mounted to 18×12-inch HRE wheels. We really like the finish on the flares surrounding those 34-inch tires: The carbon fiber has a camouflage effect that we haven’t seen before.
No run-of-the-mill engine would be fitting for this beautiful 4×4, so Ringbrothers installed a 6.8-liter Wegner Motorsports LS V-8 that’s topped by a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger. The supercharged small-block cranks out 1200 horsepower and sends it to a Bowler 4L80E automatic that was built to handle the huge torque output of the V-8.
Inside, the custom interior with its one-off dash bezel is highlighted by four seats treated to woven leather by Steve Pearson at Upholstery Unlimited. Each of the front seats rides on a carbon-fiber base that uses mountain-bike springs and shocks to provide suspension.
Ringbrothers is best known for its ’60s muscle car transformations, and it had two examples on hand at the 2020 SEMA show: a 1969 Camaro and a 1969 Mustang. “Patriarc,” a 1969 Mustang Mach 1, has been extensively modified, but you’d be hard-pressed to decipher all of the metal massaging. It rides on a Roadster Shop Fast Track Stage III chassis that was integrated into the original body shell, but not before it was widened two inches on either side. Custom carbon-fiber side scoops are clear-coated to show off the weave, with the carbon-fiber hood and rear diffuser taking a more subtle tack.
That carbon-fiber hood hides a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter Ford Performance Aluminator V-8 that sends 580 horsepower to a Bowler Tremec T-56 transmission and on to a Strange Engineering 9-inch rear axle. The driver gets to row the gears from a blue-upholstered bucket seat while gripping a custom carbon-fiber steering wheel. Avant-Garde Design built the interior and it looks like a more modern interpretation of a classic Mustang cockpit, down to the center-console grab handles that flank the shifter.
The remaining muscle car is a ’69 Camaro nicknamed “Strode.” While this car is instantly recognizable as Camaro, it has been significantly modified. In fact, there’s not much factory Camaro left. The entire body is made from carbon-fiber and it’s five inches wider than an original, a spec that’s readily apparent from a head-on view. The front wheels were also pulled forward by three inches, a change that’s easy to miss. That helped the 1010-horsepower Wegner Motorsports LS3 V-8 shift more weight to the rear wheels so its Michelin Pilot Sport tires have a chance to put the power down under acceleration. Thankfully, the suspension was modernized with Detroit Speed subframes and Roadster Shop control arms, plus QA1 shocks.
Inside, a tan interior with black accents by Upholstery Unlimited is highlighted by Dakota Digital gauges in a custom billet aluminum bezel. The prominent, two-gauge bezel immediately in front of the driver is reminiscent of the cluster found in a fifth-generation Camaro.
The final of four reveals made on SEMA’s opening day was “Enyo,” a 1948 Chevy pickup that started off as a flatbed work truck. Penned by Gary Ragle Designs, the cab is now chopped, channelled, and sectioned, sitting on a fully custom cantilever suspension with Goodyear Racing Eagle tires on all four corners. The open-wheel design and HRE centerlock wheels—intended for a Porsche 911—are not what you’d expect to find on a vintage pickup, and that’s not even all of the surprises that Ringbrothers cooked up for this extreme hot rod.
The fully independent suspension was designed by Ahlman Engineering and incorporated into a Roadster Shop chassis. It tucks the Öhlins TTX coilovers inboard, leaving only control arms and pushrods visible outside of the bodywork. Some of that bodywork now includes carbon-fiber intake pods just aft of the cab that feeds the rear-mounted radiator. They’re a wise choice, because this beast will need quite a lot of airflow to keep it cool: Under that forward-tilting hood is a 510-cubic-inch LS-based V-8 from Goodwin Competition Racing Engines. Fed race gas and plenty of atmosphere through its Kinsler eight-stack injection, the tall-deck engine roars with 1000 hp.
These four builds represent painstaking effort by designers and fabricators—and the hours show. We plan on spending more time at SEMA poking around these fantastic creations to suss out more details of their construction, and we’re sure we won’t be alone. Car builders and those with projects in the planning stages are surely taking notes and being inspired by these phenomenal builds.
Well the build on that 48 Chevy looks awfully familiar…
I’m sure many people love this sort of stuff, however many of these vehicles just have a reoccurring theme. Large amounts of power, huge wheels with rubber bands and over the top decorations. The idea of ever driving one of them seems last on the list, and that’s what I do, drive ’em.
The workmanship and talent involved is impressive and if you have a spot for a 1/1 scale display model in your car bar…..